Nearly 20,000 soldiers from the Chinese army commenced a 100-day artillery exercise, one of the longest peace time drills, to improve the fighting capacity of the world’s largest military. The People’s Liberation Army began the 100-day exercise, codenamed “Firepower 2104” on Sunday, state-run Xinhua news agency said.
The destruction capacity of artillery is vital to winning modern battles and confrontation manoeuvres of this kind improve fighting capacity, said Yu Chao, President of the institute in charge of the exercise. The 2.3 million-strong world’s largest army is constantly under training in recent years as China faces tensions over disputed islands with Japan and South East Asian neighbours
over the South China Sea. Beijing also faces US military push into Asia-Pacific in a big way.
Chinese President Xi Jinping who also heads the military has been emphasising on constant training of all wings of the armed forces ever since he took over power last year. Six artillery brigades from the Shenyang, Beijing, Jinan, Nanjing, and Guangzhou military area commands and the Nanjing Institute of Artillery Corps are taking part in the drills.
The exercise will involve almost 1,000 pieces of major weaponry, the report said. The first stage of the exercise will be conducted at the Nanjing Institute of Artillery Corps and focus on command of the troops.
The second stage will focus on tactical manoeuvres and will be conducted in unfamiliar terrains in northeast, north, and northwest China, it said.