Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Philippines thanks China for firearms, ammo vs Mautes

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 28) — They came in four cargo planes: multi-million pesos worth of high-power assault and sniper rifles with millions of ammunition.

These were the first batch of military aid from China which was turned over to the Philippines on Wednesday at the Clark Airbase in Pampanga.

And President Rodrigo Duterte was no less than grateful.

"To Ambassador Zhao, please relate our sincerest thanks to President Xi Jinping and the government of the People's Republic of China for its military aid package I will receive today in behalf of the Philippine government," he said.

Duterte recounted that during his first visit to China in October last year, Beijing expressed willingness to "unconditionally help the Philippines."

And when the Maute group launched a rebellion in Marawi City last month, China reiterated its offer to help, he said.

The chief executive said that as a result, Manila and Beijing entered into two agreements where China committed to turnover ₱590-M worth of military equipment to help in fight the ISIS-inspired terrorists.

"This not only strengthens our country's commitment to support each other during times of need, but also highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations," Duterte noted.

Related: Duterte vows to rebuild Marawi

Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said the military assistance came at the right time.

"Your Excellency, Mr. President, I know you are fighting terrorism, ISIS-related terrorism in the south. China is also a victim of terrorism," Zhao said.

The Chinese envoy added that a second batch of military equipment was already being prepared to be delivered to the Philippines in the coming months.

The Chinese government also donated ₱5M to families of soldiers slain and wounded in Marawi.

Talking to reporters after the event, the President said the firearms would have to pass the Defense department inventory before it could be equally divided as needed by the military and the police.

He also said he would be spending more time in Mindanao where fighting was ongoing to check on the morale of the troops.
Ferocity, not brutality

The President, who also later spoke at the attended 140th anniversary Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc. (PCCAI) at the Manila Hotel, repeated why he declared martial law in Mindanao — to stop the Mautes whom he described as not having any ideology or God, but were were just there to kill and destroy.

"They have to be dealt with, with the same ferocity but not the brutality," Duterte said. "I will not be part of any cruelty or brutality, but we will have the ferocity to defend our values of democracy and sovereignty."

He said, "We do not decapitate. We do not hang people. All we need is one shot and if he goes down, that's it. We cannot do the things that they are doing because we are supposed to be a republic, a democracy, and a member of the United Nations, and there are rules to be observed."

Related: Duterte: I was forced to declare martial law to prevent civil war

The President added that he was praying for the conflict to end soon so that he could lift martial law. But until then, military rule would continue "until the last terrorist is taken out."

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Philippines Navy commissions its largest "Made in China" vessel

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy commissioned its first oil tanker BRP Lake Caliraya (AF-81) over the weekend to facilitate vessels' refueling.

The oil tanker was formerly one of the largest vessels in the fleet of the oil transport corporation. Built in Zhejiang Zhongxing Shipyard in Taizhou, China in November 2007, the AF-81 was commissioned by the PNOC in January 2008. - Camille Diola

Saturday, July 09, 2011

China offers to train the Armed Forces of Philippines

After aiding the Armed Forces of Philippines in their fight against the communist rebels, the PLA continues to maintain its military training invitations to the AFP despite the current dispute.  Exchanges as such demonstrate the relationship between China with its neighbors in Asia is complex and not driven by a single issue. 

China invites AFP for schooling
July 7, 2011, 6:51pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been invited by China to send some local officials for schooling in its military school, a move that could bolster relationship between the two countries amid tensions brought by the alleged intrusions at the disputed Spratlys Island.

But Commodore Jose Miguel Rodriguez, AFP spokesman, was quick to clarify that China has been sending invitations in the past only that this year’s invite is being highlighted because of the Spratlys tension.

“China has invited us to send our students to take up the GSC and that is something that will build personal relations, the way we are doing it with other countries,” said Rodriguez.

GSC stands for General Staff Course, a requirement for promotion to colonel.

Such invitation, along with the visit of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario could ease the tension between the two claimant-countries according to Rodriguez.

