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People's Daily Online

PLA simulates beach landings in southeast coast

People's Daily Online

(Global Times) 09:12, May 18, 2016

China conducted military drills in waters off its southeast coast to further improve mobile combat capabilities, media reported on Tuesday.

The drills involving the 31st Group Army simulated beach landings, Chen Xiaoming, a regiment commander, told the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The 31st Group Army is based in Xiamen, Southeast China's Fujian Province.

"We are exploring new modes of landing operations and new tactics to improve our combat capabilities," Chen told js7tv.cn, a website affiliated with the PLA, in an interview broadcast on Monday.

The combined battalion consisted of infantry, armored forces, artillery, and special-operation forces, which are linked by integrated command information system, the PLA Daily quoted an official with the 31st Group Army as saying on Tuesday.

Ground, sea and air forces joined the drills, the report added.

The official added that the combined battalion is more adaptive, flexible and better prepared for attacks, and is one of the army's basic combat groups.

This is not the first time the 31st Group Army has conducted drills in the area. China Central Television reported in January that the army also conducted landing exercises in which long-range rocket launchers, self-propelled howitzers and amphibian carriers were used.

Since 1995, the 31st Group Army participated in several large-scale landing exercises on Dongshan Island in Fujian, news site china.com reported in January.

Routine military drills are conducted around the island, mostly landing exercises, the Beijing Times reported. The largest drills took place in 2001, with over 100,000 troops involved in the 4-month drills.

Large-scale military drills were also held on the island in 2004, media reported.

In February, China unveiled a long-anticipated plan to regroup its seven military area commands into five theater commands, a move that observers said is aimed at improving the PLA's combat capabilities and enhance its response through a joint command system to meet the challenges of a new era.

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