May - 2013 ISSUE

Force Magazine
Scaling New Heights - December 2011
Pak-China work on mutual exchange of counter-terrorism experience
By Prasun K. Sengupta

A Brigade-level Pakistan-China Joint Military Exercise — called YOUYI-IV (Friendship-4) aimed at sharing mutual exchange of counter-terrorism experience and information through a comprehensive training programme in real-time, commenced at Mangla near Jehlum on November 14.

The joint exercise, spread over a period of two weeks, was the fourth in the series (since they got underway in 2004) in which special operations forces from both sides participated. So far, four such exercises have been conducted, including two in China and two in Pakistan. These exercises were mandated to boost existing professional relationship between the two friendly armies of China and Pakistan.

Taking part in the counter-terrorism exercises this time were personnel from the Pakistan Army’s 7th ‘Zarrar’ Battalion of the Special Services Group, and detachments from the Chinese people’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Lanzhou military region-based Special Operations Group (‘Tigers of the Night’) and the 3rd Helicopter Regiment. On the opening day of the exercises, senior military officers from both sides, Lt Gen. Muzammil Hussain, Inspector General Training and Evaluation of the Pakistan Army, and Lt Gen. Zhao Jianzhong, deputy commander of the PLA, witnessed a display of equipment used by the special operations forces of both armies.

In another path-breaking development, the PLA on November 22 set up a Strategic Planning Department (SPD), which will be administered by the PLA’s General Staff Headquarters. The SPD’s mandate will be to study critical strategic issues affecting the PLA’s medium- and long-term force modernisation efforts; draft plans and administrative reform proposals for the PLA’s future development; submit suggestions on the allocation of strategic military-industrial resources; and examine and evaluate the implementation of the plans for the PLA’s overall development.

Luo Yuan, deputy secretary-general of the China Society of Military Science, explained that the move is in response to the increasingly sophisticated military operations in the future that might involve multiple combat forces and headquarters-level command and control networks. “The new department will become an authoritative and comprehensive planning centre,” Luo said.

Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, and chief of the general staff general Chen Bingde attended the ceremony that marked the establishment of the SPD in Beijing. The SPD’s announcement came one day after President Hu Jintao met representatives to the Seventh Party Congress of the PLA Academy of Military Science. Hu urged the Academy to closely follow military development trends throughout the world, examine the development of the PLA Army, and pay more attention to the study of strategic issues.


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