China to optimise forces

Beijing, Sep 6 (IANS) China’s announcement that it will cut the number of troops in its army by 300,000 could be a chance to adjust the ratio of ground, air and naval forces to better cope with modern warfare, a media report said on Sunday.

An air defence expert told the Global Times that ground troops equipped with outdated armaments would be cut as they were deemed “unfit” for modern warfare.

“The proportion of naval and air forces will increase,” said the expert.

The number of troops equipped with the latest weaponry will increase, said the expert. Airborne troops, especially, would make a difference in future landing actions and attacks, said the expert, adding that their assault ability would be enhanced when deployed on air transport planes.

President Xi Jinping announced the military cuts in his speech before Thursday’s parade commemorating the end of the Second World War in Beijing. He said the country would cut by 13 percent one of the world’s biggest militaries, currently 2.3-million strong.

Yang Yujun, defence ministry spokesman, said at a press conference that “Chinese armed forces will be slimmer but more capable, and their composition will be more scientific”.

The navy will not experience any major adjustment as they have continued to upgrade their vessels in recent years to enhance fighting capability, said a Beijing-based naval expert.

More attention should be placed on expanding aircraft carriers and submarines in the futurethe expert added.

China’s military system, which is currently based on seven military regions — Beijing, Shenyang, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Ji’nan, Nanjing and Guangzhou — of ground troops, will also be adjusted accordingly.

This will be China’s fourth military reduction since the 1980s. In 1985, China downsized its army by more than 1 million.

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