In a speech on Oct. 16 at the Chinese Communist Party 20th Congress, general secretary Xi Jinping mentioned the word “security” 50 times.
According to Liberty Times, observers assessed that Xi’s speech ignored economic issues and focused more on security issues.
Xi said in his speech that the 2 million-strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would be developed into a “world-class” army.
However, experts pointed out that due to the lack of actual combat experience, the Chinese army is having difficulty achieving the goals that Xi outlined.
South China Morning Post cited an officer in the Chinese military saying that “When you take a look at the uniformed members in the CMC [Central Military Commission], just one of them has combat experience. But his experience could be dated to four decades ago.”
The officer said that some senior generals in the Chinese military currently only had actual combat experience during the Taiwan Strait crisis in 1995-1996.
Military expert Zhou Chenming said that China’s military is now equipped with more new weapons. However, Chinese officers and soldiers have no real combat experience with these weapons.
Military observer Antony Wong Tong commented that PLA is the army of the CCP, so it is focused on training politics instead of the military in order to protect the party. According to Wong, this is “a big problem for the future modernization of the PLA.”