For the record
Teams from 11 countries will compete in a series of events based on combat
Foreign journalists capture the moment at a news conference for the International Army Games 2017 in Korla, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Thursday.
Elite soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army are busy preparing to compete in the 14-day International Army Games 2017, which will officially kick off on Sunday.
For the first time, China will host six events of the comprehensive games, which some call the Military Olympics.
Alongside the PLA, participating teams from 11 countries have all arrived in China to compete and test their skills in the field, including infantry fighting vehicles, air-defense missiles, nuclear biochemical reconnaissance, weaponry maintenance and airborne assault.
China has been participating in the annual IAG for three years. This year the games, featuring 28 events, is jointly hosted by China, Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Four events hosted by China will be held in Korla, in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region — Suvorov Attack, Safe Environment, Clear Sky and the Gunsmith Master. Aviadarts and airborne platoon events will be held in Jilin and Hubei provinces.
The events in Korla are based on actual combat, which will truly test the PLA’s combat skills, Tan Yingshuai, spokesman for the PLA’s Ground Force, said at a news conference in Korla on Thursday.
“I believe anyone who can win in the games can also guarantee victory on the battlefield,” Tan said.
The IAG is not only a competition of different countries but a platform for exchanging combat and training concepts. The PLA Ground Force can use the knowledge gained in the games to improve its training, Tan said.
About 30,000 members of the public will have the opportunity to watch the four events over the course of 14 days in Xinjiang, where the military competitions will be turned into a spectator sport, Tan added.
On Thursday, Wan Baojing and his crew of four tested the Clear Sky course built in the Gobi Desert near Korla in an infantry fighting vehicle. More than 120 soldiers from seven countries will participate in the event, which tests air defense units’ skills, including taking down helicopters with missiles.
“The temperature in an infantry fighting vehicle can reach 50 C. Luckily, we are all used to it now so it won’t compromise our performance,” the 23-year-old crew leader said.
“It is the most difficult Clear Sky course so far because of the harsh natural conditions. We also integrated traditional PLA training content into the event,” said Hong Jiangqiang, chief judge of the event.
In accordance with international practice, China will provide competition equipment for some foreign teams and make arrangements for personnel clearance, equipment delivery, adaptive training, information networks and logistics.
An infantry fighting vehicle maneuvers in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Thursday. The PLA is preparing for the International Army Games 2017, which starts on Sunday.