Monday, January 26, 2015

N. Korea conducts military drills to counter U.S. hostilities

Updated: 2015-01-27 12:21:33 KST

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday that its leader Kim Jong-un conducted his front-line troops' during the winter drills, saying that a "powerful offensive means (a) rock-firm defense."
The agency didn't say, though, where or when the drills were held.
In a separate report, it condemned South Korean activists for their latest leaflet launches, while also claiming that the U.S. wanted to topple the regime.
By that the North is talking about U.S. President Barack Obama's remark last week on how the spread of the Internet will eventually lead to North Korea's collapse.

Photos of the day: PLAN Marine, Winter Warfare Specialist.

As noted before by this blog, the South China Sea is not the PLAN Marine's sole AOR.   As China is keeping close tabs on latest development from North Korea (here), the PLAN Marine, being the vanguard of the Chinese military, now has to familiarize themselves with Winter Warfare.

Training in cold region becomes normal for Chinese Marine Corps

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-01-12

The Chinese Marine Corps is loading equipment onto trucks on January 8, 2015, getting ready to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training. ( Zhiyong)

  GUANGDONG, January 12 (ChinaMil) -- A brigade of the Chinese Marine Corps made up of 1,000-plus people and 100-plus vehicles set out from the west of Guangdong province on the night of January 8, 2015, and headed for a training base in northeast China which is more than 4,000 kilometers away for the cold region training.

  This is an onshore trans-regional actual-combat cold region training featuring the longest distance and longest time.

  This is another actual-combat cold region training for the Marine Corps after its organic units headed for a training base for the first time last year, marking that the cold region training has become normal for the Marine Corps, according to Li Xiaoyan, commander of the cold region training and deputy chief of staff of the South China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army (PLAN).

  This actual-combat cold region training will cover a number of subjects, such as troops assembly, mobile entry and stationing, technical and tactical basis under severe cold conditions, operation grouping and collaboration, and actual-troop confrontation in offensive combats on rugged terrains in cold region.

  This cold region training features a more complicated environment, higher latitude, lower temperature, and wider maneuvering range compared with that of last year.

  Some specific training subjects have been added based on the training of last year, and the troops will conduct the training under such complicated situations as long-distance maneuvering, unfamiliar region, and extremely cold weather, Li Xiaoyan said.

  In addition, from transfer-in of the troops' degree of combat readiness to maneuvering and withdrawal, the training command post will organize experts and instructors from institutions and universities to set up a directing and evaluating team, so as to test the troops' long-distance maneuvering and total-region combat capability in an all-round way.
The fully-armed officers and men of the Marine Corps are boarding vehicles to head for a training base in northeast China for actual-combat cold region training on the night of January 8, 2015. ( Zhiyong)

Editor:Guo Renjie

Communist propaganda of the day: All is fair in love and marketing

It has become quite fashionable for Western defense firms to use Chinese military assets as the OpFor for their marketing brochures.

Take this DCN F21 torpedo ads for example

It is only fair for AVIC to return the favor with their latest top-attack anti-tank drones ads targeting an Abrams MBT

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PLAN calls off kung fu stunt shows

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-01-15

  HONG KONG, January 15 (ChinaMil) -- "Break bricks with a bare hand", "Break a wood rod with body"... these are all the cool stunts of soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to the report by the Hong Kong's South China Morning Post on January 14, 2015. However, their appearance on the open days of the military barracks and during the inspections of the leaders can be numbered now.

  It is reported that such performance subjects will no longer be included in the appraisal on soldiers.

  The PLA Daily reported that the Party committee of a marine brigade of the PLA Navy has decided to exclude a dozen of such subjects which are pleasant to the eyes but of no use from the training program, including various kung fu stunts and group motorcycle stunts, and replace them with daily training subjects such as live-ammunition shooting subject.

  The decision is welcomed by the officers and men.

  "I am finally liberated now," the report quoted Wang Xiaohui, member of the Marine Corps of the PLA Navy. Wang practised hard Qigong before joining the military, and showed his stunt "Break a wood board with head" many times after joining the military.

  However, he was not performing well enough in some military training subjects, because he spent most of the training time on practising his stunts.

  Now the brigade will spend more time on long-distance sniping, helicopter training, low-altitude bailout, machine gun shooting and other high-risk training subjects. Some subjects that were once removed from the training ground due to safety accidents have also returned to the training ground.

  Ding Shufan, director of the Research Center of International Relations of Taiwan's National Chengchi University (NCCU), said this change will probably be promoted to all the troops of the PLA. "The new measure will help the PLA develop into a standard combat force. The kung fu stunts may look cool, but they are already outdated in modern wars today."

  Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the military to arrange the job rotation of military and political principal officers at grassroots units just a few days ago in order to enhance the Chinese military's combat capability and its political loyalty to the Communist Party of China.

Editor:Guo Renjie

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Mobile Six" naval exercise

Finally some pictures from the Mobile Six Naval Exercise that has been the hot topic of Chinese military forums of late;  this little 18-ship, 21 aircraft task force combined elements from all three fleets and of course shadowed by the Japanese Navy in due course.

