China’s largest-ever paramilitary games tied to unemployment, crackdown

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Willy Lam, ‘Inside China’, Geostrategy-Direct.com

President and Commander-in-Chief Xi Jinping launched the largest-ever war game involving the nation’s People’s Armed Police late last month.

A unit from the Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) participates in a drill with riot gear at a military base in Shigatse. / Reuters
A unit from the Chinese People’s Armed Police (PAP) participates in a drill with riot gear at a military base in Shigatse. / Reuters

Official news agencies said more than 30,000 commanding officers and “a few hundred thousand” troops in all 31 major administrative districts were involved. This was the largest such maneuver in the 34-year history of the paramilitary PAP.

Given that the PAP’s strength is estimated at around 1 million – about 200,000 more than the official figure – military analysts in Beijing say at least 30 percent of the para-military force nationwide was involved in the exercises.

In theory, the purpose of the maneuvers were to, in Xi’s own words, “consolidate the principle that combat ability is the sole criterion [for assessing the soldiers’ fitness].”

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