BEIJING: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has organised a large-scale manoeuvre operation featuring thousands of paratroopers plus armoured vehicles to the country’s high-altitude northwestern region over a long distance from central China’s Hubei province amid border tensions between China and India.
The entire process was completed in just a few hours, demonstrating China’s capability of quickly reinforcing border defences when necessary, experts told Global Times on Sunday.
Using civilian airlines, logistical transportation channels and railways, several thousand paratroopers under a PLA Air Force airborne brigade recently manoeuvred from Hubei to an undisclosed location in the plateaus of northwestern China thousands of kilometers away.
Hubei is the province hit hardest by the Covid-19 outbreak in China earlier this year, but it has now fully recovered and troops there are ready to conduct exercises and prepare for combat.
Several hundred pieces of military equipment including armoured vehicles and huge batches of supplies were also involved in the operation, which ended successfully in just a few hours.
“This manoeuvre mission saw significant breakthroughs not only in the scale of mobilised troops but also means of transportation. [Using civilian transportation] substantially expanded our means of transporting forces and increased efficiency in manoeuvering an entire organisation of troops,” Major Colonel Mao Lei, head of the training department at the airborne brigade, was quoted as saying.
A PLA veteran with experience in manoeuvring from inland to high-altitude regions of China for missions told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that the scale and short time it took to finish the mobilisation showed the PLA has the capability to project its power anywhere in China very quickly and send reinforcements to remote locations with harsh environments, including high elevation.