Why PLA keeps low profile about exercise in Western Pacific?

(Source: China Military Online)   2014-12-17

  BEIJING, December 17 (ChinaMil) -- The first National Memorial Day of Victims in Nanjing Massacre was held on December 13, 2014. Meanwhile, the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) carried out a large-scale military exercise in the sea area of the Western Pacific.

  However, there was no official report on any details of the exercise, which poses a sharp contrast to the high profile military exercises of the PLA Army, Navy and Air Force in the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the Beibu Gulf on July 25 in celebration of the 120th anniversary of the First Sino-Japanese War.

  The Information Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) released news on the evening of December 3 that the PLAN will organize warship taskforces to relevant waters of the Western Pacific for open sea training.

  The Joint Staff Council of the Japanese Ministry of Defense released news on December 4 that at about 05:00 that day, the Japanese destroyer “Asayuki” followed the type-051C destroyer “Shijiazhuang”, type-052 destroyer “Harbin”, type-054A frigate “Yantai” and “Yancheng” and supply ship “Taihu Lake” under the North China Sea Fleet of the PLAN across the Osumi Strait into the Pacific Ocean.

  The Japanese Self-defense Forces discovered six Chinese naval vessels on December 12 again that were sailing northwestward across the Miyako Strait between the main island of Okinawa and Miyako Island

  According to pictures published by Japan, those vessels belong to the East China Sea Fleet of the PLAN. They were respectively the 052C-class guided missile destroyer “Zhengzhou”, 054A-class stealth guided missile frigate “Zhoushan” and “Yiyang”, Sovremenny Class-II guided missile destroyer 138 “Taizhou”, electronic intelligence collection ship 851, and 886 supply ship “Qiandaohu Lake”.

  Although the taskforce of the South China Sea Fleet of the PLAN was not made public, analysis showed that it was a joint military exercise of the three major fleets of the PLAN. The Chinese military dispatched four batches of airplanes to fly to the Western Pacific over the Miyako Strait from December 4 to 12, which was regarded as cooperating in the military exercise in that area.

  The PLAN didn’t report on this military exercise, which poses a contrast to the timely information release by the official media such as CCTV and PLA Daily about the series of large-scale military exercises carried out by China this year in order to improve the troops’ actual-combat capability.

  Another contrast is that on July 25, 2014, the 120th anniversary of the First Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese military held exercises in the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the Beibu Gulf of the South China Sea at the same time.

  Regarding this exercise in the Western Pacific, the MND noted that the training of the PLAN vessels and airplanes in the Western Pacific is a routine deployment in the annual plan and complies with international laws and conventions. The MND urged relevant countries to respect the freedom of voyage and over-flight of the PLAN vessels and airplanes in accordance with international laws, and confirmed that China will continue to carry out open sea trainings in that sea area in future.

  According to military experts, that China didn’t report on the Western Pacific exercise is based on diplomatic considerations. The surrounding situations around China have become increasingly complicated, the China-Japan, China-Philippines and China-Vietnam relations are highly sensitive, and there is also the more important U.S. factor behind them. Analysts held that China’s decision to carry out this exercise without publicity is based on considerations for national interests, so that there will be no excuse for other countries to hype up the “China threat” theory.

  Military experts also believed that both diplomatic policies and military operations are aimed to preserve national interests. They complement and support each other although with different priorities.

  However, hawkish members in the military deemed that China’s military operations constitute an important symbol of preserving national interests, and there is no need to appear weak to the outside world.

  Japan did not hype up this exercise either, and held a general election in the same period that the PLAN carried out trainings in the Western Pacific. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won an overwhelming victory in the selection of the House of Representatives on December 14.

  The Chinese and Japanese heads of state had the first meeting in three years at the APEC Summit held in Beijing in November this year. Previously, the two countries reached four principled consensuses on upholding the principles and spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan and correctly looking at and properly dealing with relevant issues. The unprecedentedly tense bilateral relations that lasted more than two years eventually came to a significant turning point, and China and Japan took the first step on improving their relations.

Editor:Zhang Tao

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Photos of the day: First Chinese peacekeeping infantrymen leave for South Sudan, fully loaded.

24 infantrymen of the advance detachment of the first peacekeeping infantry battalion of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) left for South Sudan from Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport and Yantai Laishan International Airport respectively on January 8, 2015. The following 156 members of the advance detachment will arrive in the mission area in South Sudan by batches. The peacekeeping infantry battalion will perform such peacekeeping missions as protecting local citizens as well as personnel and facilities of the United Nations (UN) and carrying out humanitarian rescue operations entrusted by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The new Chinese mountain-warfare light tank

While pictures of this new Chinese (ZTQ-??) light tank have been appearing in Chinese internet since Dec 2011 but its turret has not been revealed until now.   Judging from armor protection offered by those extreme sloped glacis plates,  maybe there is a reason to keep its "head" covered all those years. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Photos of the day: New Chinese light tank

Not much is known about this new AFV but it has been spotted en route to the Tibet area on a regular basis.   It is also sporting a 105mm tank gun.