Chinese army begins large-scale drill

Yao Jianing

ZHURIHE, Inner Mongolia, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Troops from the five theater commands of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Friday kicked off a drill that will last until September and aim to boost their "trans-regional" capabilities.

Seen as one of the key maneuvers after the establishment of the PLA's new command structure, the event will see mixed army brigades sent from each theater command separately confront a PLA troop posing as the enemy.

Where as the selection of brigades taking part in the drill would have been based on recommendations in the past, they were randomly selected this time, giving more troops chance to participate, according to chief director Wang Zhian.

Wang said commanders' efficiency will be a greater part of evaluation of this drill, and the opposing sides will switch roles of attack and defense instead of each playing a single role throughout.

The drill will be tougher than previous versions, involving more nighttime maneuvers and harsher requirements for live-fire assaults.

The schedule was pushed to July from the usual May to give troops more time for preparatory training.


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