China to strengthen military training and enhance combat readiness

February 13, 2019

TEHRAN - Amid political and diplomatic tensions with the U.S. and its allies, China is stepping up efforts to strengthen the military training and combat readiness of its national armed forces.

According to reports in Chinese media, the country’s top military body has deployed inspectors and put in place a new oversight system to strengthen combat readiness of the People’s Liberation Army.

In a report on Tuesday, the PLA Daily said President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, has signed an order to release a new regulation on the supervision of military training, the first of its kind for China.

“The regulation formulates measures to rectify practices that are inconsistent with the requirements of actual combat. It also details the criteria for identifying malpractices and discipline violations during military training,” the report said.

“The regulation also clearly states the responsibilities, power and priorities of military training supervision and standardizes the methods and procedures for carrying out such work,” it adds.

The development comes amid U.S. warnings that China has become a major security threat, with increased spending on advanced weaponry, technology and cyberwarfare.

PLA Daily published an interview with an officer from the CMC’s training management department stressing that the new regulation was meant to “rectify” problems such as cheating, waste and bureaucracy and increase efficiency and readiness.

The officer said that under the new regulation, the PLA would establish proper systems and assign inspectors to monitor and supervise officers responsible for training and hold them accountable for failures and derelictions of duty.

The Chinese military has not been involved in major military offensive since the country’s border conflicts with Vietnam in 1979.

In a new report, Asia Society's Task Force on U.S.-China Policy has said that the U.S. and China were on a collision course.

The report notes that the paranoia arises from a negative dynamic of American opinion-makers viewing China as a rising power seeking to unfairly undercut its economic prosperity and threaten its security, while their Chinese counterparts see the U.S. as a declining power seeking to prolong its dominance by unfairly containing its rise.

Last month, the Chinese military successfully tested a mock launch of a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile.

“The People's Liberation Army Rocket Force conducted a simulated intercontinental ballistic missile strike mission from an underground bunker against an imaginary enemy,” state-controlled Global Times reported, citing China Central Television.

While both sides seem ready for any eventuality, without a first strike against China, China will never use the weapons, Global Times stated in its report.

“An ICBM loaded with nuclear warheads will likely never be used as it would precipitate an all-out nuclear war, say analysts. The weapon's primary purpose is deterrence, and to facilitate political and diplomatic discussions,” said the report.

But China's nuclear arsenal is small compared to America's arsenal. Beijing maintains 280 nuclear warheads on ICBMs, medium-range rockets and submarine-launched missiles. The United States possesses 3,800 nukes and deploys 1,750 of them.

Meanwhile, according to reports, China is building four new nuclear aircraft carriers which will be deployed to the South-China Sea, where the U.S. and its allies are disputing Beijing’s territorial claims.

Malcolm Davies, a defense researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said he expects South China Sea tensions to escalate.

“Expect greater tension in the South China Sea. China won’t back down nor will the U.S.,” he was quoted as saying by Express newspaper. “The South China Sea will remain a key flashpoint between China and the U.S., who are now engaged in an extended period of strategic competition.”

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