That lack of time in the trenches could make a big difference in the CMC’s outlook.
“Some analysts believe the lack of fighting experience might breed overconfidence, which could leave the PRC more likely to take risky and confrontational actions that force opponents to fight or back down,” explains Professor Roy.
One of the PLA generals will be Ma Xiaotian.
PLA hawk Ma Xiaotian flying ever higher | South China Morning Post
The People’s Liberation Army’s new air force commander is an outspoken officer known for his hawkish comments on China’s territorial disputes in the East and South China seas.
General Ma Xiaotian, 63, who handled the PLA’s foreign affairs as its deputy chief of general staff for the past five years, is rare among incumbent senior PLA officers in daring to express a militant view.
In May, China and the Philippines were locked in a stand-off over the South China Sea’s Scarborough Shoal – known as Huangyan Island to China and Panatag Shoal in the Philippines. Ma told the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV “the South China Sea issue is none of the United States’ business; it’s just [territorial] disputes between China and its neighbouring countries”.
Aims and Motives of China’s East China Sea Live Fire Drills
General Ma Xiaotian’s complaints about the US presence in the China Sea gives us some insight about the latest naval drills by China.
The US presence in the China Sea is for intelligence gathering purposes. The US ships are located in international waters, but within the China economic zone. Based on current international agreements, the US presence in the China Sea is legal. However, China seeks to unilaterally redefine how other nations may use waters within its economic zone. The use of these waters for intelligence gathering purposes is forbidden by China.Sponsored Ads
In the final analysis, the live-fire test appears to reflect a carefully calibrated move by Chinese authorities. It is worth noting what General Ma Xiaotian said at the Shangri-La conference in Singapore on June 5 that, one of the major obstacles in China-U.S. military relations is the “high-intensity surveillance of U.S. warships and planes in the South China Sea and East China Sea”—areas that China defines as its core interests. Against this backdrop, the live-fire drill not only displays the PLA’s growing integrated war-fighting capabilities, but is also a clear demonstration of Chinese deterrence and the growing sophistication of its military strategy.
Chinese General Ma Xiaotian
Ma Xiaotian (Pronounced Mah Sheeou-tian) was born in 1949 and is a general of the People’s Republic of China. He is originally from Gongyi city in Henan province. He is currently the deputy head of the People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department, and a lieutenant general in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. Ma joined the air force in 1965, and learned to fly at the 2nd Preparatory Flight School, before formally entering the 12th Flight School the next year. After his graduation in 1968, he became a visiting military instructor. Ma joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1969, and beginning in 1972 saw a continuous series of promotions. In 1983, he became the deputy headmaster, and was then promoted to headmaster. In 1993, Ma began studies at the PLA National Defense University. After graduating in 1994, he became the head of staff of the 10th division of the Air Force, and was later promoted to head of the division. In March 1997, Ma became the deputy head of staff of the PLA Air Force. The next year, he served as the head of staff of the Air Force of the Guangzhou Military Region. He has also served as the deputy head and the head of the Air Force of the Lanzhou Military Region. In 2001, he became the deputy head and the head of the Air Force of the Nanjing Military Region. In 2003, Ma was promoted to the deputy head of the Air Force. In 2006, he became the President of the PLA National Defense University. Finally, in 2007, he attained his current position as deputy head of the People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department. He has been a member of the 16th and 17th Central Committees of the Communist Party of China.