The Chinese armed forces are training to optimize the use of their new equipment

For decades, Western forces were able to counter the strength in numbers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, thanks to much more efficient equipment, better trained personnel and more advanced doctrines. 

In recent years, Beijing has made significant efforts to fill these technological gaps, and new equipment technologically very similar to Western equipment is now in service in the PLA. 

At the same time, the Chinese military authorities have undertaken a vast reform to replace the plethoric conscription army with a very largely professionalized army. And quite naturally, the level of training of the Chinese military has continued to improve, reaching, or even exceeding in certain cases, the training levels of Western forces.

All that remains for Westerners is therefore their combat experience, and their doctrinal advance, to hope to be able to counter a Chinese military force, which, even reduced, still retains the power of numbers.

However, since last year, several publications have shown that the General Staff of the Chinese armies have launched numerous initiatives aimed at filling this gap, in a surprisingly publicized approach. So, the official website of the Chinese Army published an articledescribing in broad terms, an exercise held in 2018, pitting elements with the PLA's most modern equipment, such as the Type 99A battle tank, against "classic" units, and how the latter achieved to gain the upper hand, due to unsuitable tactics of modern units. 

And the article concludes that the APL is engaged in a vast reflection aimed at studying, testing and validating tactics allowing it to take advantage of the performance of this new equipment. A similar article published 2 weeks ago showed how air combat unit commanders were encouraged to develop new tactics in a similar approach.

Far from the traditional bravado of propaganda, these articles show a successful approach to improvement and innovation, based on young and daring unit commanders, as well as a dynamic of supervised experimentation.

Obviously, the PLA has made significant efforts to achieve a very high level of performance, and today it only lacks combat experience to perfect its capabilities. It is also likely that, contrary to widespread belief, Taiwan is not the first “victim” of this rise in power. Indeed, a medium-intensity conflict, like the Russian commitment in Syria or the Donbass, would be of great interest in completing the hardening of Chinese forces, while military action against Taiwan would be of great benefit. significant chances of seeing intervention by the United States. Therefore, it would not be surprising, in the months or years to come, to see China initiate controlled military action, either in Africa or in Asia. 

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