China military training inadequate for winning a war: Army paper

Members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) coastal defence force carry a machine gun during a drill to mark the upcoming 87th Army Day at a military base in Qingdao, Shandong province on July 29, 2014. Weaknesses in China's military training
Members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) coastal defence force carry a machine gun during a drill to mark the upcoming 87th Army Day at a military base in Qingdao, Shandong province on July 29, 2014. Weaknesses in China's military training pose a threat to the country's ability to fight and win a war, China's official military newspaper said on Sunday, Oct 12. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Weaknesses in China's military training pose a threat to the country's ability to fight and win a war, China's official military newspaper said on Sunday.

China's military authority has sent a document to military units detailing 40 weaknesses in current training methods, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily said in a front-page story.

"These problems reflect shortcomings and weak-points in the makeup of our military fighting force. If they are not promptly dealt with, then they will certainly affect and hinder our army's ability to go to war," the paper said, citing the PLA general staff headquarters.

President Xi Jinping has been pushing to strengthen the fighting ability of China's 2.3 million-strong armed forces, the world's largest, and stepping up efforts to modernize forces that are projecting power across disputed waters in the East and South China Seas.

The country's armed forces came under fire earlier this year from serving and retired Chinese officers and state media who questioned whether the force was too corrupt to win a war.

The military newspaper said China needed to find a cure for the "peace disease" affecting its training regime to ensure the armed forces could master the ability to win a real conflict.

Military authorities identified issues for the country's army, navy and air force, including training standards and styles by commanders and military units. The problems were identified through supervision of drills, including joint exercises with foreign armed forces, the PLA Daily said.

China has developed stealth jets and has built one aircraft carrier.