Chinese military to build new-type training system amid external threats
Published: Feb 21, 2021 08:28 PM

A cluster of attack and transport helicopters attached to an army aviation brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army conduct hover checks before leaving for a 24-hour flight task on February 2, 2021. ( by Yang Mingfu)

The Chinese military announced on Saturday that it will build a new type of training system that would improve military training in all respects, strengthen the capability to win wars and build the Chinese military into a world-class one.

The new military training system will focus on ensuring People's Liberation Army (PLA) exercises are the same as real wars to deal with rapidly changing global situations and external threats, Chinese military analysts said on Sunday.

Approved by Chinese President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the CMC has released a decision on fostering a new type of military training system, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.

The decision stressed efforts to speed up the establishment of the training system, to improve military training in all respects and to strengthen the capability to win wars to build the PLA into a world-class armed force, Xinhua said.

It also underscored promoting combat-oriented training, exploring new training paradigms and improving the management of training operations as well as the supporting conditions, Xinhua reported.

A more detailed report, published by the PLA Daily on Saturday, explained that the decision asked the Chinese military to train as if exercises are real wars, boost joint exercises, enhance training with technology, strengthen talent support and follow patterns and laws of training and winning wars.

Intensive training of not only soldiers but also commanders and the creation of realistic battlefield environments are among the priorities, according to the PLA Daily report.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday that compared with previous training systems applied by the PLA, the new system puts more stresses on coupling training with real combat, to the extent that the two need to be highly identical.

The new system also requires new methods, including the deployment of training equipment and the means to support it, to make drills more like real wars, Song said.

Unlike the US military, which has operated around the globe and has been constantly in battles, which means it retains its sharpness, China has not fought a real war for decades, so training is one of only a few ways to hone combat capabilities, and that is why high-quality training is very important to the Chinese military, another Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Sunday on condition of anonymity.

The new military training system aims to eliminate malpractices that have accumulated through prolonged peace to make the military more ready for engaging in wars, even if China never wants any, the anonymous expert said.

China is facing rapidly changing global situations, particularly constantly rising threats around China including those from the powerful US, Song said, noting that these have forced the PLA to enhance its ability to fight real wars.

The US has been sending warships to the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits, and warplanes near China's coastal areas for close-up reconnaissance, all moves analysts said that aim to contain China.

China aims to basically complete modernization of the national defense and armed forces by 2035, and fully transform the people's armed forces into a world-class military by the mid-21st century, Xi said at the opening session of the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress in October 2017, Xinhua reported at that time.

The new training system is also part of the efforts to achieve that goal, analysts said.