For the record

Teams from 11 coun­tries will com­pete in a se­ries of events based on com­bat

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

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.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

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.

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