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China to set up new military training system, according to state-owned media

Chinese state-owned media revealed on 20 February that Beijing has approved what it described as a “new-type military training system” to better prepare the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to deal with “external threats”.

The Xinhua news agency reported that the establishment of the new system, which was approved by President Xi Jinping – who is also chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) – is aimed at “improving military training in all respects and strengthening the capability to win wars, so as to build the PLA into world-class armed forces”.

The media outlet noted in this context that the CMC underscored “promoting combat-oriented training, exploring new training paradigms, and improving the management of training operations, as well as the supporting conditions”.

The Xinhua report was short on details but the state-owned Global Times newspaper quoted the PLA Daily as saying that the move will require 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, reported the paper citing PLA Daily.

Global Times also quoted Chinese military analyst Song Zhongping as saying that “compared with previous training systems applied by the PLA, the new system puts more emphasis on coupling training with real combat to the extent that the two need to be highly identical”.

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