Latest news, features and opinion on the military in China, including the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the development of warships, aircraft carriers and fighter jets, spending on the armed forces

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How does the world see China's rise? It's complicated
China’s growing economic strength is seen by most people as positive, but the country’s rise as a global superpower is not making it popular with neighbors in the Asia-Pacific, a survey released on Thursday showed. The survey of nearly 39,000 people in 34 countries by the Pew Research Center also showed the world had an overwhelmingly negative view of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Over the past 70 years, China has transformed itself from an economic backwater to the world’s second-largest economy and a major source of investment around the world. Some 58% of people across 16 countries recognized China’s strong economy as mutually beneficial, while 52% said they see Chinese investment as posi
How does the world see China's rise? It's complicated
China tests urban killer drones for export
A Chinese technology firm is testing a new attack drone specifically designed to help ground troops in street-level combat, in the hope that it can sell the unit abroad, reports say. Engineers recently completed a successful air-to-ground test firing exercise for the mini quadcopter named Tianyi, Modern Weaponry reported. The developer, Tianjin Zhongwei Aerospace Data System Technology, said the unmanned aerial vehicle had been designed to carry out both reconnaissance missions and close-range strikes against armored vehicles or individuals in an urban environment. “It is suitable for circumstances that include asymmetric combat, counterterrorism and special forces [operations] and street ba
China tests urban killer drones for export
Who are the elite Chinese soldiers who picked up trash in Hong Kong?
Beijing has stationed troops in Hong Kong since 1997, after China regained control of the former British colony, but they are rarely seen outside of their barracks. But in their second high-profile appearance on the streets of Hong Kong in 22 years, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers streamed out of their camps on Saturday to remove roadblocks set up by anti-government protesters. While not military in nature, the exercise served as a gentle warning to activists in the highly autonomous Chinese city who have grown increasingly confrontational in pressing their political demands, said Anthony Wong, a Macau-based military expert. Wearing shorts and holding brooms and buckets, about 50 sol
Who are the elite Chinese soldiers who picked up trash in Hong Kong?
Fatal crash highlights Chinese air force’s flaws
Engine flaws and a lack of training have been identified as the likely causes of two accidents that hit the Chinese air force in the space of little over a week – one of which claimed the lives of three airmen. Deaths from the crashes, which happened within a span of 10 days, included a helicopter pilot who took part in the National Day grand parade at the start of the month. A number of military sources said that as the air force stepped up its exercises, part of President Xi Jinping’s call to strengthen the “combat readiness” of the military, more accidents would happen as increased drills exposed technical problems and inadequate training. “[If these problems are not resolved], it is fore
Fatal crash highlights Chinese air force’s flaws
The unsung ‘wingmen’ of China’s big parade party
At the end of a grand parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, a massive flock of “peace doves” were released into the sky. Except they were homing pigeons: about 70,000 of them, in a nod to the septuagennial anniversary, according to Beijing media. The pigeons were collected from owners in the capital, Beijing Communication Radio reported, with 90% of them successfully flying back home after being released. “It’s like a political assignment,” Sang Yuhua, a former referee at the Beijing Homing Pigeon Association, told Inkstone. “Ahead of the parade, the organizers asked to borrow pigeons from members of the association,” Sang said, adding th
The unsung ‘wingmen’ of China’s big parade party
China shows off its biggest guns for the first time
China publicly displayed its Dongfeng-41 missile for the first time on Tuesday as the country celebrated 70 years under Communist Party rule. With the ability to hit a target almost anywhere in the world, the Dongfeng (literally East Wind) missile is China’s most powerful nuclear deterrent to date. Decades in the making, the intercontinental ballistic missile was unveiled at a massive military parade on the anniversary of the People’s Republic’s founding, against a backdrop of intensifying strategic rivalry with the United States. The two countries have competing interests across the Indo-Pacific and remain locked in a bitter trade war and a race to dominate next-generation technologies. In
China shows off its biggest guns for the first time
Mystery weapon shown off – and then removed – in Chinese military video
China’s military published a video clip of what appeared to be the launch of a new type of supersonic cruise missile on Wednesday, only to withdraw the film and replace it with a version with that scene cut out. The original footage, which ran for just over a minute, was released on social media by the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force as part of celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which falls on October 1. China’s missiles are likely to be a big feature of the military parade in Beijing on the anniversary, with several of them going on public display for the very first time. The event will be closely watched as China has ramped up its
Mystery weapon shown off – and then removed – in Chinese military video
Fresh Chinese troops arrive in Hong Kong
The Chinese military sent fresh troops to its garrison in Hong Kong in the early hours of Thursday morning. The move, which was called a “normal routine annual rotation,” comes amid fears of a military crackdown on protests in Hong Kong.
Fresh Chinese troops arrive in Hong Kong
China set to boost tear gas production as global demand booms
China is expected to increase its production of tear gas and other crowd-control weapons because of higher demand from home and abroad, manufacturers and market researchers said. Although Hong Kong – where tear gas has been extensively used by police during the continuing anti-government protests – relies on foreign suppliers, mainland China produces its own supplies along with other so-called “non-lethal” weapons. These items have been used to equip both China’s own military and riot police and have also been exported around the globe. China started producing its own tear gas in the 1990s. Over the past decade, mainland riot police have reportedly used tear gas at some of the country’s most
China set to boost tear gas production as global demand booms
China flexes its muscles in Hong Kong with macho military video
Beijing has flexed its military muscles in Hong Kong by dropping a video showing off the firepower of Chinese troops based in the city.  The three-minute video, with both Chinese and English subtitles, is trending online and widely interpreted as a warning to anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.  The video was published on Wednesday on both Chinese and international social media. Here are three key messages from it.  1. Chinese troops are trained in stopping riots Much attention has been paid to a section of the video that shows the Hong Kong-based People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops conducting anti-riot drills. An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 troops are stationed in the city.  Soldiers a
China flexes its muscles in Hong Kong with macho military video