PLA conducts real combat drill along China-Myanmar border, a necessary act to deal with emergencies, potential escalation: experts
Published: Nov 25, 2023 01:46 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command announced on Saturday that it will conduct a series of real combat training and drills along the Chinese side of the China-Myanmar border, which is aimed to test the rapid maneuverability, border sealing and firepower capabilities of locally positioned troops.

Military experts told the Global Times this is a key signal sent by China targeting the deteriorating situation in northern Myanmar, adding that the country's military is being prepared for the impact from the military conflicts within Myanmar, and all conflicting parties in the China's neighboring country should try their best to avoid compromising the border security, as well as the safety of Chinese communities near  border regions.

In accordance with the annual training plan, the PLA Southern Theater Command organized its ground force units to hold "real combat training activities on Saturday along the Chinese side of the China-Myanmar border," according to its official Sina Weibo account.

"The theater command forces are always prepared to respond to various emergencies and are resolute in safeguarding national sovereignty, border stability and the safety of the people's lives and property," according to Senior Colonel Tian Junli, a spokesperson of the PLA Southern Theater Command.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military experts and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Saturday that "Myanmar is a country that suffers from long-standing civil war from time to time, and the conflicts within the country are also a long-standing threat to China's border security, so considering the worsening situation within Myanmar, it's reasonable for the Chinese military to take necessary actions to deal with the emergencies and the potential escalation of any  conflict."

The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar on Friday urged Chinese nationals to evacuate the Laukkai area of Kokang region in north Myanmar immediately, and to stay away from the zone, as conflicts continue in the area.

For the conflicting parties in Myanmar, neither the government military forces nor the local warlords want to see an accident that might harm security of China and Chinese people, but if the conflicts take place in the areas that close to the border, it's possible to see bombs or shells to cross the border and cause damage to the Chinese side, with a potential inflow of  refugees representing another main challenge, experts said.

"The PLA will not get involved of the conflict, as China upholds the non-interference principle, but it's our military's duty to safeguard the security of our border," Song noted. 

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Saturday that the training courses like rapid maneuverability and border control or border sealing are flagging that the PLA forces are able to be deployed at  speed and are capable of effectively controlling the border in an emergency situation. 

Song added that the firepower drills are defensive, as it might test the capability of air defense to deter and defend the military aircrafts, bombs and missiles that could potentially cross the border during the conflicts inside Myanmar.