The official would not comment on the talking points on del Rosario’s visit but said that the presence of the latter in China would stabilize the situation amid the issues raised by the Philippines that there have been at least six intrusions committed in Spratlys believed to be by China.

“We are just very hopeful that there will be a lot of positive results in the visit,” said Rodriguez.

But for Rodriguez, what is needed to ease the Spratlys tension is for claimant-countries to be open and transparent on the things they do inside the disputed island group.

“More exchange of information, more openness, a lot more transparencies like if you are going there you should at least inform the other country,” said Rodriguez

Monday, December 06, 2010

Philippines, China to sign military logistics deal

It is an upside-down world out there -- the PLA is helping the Philippines army to fight against its Maoist rebels.

Philippines, China to sign military logistics deal

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines, a long-time US ally and former colony, said it will sign a logistics supply deal with China to source military equipment to combat domestic security threats, including from Maoist rebels.

General Ricardo David, Chief of Staff of the 130,000-member Armed Forces of the Philippines, will fly on Tuesday to Beijing, where he will meet senior defense and army officials and also tour military facilities, the Philippine military said.

David will sign a defense logistics deal with his counterpart in the People's Liberation Army (PLA), with talks expected to cover regional security concerns, including tensions in the Korean peninsula and the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, where Beijing and Manila have competing claims.

"I would suppose this will start the influx of logistics coming from mainland China," military spokesman Brigadier-General Jose Mabanta told reporters on the planned deal.

The Philippines has one of the weakest militaries in the Asia-Pacific region, in part relying on second-hand aircraft, boats and assault rifles from the United States, its closest security partner and former colonial ruler.

"I don't think there will be any political implications," Mabanta said when asked about the likely U.S. reaction. "The Philippine Armed Forces really lack funds and equipment and is ready and willing to accept equipment and much-needed resources from any donor country. This includes, of course, China."

Expanding soft power

Last year, a US congressional report warned of China's "soft power", of expanding its influence in the region through billions of dollars in development assistance and investments, particularly in the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

In August, US military officials said Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea was causing concern in the region.

China has previously donated engineering equipment, such as graders and bulldozers, which the army used to build roads in rural areas where the Maoist New People's Army (NPA) is active. It has also offered to sell artillery, helicopters and boats.

Since 2000, Washington has donated more than $500 million of military equipment and supplies to Manila. It has also provided training and advice on countering Islamic militants in the south.

The United States has also funded assistance to poorer rural communities to check the spread of NPA influence and control.

The Philippines has a modernization fund of about $150 million to upgrade transport aircraft and combat helicopters to fight Muslim separatists and Maoist guerrillas.
as of 12/07/2010 12:07 AM

Monday, June 26, 2017

Public service announcement: First Type 055 destroyer to be launched in Shanghai June 28th 16:30-18:00

Monday, November 28, 2016

Photo of the day: Modules for two Type055 DDG/CG spotted in Shanghai

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Chinese Cruiser in Wuhan update: 130mm H/PJ-38 main gun, 1130 CIWS and FL-3000N SAM

Monday, April 07, 2014

New Chinese Cruiser: Updated Pics from Wuhan

Yesterday we announced our identification of a new mockup at Wuhan as the first hard evidence of the design of China's new large surface combat ship.  In what has become the normal sequence for China watching as of late, the first distant hazy photos were rapidly followed by a string of ever closer and clearer images.

New cruiser mockup at right, existing CV mockup at left.

Clear side profile, note the bow and hangar deck are not constructed.

Extrapolated profile view (courtesy CDF member "Hongjian")

This contents of this unusual extended superstructure are hotly debated.

Closeup boasting an exceptionally large bridge deck.
CDF members surmise this aft superstructure to be a hangar and possible pedestal for an L-Band radar. 
The mockup of the CV LIAONING was built at Wuhan in late 2009, and the actual ship entered the fleet in 2012. Using this same timeline we might expect the keel of the new cruiser to be laid in 2015 with a 2017 commission date.
Revised dimensions (courtesy CDF member "Totoro").

