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China Military Rocket Force Admits ‘Shortcomings’ in Rare Incident

In a rare incident, China’s military rocket force admitted to facing several “shortcomings” after conducting a series of field exercises.

Since last month, the rocket force reportedly conducted at least two drills to improve its combat readiness.

Communist Party members visited the training sessions “multiple times” to assess the force’s capabilities and preparedness.

However, in a recent report by the Chinese military’s official newspaper PLA Daily, a rocket force official claimed that the exercises only showed that the needs of his troops have not been properly met.

He also revealed the lack of staffing at certain brigades.

Potential Implications

The Chinese military rocket force oversees the country’s conventional and nuclear missiles and other important assets.

According to Reuters, the shortcomings suggest gaps in the unit’s combat effectiveness and readiness.

Additionally, the rocket force has been under focus recently after two senior leaders were suddenly replaced earlier this year.

Two commanders who were previously not part of the force are now taking charge, a move that some analysts say represents “a major shake-up” of the elite force’s leadership.

Chinese President Xi Jinping during a ceremony for 70th anniversary of China's entry into the Korean War. Taken in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on October 23, 2020.
Chinese President Xi Jinping made several comments that reinforced the strength of the Chinese people in the face of adversity. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP

Disappointing Development

The rocket force official’s revelation comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered his military to broaden its combat capability and readiness.

The leader also called on the armed forces to speed up modernization to better address emerging threats.

“We need to push for new equipment and new forces to accelerate forming combat capabilities and integrate into the combat system,” Xi told the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s western theater command.

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