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Global Times

PLA holds joint cross-sea landing drill, 'revealing details of Taiwan secessionist-deterring tatics'

Global Times

By Liu Xuanzun Published: May 10, 2021 08:01 PM

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently held a joint cross-sea landing drill with multiple service branches and practiced the coordinated operations among several amphibious landing units, including dock landing ship, armored vehicle and hover landing craft, boosting the troops' combat capabilities in amphibious landing missions.

By revealing the entire process of the exercise in detail, the PLA demonstrated its amphibious landing capabilities to the Taiwan secessionists and foreign forces who believe in the PLA's lack of this ability, and regular, repeated drills like this will form a strong deterrent, analysts said on Monday.

A brigade under the 72nd Group Army attached to the PLA Eastern Theater Command recently conducted the joint exercises with the Navy, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.

Starting the exercise, a group of Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles of the Army steered from land into the sea and entered the dock of the Navy's Type 071 amphibious landing ship Yimengshan, which also hosted several Type 726 air-cushioned landing craft along with soldiers of the Army.

Once the landing ship arrived near the target position, the Army soldiers of the spearheading assault units boarded the hovercraft, and each of the craft carried a Type 05 amphibious armored vehicle before being released from the Type 071 amphibious landing ship and rushed toward the beach.

Air-cushioned landing craft are faster and more capable of crossing obstacles (than amphibious armored vehicles,) Captain Xiang Shuhua, a company commander of the brigade, told CCTV.

Following the initial assault, other Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles in large numbers and not carried by hovercraft began to march toward the beach, eventually taking it over.

"This joint landing exercise trained the loading and release [of armored vehicles to landing ships] day and night, cross-service coordination and multidimensional troops delivery in multiple ways ... and effectively boosted the troops' combat capabilities in amphibious landing missions," Major Liu Wei, a deputy battalion commander of the brigade, told CCTV.

Military observers said that the report on the exercise is very detailed, as it shows the entire process of one of many amphibious landing tactics the PLA could use in a real battle.

Many on the island of Taiwan and foreign countries for a long time believe the Chinese mainland does not possess what it takes to organize a proper large-scale, joint amphibious landing operation on the island due to this kind of mission's high complexity, and that is one of the reasons why they do not think a reunification-by-force operation is possible, a Chinese mainland military analyst who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

Reports on exercises like this one and daily routine warplane drills near the island, could serve as a deterrent and give secessionist and foreign forces a clear look at the real situation that the PLA is fully determined and capable of safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the analyst said.

Many more amphibious landing tactics, including the involvement of missile, artillery and aviation forces, could be displayed soon if secessionists insist on provoking, observers said.

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