Despite the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) achieving automation of its weapon systems, the training of troops has reportedly not kept pace with the advances in weapons, prompting the Beijing’s military’s mouthpiece to lash out at commanders for not adopting a modern mindset to technology.
Citing several articles published last week, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported the shortcomings in the ground force’s training system highlighted by the PLA, saying many manoeuvres looked very tough, but were “actually distinctly outdated and inefficient”.
“All rivals value and rely on technology [in the modern battlefield]. It will be difficult to hit the bull’s eye if we cannot have breakthroughs in training, and do not pay attention to innovative combat,” wrote Zhang Xicheng, a researcher from the PLA Military Academy.
Defence analysts said the criticism comes as the army finishes automating all of its weapon systems in pursuit of its bigger goal of turning the world’s largest military into a capable combat force.
Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Yuan Wang think tank, a Beijing-based military institute, said the ground forces were under pressure to turn their bulky units into smaller and flexible fighting teams fitted out with newer, lighter and more precise arms, reported SCMP.
Speaking about troop training on weapons systems involved live rounds, he said: “It is costly and wasteful. It does not conform to modern warfare theory and violates the aim of mechanisation.”
China has been showing its military strength in several instances, including over almost the entire South China Sea and it also has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.