Beijing [China], May 4 (ANI): Emphasising that analysing the wars of other countries continues to play an important role in Beijing’s decision-making about military modernization, a media report said that few will be watching and assessing Russia’s operations in the ongoing Ukraine war more intensely than those in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The People’s Republic of China views the military element of national power, and natural resources, as Moscow’s strong suits in its post-Soviet incarnation, a report in War on the rocks, a defence analysis related website said.
Consequently, the success or failure of this operation will certainly color Beijing’s views about the “comprehensive national power” of the Russian Federation in general and the state of the Russian armed forces in particular, the report said.
The report further said that assessing Russian operational performance may have very direct implications for the PLA’s own recent and future reform and modernization choices.
In 2016, the PLA underwent the most sweeping reorganization in its history in an attempt to better position itself to be able to fight modern information-age warfare, the report said, adding, some key aspects of that reorganization were based on what it learned from the US.
However, the PLA also incorporated lessons learned from Russia’s New Look military reforms, which began in late 2008. The PLA’s professional military journals often contain articles discussing the latest developments in Russian military affairs, as well as those taking place in the US joint force.
Therefore, assessing Russian operational performance will be a high-priority task for PLA analysts as they move closer to their Russian counterparts, the report said.
The report also said that the war would provide the PLA with an opportunity to get a sense of the difference between training and actual combat as the Chinese and Russian armed forces have been conducting combined exercises with each other for many years.
At this point, it is too early to state with high confidence what military professionals in China think they are learning from Russia’s operations, the report further said, adding that like others around the world, the PLA’s analysts presumably are accruing data and trying to absorb what is unfolding in real-time, which is never easy.
As long-time students of Russian doctrine, the PLA will likely be wondering, if not incredulous, about the apparent lack of “jointness” in Russian operations as Moscow’s Ukraine campaign looks very much like ground-force-centric combined arms warfare — the very type of warfare that the PLA is trying to move beyond for major operations, the report said.
PLA analysts and others in the Chinese national security community will also study the role that Russia’s possession of a serious nuclear deterrent is playing in shaping the choices of the United States and NATO in their responses to Moscow’s operations, including the early decision not to intervene militarily, the report added.
Overall, then, we should assume the PLA will devote considerable resources during and after this conflict to absorbing the lessons of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the report said.
Officials in Beijing continue to state that this conflict is not something they wished to see. We should take that statement at face value. Nevertheless, the Russian military campaign is providing the PLA with another “battle lab” from which it will continue to learn as it studies the wars of other countries, the report concluded. (ANI)