Beijing: China`s formidable People`s Liberation Army (PLA) had some bitter lessons from a recent war drill, where they were defeated in six out of seven battles by an "opposing force," a media report said today.
The drills pitted for the first time PLA`s `red` teams from seven military area commands against the `blue` team, or the "opposing force", playing the enemy, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The country`s first permanent professional "opposing force", an infantry brigade from Beijing Military Area Command, was the rival during the exercise which ended on Monday, a report in today`s People`s Daily said.
Before the exercise commenced, no one was sure about the outcome, it said.
In the end, however, the blue team won six out of seven battles, defeating every area command except Shenyang, Xinhua said.
The exercises were aimed at toughening up the PLA troops by making soldiers practice as if they were fighting a real war has offered valuable new training methods, it said.
Unlike previous exercises, which were usually scripted, this year`s exercise was "for real".
Wan Fazhong, Brigade Commander of a `red` team from Lanzhou Military Area Command said that the exercise was the first step for the army to become combat-ready.
"The more the opposing force resembles the enemy, the more we can toughen up our combat capabilities," Wan said.
Earlier Col Geng Yansheng, a Ministry of Defense spokesman, said China has established its first professional "opposing force" and that it was an important step to strengthen real combat training.
Geng said what kind of enemy the "opposing force" would play will be decided by the purpose and content of the training.
PLA, which is currently modernising itself, has stepped up the drive for combat-readiness amid rising tensions with Japan over the disputed islands besides maritime disputes in South China Sea and US military`s push into the Asia-Pacific.