China Significantly Boosts Size of Navy and Air Force, Downsizes Army

https://www.thetrumpet.com/files/W1siZiIsIjIwMTkvMDEvMjUvMjd5MGV5dzM1dl8xOTAxMjVfUExBX2Fpcm1hbl9HZXR0eUltYWdlc18xMDk4MjI3MjI0LmpwZyJdXQ/3d834c5d407916b6/190125-PLA%20airman-GettyImages-1098227224.jpg

An airman of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force operates an aircraft during a drill on the second flight training day of the New Year at Liaodong Peninsula on January 3, in Liaoning province, China. (Getty Images)

 

‘Transformational changes’ in military priorities are enhancing Beijing’s ability to flex its muscles far beyond China’s borders.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (pla) is undergoing “transformational changes” to greatly boost the size of its navy and air force and to downsize its land-based army by nearly half, the nation’s official Xinhua news agency said on January 20.

“This new data is unprecedented in the history of the pla,” the agency wrote. As a result of the changes, it said, “the Army now accounts for less than 50 percent of the total number of pla troops; almost half of our noncombatant units have been made redundant.” Continue reading

China sends troops to military base in Djibouti, widening reach across Indian Ocean

Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army stand on a ship sailing off from a military port in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, on Monday. Photo: Reuters

 

Beijing says facility needed for anti-piracy operations but rivals expected to be alarmed

China has taken a decisive step ­towards establishing a maritime force that can reach across the ­Indian Ocean with its first ­deployment of troops to its ­military facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

China has presented the ­facility as a support base to run anti-piracy operations in waters along Africa’s east coast as well as peacekeeping and ­humanitarian missions in the region.

But given it sits at the shipping choke point of the Gulf of Aden which opens to the Suez Canal and beyond, China’s ­regional neighbours including Japan, ­India and Vietnam were likely to view the deployment with alarm, mainland experts said.

Continue reading

Chinese army steps up drills in southeast that experts say are targeted at Taiwan, US

China’s defence ministry says the army has stepped up drills in the southeast coast to build its ability to handle security threats.

The comment came after the 31st Group Army, affiliated with the newly founded Eastern Theatre Command, conducted a landing exercise on the Fujian coast on Monday.

Continue reading

PLA Navy gains use of port in Malaysia close to Spratly islands

Continue to side with a suiciding and declining America and be crushed by a neighboring China, or slowly choose sides with the Asian superpower and live peacefully under its umbrella protectorate. That’s the choice Malaysia (and eventually others) has to face.

 

Malaysia has allowed the Chinese navy to use its Kota Kinabalu port, close to the Philippines and the Spratly Archipelago, in what analysts say is an effort not to take sides in the territorial disputes in the region.

The agreement was made when Admiral Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA Navy, visited Malaysia last week. Chinese ships would be able to use the port in Malaysian Borneo as a “stopover location”, reported US magazine the National Interest.

Continue reading

China’s national security law gives PLA mission to protect overseas interests

China’s military is expected to expand its offshore presence with the passage yesterday of a wide-ranging new national security law that highlights the country’s need to protect its “overseas interests”.

Besides underscoring the need to protect national territorial sovereignty and integrity, the law passed by the National People’s Congress says it is the military’s duty to defend these overseas interests, through military action if necessary.

This is in addition to the People’s Liberation Army’s responsibilities in peacekeeping, international rescue operations and escort missions.

Continue reading

PLA base on Fiery Cross Reef could tip balance in South China Sea

Over the past year, Beijing has been particularly aggressive in conducting reclamation activities on Chinese-controlled reefs and islets in the Spratlys, parts of which are which are also claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Following the most recent period of construction, China is said to have essentially “created” five new islands from existing reefs, including Fiery Cross Reef, which has reportedly become the largest island in the Spratlys. Continue reading

Rescue of blazing boat by frigate seen as PLA statement in East China Sea

A naval frigate came to the rescue of a Zhejiang fishing boat on fire near disputed waters in the East China Sea, shedding light on the People’s Liberation Army’s readiness to deploy in the region amid the simmering territorial spat with Japan.

The missile frigate Zhoushan sailed at high speed for 3½ hours to reach the burning boat late on Friday, 280 kilometres west-northwest of Amami-Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture.

It arrived ahead of three Japanese coastguard patrol ships that responded to an earlier request by China for help, according to mainland media and Japan’s Kyodo news agency. Xinhua reported six of the 24 people aboard died in the blaze. Continue reading