Xi stresses war preparedness during PLA Navy Marine Corps visit

By Yang Sheng and Hu Yuwei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/14 0:49:40 Last Updated: 2020/10/14 0:56:02

President Xi Jinping on Tuesday inspects the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps in Chaozhou, South China’s Guangdong Province. Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the Marine Corps is an elite combat force for amphibious operations, and it shoulders the important duties of safeguarding the country’s sovereignty security, territorial integrity, maritime interests, and overseas interests. Photo: Xinhua

President Xi Jinping inspected the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps in Chaozhou on Tuesday amid his ongoing trip to South China’s Guangdong Province.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), said the PLA Navy Marine Corps is an elite force for amphibious operations, and it shoulders the important duties of safeguarding the country's sovereignty security, territorial integrity, maritime interests, and overseas interests.

He urged the PLA Navy Marine Corps to speed up the upgrading of their combat capabilities to forge a powerful troop, with battlewise soldiers, which is integrated and versatile in operation, swift in response, and capable of fighting under multi-dimensional conditions.

Chinese military analysts said that the inspection to the corps sent a signal that China will speed up its preparation for any potential military conflict in the water areas and islands in regions like the Taiwan Straits, South and East China Seas, as well as the regions of significant overseas interests, as the strategic pressure from foreign hostile forces against China is increasing.
Xi said the Marine Corps should focus on war preparedness and combat capabilities, and maintain a high level of readiness, adding that the force should stick to combat-oriented training and strengthen mission-oriented training tailored to the specific needs and force-on-force training.

He also stressed the need for the PLA Navy Marine Corps to work more closely with other units of the PLA, and to be deeply integrated into the joint operations systems.

A marine assigned to a brigade of Marine Corps under the PLA Navy prepares the anti-aircraft artillery to lock target during a recent live-fire training exercise. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Shang Wenbin)

The PLA Navy Marine Corps is an important force of conducting amphibious operations against islands, and enhancing the combat capability of PLA Navy Marine Corps and modernization of its equipment and weapons will help it play a bigger role when it comes to dealing with the Taiwan question in the future, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 
Improving the capability of the Marine Corps to win the battle is also an important task, if it needs to use military means to solve the Taiwan question, Song said. 

One of the missions of the Marine Corps is conducting amphibious operations in solving Taiwan question by non-peaceful mean when necessary, but with the fast development of China and the expanding overseas interests, the Marine Corps also eyes on multiple missions in the new era, including protecting China’s overseas interests, conducting UN anti-piracy mission or other humanitarian assistance missions around the world,” said Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert.

Xi’s inspection suggests that the Marine Corps is no longer an ordinary branch of the armed forces, but has always been an irreplaceable elite combat force to safeguard China's maritime interests. As various military services hasten their joint powers, China will become more powerful in safeguarding the islands, reefs and maritime rights and interests, Li told the Global Times. 

Since an organizational adjustment three years ago, Marine Corps troops have undergone unprecedented tests in all types of terrain in fast-paced, highly intensive combat exercises, and these operations show the Marines have turned from an amphibious to a multidimensional force, the PLA Daily reported in May.

The operations include: the exercises simulated helicopter landings on a pirate ship in the South China Sea, fast boat landings on a hijacked ship in the Gulf of Aden, tropical island seizing missions with amphibious assault vehicles, infiltration missions in extremely cold grasslands, shooting training in Djibouti and competing in the International Army Games 2019 in Russia.

Xi gave full recognition to the Marine Corps on the construction, development and task fulfillment since its reorganization and establishment in 2017, after watching training videos of relevant task teams during his inspection.  
Xi stressed the need to strengthen strategic design for the construction of the Marine Corps.

The strategic design should fit with the country's strategies of national development, security and military, strategic arrangements of modernized national defense and military, as well as the construction of the joint operations systems and transformation of the navy, Xi said. 

China has been regularly sending naval escort task groups to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia and operates a support base in Djibouti, and chances for Marine Corps activities overseas will continue to increase, said Li.

Xi also said the corps should not reduce vigilance in epidemic prevention and control against the COVID-19, as the epidemic situation still remains uncertain, and the corps should take multiple measures to push forward the construction of the troops.

Global Times

Posted in: MILITARY

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