We will continue to watch the developments at Wuhan.  Join us in the CDF Forum to discuss this and other Chinese military topics.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Photos of the day: J-10B preparing for the "Aviadarts 2017" military competition

The competition will be held from July 29 to August 12 this year in China, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

PLA orbat update (71st, 72nd and 73rd Group Armies)

Theater Command
Old DesignationNew DesignationLine Units

Eastern TC
12th Group Army71st Group Army2nd Combined-Arms Brigade

35th Combined-Arms Brigade

160th Combined-Arms Brigade

178th Combined-Arms Brigade

179th Combined-Arms Brigade

235th Combined-Arms Brigade

1st Group Army72nd Group Army5th Combined-Arms Brigade

10th Combined-Arms Brigade

34th Combined-Arms Brigade

85th Combined-Arms Brigade

90th Combined-Arms Brigade

124th Combined-Arms Brigade

31st Group Army73rd Group Army3rd Combined-Arms Brigade

14th Combined-Arms Brigade

86th Combined-Arms Brigade

91st Combined-Arms Brigade

92nd Combined-Arms Brigade

163th Combined-Arms Brigade

Southern TC
41st Group Army74th Group Army

42nd Group Army75th Group Army

14th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Western TC
21st Group Army76th Group Army

13rd Group Army77th Group Army

47th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Northern TC
16th Group Army78th Group Army

39th Group Army79th Group Army

26th Group Army80th Group Army

40th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Central TC
65th Group Army81st Group Army

38th Group Army82nd Group Army

54th Group Army83rd Group Army

20th Group ArmyDecommissioned

27th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Saturday, June 24, 2017

PLA Orbat reform update (Jun 2017)

The "Great PLA Orbat Reform" of the 2017 is still on-going, here is what we know thus far.   Please note that some units are being merged together in a two-to-one fashion, others are shifted to a different Group Army HQ altogether.

Credit goes to Andrew KC.

Old New

115th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 39th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region115th Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第115旅), 78th Group Army, Northern Theater Command
200th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 26th Group Army, Jinan Military Region200th Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第200旅), 79th Group Army. Central Theater Command
3rd Armored Brigade, 39th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region
202nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 39th Group Army, Shangyang Military Region
(a two-to-one merger)
202nd Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第202旅), 78th Group Army, Northern Theater Command
203rd Infantry Brigade, 39th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region203rd Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第203旅), 80th Group Army, Northern Theater Command
4th Armored Brigade, 16th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region
204th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 16th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region
(a two-to-one merger)
204th Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第204旅), 78th GA, Northern Theater Command
115th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 39th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region115th Combined-Arms Brigade (合成第115旅), 78th Group Army, Northern Theater Command
7th Artillery Brigade, 39th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region79th Artillery Brigade (炮兵第79旅), 79th Group Army, Theater Command
18th Armored Brigade, 14th Group Army, Chengdu Military Region18th Combined Arms Brigade (合成第18旅), 75th Group Army, Southern Theater Command
SpOp Brigade, 16th Group Army, Shanyang Military Region 78th Special Combat Brigade (特种作战第78旅), 78th Group Army, Northern Theater Command
34th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 12th Group Army, Nanjing Military Region 34th Combined Arms Brigade (合成第34旅), 72nd Group Army, Eastern Theater Command
3rd Motorized Infantry Brigade, 1st Group Army, Nanjing Military Region3rd Combined Arms Brigade (合成第3旅), 73rd Group Army, Eastern Theater Command
112th Mechanized Infantry Division, 38th Group Army, Beijing Military Region112th Mechanized Infantry Division, a strategic unit organic to Central Theater Command
116th Mechanized Infantry Division, 39th Group Army, Shangyang Military Region116th Mechanized Infantry Division, a strategic unit organic to Northern Theater Command

Thursday, May 18, 2017

PLA's new Group Army Orbat

Thanks Forbin for putting this together for us.

