Chinese military troops stationed in over 20 South China Sea and East China Sea islands have access to a power grid ahead of schedule, which experts said could guarantee regular military drills and improve the military's combat capabilities.
A total of 89 border troops have been provided with electricity under the power construction plan for border troops, with power for 226 border troops by the end of 2018, and for all the border troops by 2020, The People's Liberation Army's (PLA) flagship newspaper PLA Daily reported over the weekend.
"We used to rely on diesel engines to generate electricity, but power was unstable. The whole camp would be plunged into darkness once the generator breaks down," Cao Guoqi, a military officer of the South China Sea Fleet who had been stationed on Dawanshan Island in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province for 27 years, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
"The construction of the power grid provides for the basic necessities of border troops, and more importantly, ensures that military drills are conducted regularly," Song Zhongping, a TV commentator and military expert, told the Global Times.
He said that using a power grid for the islands could improve the service life of weapons and the effectiveness of military exercises.
The power grid construction for border troops was launched in July 2017, in a bid to boost both economic and national defense development, the newspaper said.
To meet the power requirements for military training, the power departments provided two circuit lines for military troops at stations in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, so that the supply could switch from one line to the other without being cut off, the newspaper said.
An official at the energy department of the PLA's Logistics Department said that the country would use new energies, including solar, wind and ocean energy to provide a clean and effective energy system for border islands and safe and stable energy for combat drills, weapons and soldiers, the PLA Daily said.