Bracing for a possible future
showdown with US forces in
Asia, the Chinese
Liberation Army (PLA) has introduced English commands in
military drills to get its troops acquainted with commands of
the "rival third party forces".
Pilots of the PLA Air Force on a routine training
recently were caught off guard by chatter in English over
their radio, the Chinese-military-run PLA Daily said in a
By the time they had figured out that they had to
confront a third party, their field command - an early-warning
plane - had already been shot down, the Daily reported.
The "third party" was a surprise scenario added to the
drill to strengthen the air force's real combat response
capability, the Chinese army newspaper said.
Analysts said the inclusion of an English-speaking third
party in PLA drills was aimed at sending a message that the
Chinese military is preparing for possible intervention by the
countries over territorial disputes, the
Hong Kong based
China Morning Post said in a report.
English chatter figured in the drill took place early
As a battle between the PLA air force and its pseudo
opponent, the "blue army", reached its climax, the PLA pilots
suddenly heard in English over the radio: "Target on a radial
180.60." Followed by "Roger," the PLA Daily report said.
"Who is that? Why is there a foreign language?" some PLA
pilots asked, according to the newspaper.
The shooting down of the "red army" airborne command
centre in the military drill forced its air force land
commander to withdraw all fighter jets and change strategy to
deal with the crisis, it reported.
"The 'third party force' was another surprise scenario we
provisionally added to the drill with the aim of making our
training more like real combat," the daily quoted drill
director Jing Jianfeng as saying.