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Global Times

Chinese Marine Corps conducts amphibious landing drills, aims to win wars

Global Times

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/24 20:23:40

The Chinese Marine Corps recently conducted comprehensive amphibious landing drills, in a move which experts said on Sunday aimed at gathering experience and winning wars, and the naval arm is a vanguard in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the South China Sea and the island of Taiwan.

Taking place at an undisclosed location, the drills included the boarding of amphibious armored vehicles onto landing ships and land assault, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

Upon arriving at the target area, high speed boats first left the landing ships for obstacle clearing and path securing, as naval camouflaged ZTD-05 advanced amphibious assault vehicles followed and launched strikes at targets on the land as they closed in, according to the CCTV report.

"From the report we can see that the drills of the Marine Corps are combat-oriented and aim to build an even harsher battlefield environment," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"Problems will occur during these drills, and the troops will solve them and overcome difficulties, gaining more experience for future combat, as the drills are based on winning wars," Song said.

Two ships involved in the drills, one with hull number 913 and the other with 993, are the Baxianshan landing ship from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) East China Sea Fleet and the Luoxiaoshan landing ship from the PLA South China Sea Fleet, according to publicly available reports.

Especially capable in amphibious combat, the Marine Corps should be considered a vanguard in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the South China Sea and the island of Taiwan, Song said.

Under the PLA Navy, the Marine Corps is a combined force responsible for amphibious combat including special operations such as reconnaissance, landing and assault, CCTV said.

The Chinese military is continuing its development of the Marine Corps, as it has been expanded into a military service of its own, despite remaining under the organization of the Navy, the People's Daily overseas edition's new media platform Xiakedao reported in April.

Military analysts said the US Marine Corps is much larger and more capable than China's.

Song predicted that the Chinese Marine Corps could get more personnel in addition to getting more advanced equipment, and it should also become capable of joint operations with the Army, Air Force, Rocket Force and other arms of the Navy.

The Marine Corps should be able to conduct missions from sea, land and air, Song noted.

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