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Monday, September 26, 2016, 12:37

PLA hones real combat ability for stronger military

By Xinhua

PLA hones real combat ability for stronger military
This picture taken on Sept 16, 2015 shows Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers training at their barracks in H eihe, northeast China's Heilongjiang province. (Photo / AFP)
BEIJING - More than three years ago, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made improving the army's combat strength a major focus in building a strong army, an idea that has since been the key goal of the military.

At a meeting with national lawmakers from the armed forces on March 11, 2013, Xi, also chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission (CMC), raised the capability to win wars as one of the fundamentals of building a strong army, the others being the command of the Party and having a proper working style.

Over the past three-plus years, the military's day-to-day training, military drills and its overall reform have all targeted honing combat strength.

From 2013 to 2015, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted at least 383 drills of various kinds, and the drills all focused on honing real combat capability.

On Sunday, the Chinese Air Force sent over 40 aircraft of various models to the West Pacific, via the Miyako Strait, for a routine drill to test high-seas real combat capability.

The PLA Army deployed for the first time a full infantry battalion for a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2015. The PLA Navy has been conducting regular high-seas training missions.

Servicemen and women have also been plunged into non-military operations, including earthquake, flood and other disaster relief and rescue.

The military has been slashing expenditures on unnecessary items so that more funding goes to weaponry, battlefield construction, education and training.

In 2015, 24,934 public vehicles were cut. Administration costs above the corps level were cut by at least half compared to the previous year.

In March 2014, the CMC issued a guidance demanding the level of military training be raised to actual combat standards to improve the army's capabilities.

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