PLA source says number of troops involved is unusually rare.
In what PLA sources are describing as an unusually high figure, China has mobilized 100,000 troops to take part in a border exercise as part of preparations for a Korean Peninsula crisis.
“The drill is a normal military exercise to train soldiers to fight in winter and long-range conditions, according to national state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV). However, a source from the People’s Liberation Army said that it is very rare to see 100,000 military personnel mobilized for a regular exercise. The 39th Army Group has only just completed its “Iron Flow 134″ exercise in the region late last year, the source added,” reports the Want China Times.
The exercises have been launched in response to the execution of Jang Sung-taek, former vice chairman of North Korean National Defense Commission, which caused consternation in Beijing because Jang was seen as a trusted mediator between North Korea and China.
Taking place just 220 kilometers away from North Korea’s Sinuiju Special Administrative Region, the drills are designed to be a show of force to assert China’s influence over the troubled region.
As we have highlighted on a number of occasions, Beijing’s aggressive military posturing has intensified over recent months.
Earlier this week reports emerged out of state media suggesting that China was set to attack the Filipino-occupied Zhongye Island, with Beijing determined to seize the island by force as part of a skirmish that could enflame the entire South China Sea region.
A lengthy editorial which appeared in Chinese state media last month explained how the Chinese military’s current reformation process was part of a move by President Xi Jinping to prepare the People’s Liberation Army for war in response to US aggression in the Asia Pacific, developments which have prompted “major changes” in China’s national security situation.
Amidst tensions over the disputed Senkaku Islands, Beijing has also aimed some of its strident rhetoric at the United States, bragging about China’s ability to attack US military bases in the Western Pacific, as well as releasing of a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear strike launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force.
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