The South China Morning Post (December 17) quoted a CCTV report which disclosed that the previous week the PLA had deployed Type 96A main battle tanks and Type 04 infantry fighting vehicles in a mock street combat exercise in a possible war against Taiwan. It said the PLA believed that a street battle would be inevitable once troops landed on the self-ruled island. The exercise involved a combat brigade from the PLA’s 72nd Group Army based in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, and overseen by the Eastern Theatre Command. According to the report, 230 troops equipped with 30 tanks formed a red team to represent the PLA trying to attack a city complex defended by a blue team of 70 soldiers and six tanks. The CCTV report said the drill aimed to help soldiers in the mechanised armoured infantry brigade lose “some bad habits” left by traditional mountain warfare training. Hong Kong-based military commentator Song Zhongping said the PLA was anticipating the difficulties and challenges of an island seizure if a war broke out across the Taiwan Strait, and using main battle tanks in street fights is one of the most popular tactics in modern warfare, while the final war to put the whole of Taiwan under control should be completed by ground forces and marine.” 

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | Email Us
Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, A-50, Second Floor, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi-110057
Tel: 011 41017353