Theater Command
Old DesignationNew Designation

Eastern TC
12th Group Army71st Group Army

1st Group Army72nd Group Army

31st Group Army73rd Group Army

Southern TC
41st Group Army74th Group Army

42nd Group Army75th Group Army

14th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Western TC
21st Group Army76th Group Army

13rd Group Army77th Group Army

47th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Northern TC
16th Group Army78th Group Army

39th Group Army79th Group Army

26th Group Army80th Group Army

40th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Central TC
65th Group Army81st Group Army

38th Group Army82nd Group Army

54th Group Army83rd Group Army

20th Group ArmyDecommissioned

27th Group ArmyDecommissioned

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Group Army is dead, long live the Group Army!

The PLA reform takes another giant step this week -- the surviving Group Armies will be re-organized into 13 larger and more powerful outfits, their number would range from 71st to 83rd (Here).  Yup, the lineage of all those well-known GAs, such as the 42nd, 38th, 39th, 1st, and 13th, are now at an end, not with a bang but a whimper

China to regroup PLA Army

    Zhang Tao

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Central Military Commission has decided to reorganize the Army of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said Thursday.

Yang said that 13 army groups will be formed from the previous 18.

The move is a crucial step to build a strong and modernized new-type army and is important to shifting the focus of the PLA from quantity to quality and efficiency, he said.

In response to a question on reform of military academies and research institutions, Yang said that the reform aims to adapt to the new command system and military structure, as well as to provide talent and theoretical and technological support to the building of a first-class military force.

The reform is now underway, he added.

PLA group armies to get greater role
SourceGlobal Times
EditorYao JianingT

Air force, navy, Rocket Forces to be included in group armies: expert

A largely overlooked official report has uncovered the latest changes in China's group armies, which suggests the groups will consist of different corps in the future, experts said.

The 76th Group Army is the newest designation of China's group armies made public after China announced a military reshuffle with 84 newly adjusted or established corps-level units, news site reported.

A notice released by the government of Gaotai county, Northwest China's Gansu Province on April 18 said Wang Kai, vice chief-of-staff of the Western Theater Command of People's Liberation Army (PLA) and Cao Junzhang, the vice commander of PLA's 76th Group Army, visited a local Red Army museum.

Both Wang and Cao are from the 13th Group army which used to be part of the former Chengdu Military Region, reported.

"The change in designation is significant. In the past, armies only included the PLA army, but in the future, the air force, navy and Rocket Forces will also be included in the group armies and given a new designation," Song Zhongping, a military expert who served in the Second Artillery Corps (now known as the PLA Rocket Force), told the Global Times on Monday.

The previous designation, which only belonged to the army, is not suitable for the new group army, and the new group armies will be considered a big unit command during war, Song said.

This will fundamentally change the structure of China's military, according to Song.

The group armies are the main part of the PLA, and its structure, duty and combat capabilities will be changed significantly after this reform, but the reform takes time, and the change in designation is just the first step, Song elaborated.

The reform is not limited to the PLA Army. An anonymous PLA Navy officer told the Global Times that the 1st Group Army's 1st Division will be commissioned in the PLA Navy's Marine Corps, and this division will be in charge of offensives after Marine landing operations.

The Global Times has received no official confirmation of this information.

Friday, March 31, 2017

40th Group Army, decommissioned.

It has been confirmed that the HQ of the 40th Group Army (GA) is now history. Its organic units with high readiness rate and newer TOE will likely be merged with neighboring GAs.  Such as the 118th Combined Arms 8x8 Light Mechanized Infantry Brigade will likely to be part of the 39th GA moving forward.. Others units such as 119th and 191st Motorized Infantry Brigades with their older TOE will will probably be disbanded all together.

According to South China Morning Post,  the 14th, 16th, 20th, 47th, and 27th HQs will be decommissioned next.

Thanks Andrew KC and  Forbin for the confirmation.

Graphic credit goes to South China Morning Post