DHARAMSHALA, January 15: In new military directives issued by the Chinese government for the year 2013, the largest army in the world has been told to prepare for war and bolster its ability to win a battle based on rigorous training on an actual combat basis.
The directive was made public in a military newspaper, People's Liberation Army Daily, which referred to a training blueprint issued by the PLA's Department of the General Staff for the entire force. The directive comes amid heightened tensions between China and Japan over territorial disputes in the East China Sea.
"In 2013, the goal set for the entire army and the People's Armed Police force is to bolster their capabilities to fight and their ability to win a war … to be well-prepared for a war by subjecting the army to hard and rigorous training on an actual combat basis," the training blueprint reads.
According to the South China Morning Post
, the statement “stresses the urgency of real combat abilities in all military training by repeating the phrase "fighting wars", or dazhang
, as many as 10 times in the article … the phrase did not appear in last year's directive.”
China last year had told its army to place more emphasis on joint military trainings and co-ordination among different PLA services.
The directives have been issued just months after Xi Jinping took over as the PLA commander-in-chief from Hu Jintao.
At the heart of the growing animosity between the countries are a chain of small uninhabited islets called the Senkakus but also claimed by China as the Diaoyus.
Last year, the same military newspaper had said that Japan was playing with fire and called their move "the most blatant challenge to China's sovereignty since the end of World War II."
"The Chinese government and the Chinese people will absolutely make no concession on territorial sovereignty," the newspaper said.
"Should the Japanese side insist on going its own way, it would have to bear all serious consequences that arise."
On Tuesday, US and Japanese fighter jets began a five-day joint air exercises days after China and Japan scrambled their military planes near the disputed islands.
The exercise involves six US FA-18 fighters and around 90 American personnel, along with four Japanese F-4 jets and an unspecified number of people, according a Japanese official.
Last year, mass anti-Japanese demonstrations had spread to more than 20 cities in China during which demonstrators smashed Japan-made cars, vandalised Sushi restaurants and Japanese-owned businesses and trampled on miniature mannequins of Japanese soldiers dressed in World War II uniforms.