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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

BEIJING AMPHIBIOUS CAPABILITY INSUFFICIENT IN FIVE YEARS: U.S. REPORT

2004-05-29 20:17:46

    Washington, May 29 (CNA) The U.S. Pentagon said in a military capability report of mainland China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) that mainland China will probably be unable to conduct large-scale amphibious warfare within five years.

    The Pentagon said in an annual report at the request of Congress that the PLA has started to build a large number of new landing ships and vessels since the mid-1990s, but the number built is probably unable to sustain a large-scale amphibious assault within five years.

    The report also said that although Beijing may not have enough landing ships or vessels to carry its military personnel to launch a traditional amphibious attack on Taiwan, it has continued to modernize its ground forces and has stepped up their training.

    The Nanjing and Guangzhou military regions have begun to receive upgraded amphibious armored vehicles and practice regular training. The army and the marines in southeastern mainland China have started to deploy a newer version of the 63A amphibious tank equipped with a satellite-guided system and other modern equipment.

(By Oliver Lin and Lilian Wu)

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