China's army gives rare show of military maneuvers
Beijing: Chinese troops battled mock
terrorists who hijacked a bus and blasted automatic weapons at
moving targets in a drill for foreign journalists today,
calling it a sign the world's largest army is opening up to
the outside world.
China has long been tightlipped about its military
strength and capacity, drawing criticism from other countries
wary of the Asian giant's growing power and skyrocketing
Senior Colonel Leng Jiesong, head of the army's Third
Guard Division, told journalists the tour was part of a policy
of increased openness.
"China is more and more open to the outside world, and so
is the People's Liberation Army, and we are actively speeding
up our opening process," he said.
The visit comes ahead of August 1, which marks the 82nd
anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army,
which now has 2.3 million members.
The tour was organized by the Ministry of Defense and
attended by officials from the Foreign Ministry.
Journalists took a tour of soldiers' living quarters,
viewed a counterterrorism exercise involving a hijacked bus
and seven terrorists who escaped into a nearby building, and
watched target practice involving automatic weapons and rocket