The live-fire drills conducted by the People's Liberation Army on the Chinese side of the China-Myanmar border, which were scheduled to conclude on Tuesday, were defensive in nature and aimed at preparing for various possible emergencies in border areas, according to an expert.
The four-day drills, announced by the PLA's Southern Theater Command on Saturday, were designed to test troops' capabilities in terms of rapid mobility, border control and firepower.
In a brief statement, theater command spokesperson Tian Junli emphasized that the forces of the theater command are always prepared to respond to all kinds of emergencies, in order to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, border stability, and people's lives and property.
According to a report on Monday by China Media Group, under the unified command of the theater command, the participating troops conducted coordinated operations and organized live-fire exercises. At the same time, multiple firepower strike groups quickly entered preset positions to carry out accurate strikes against targets.
The report indicated that a variety of task forces were mobilized, including armored assault units, mine clearance and explosive-handling teams, and infantry units.
Moreover, hardware such as vehicle-mounted rapid-fire cannons, mortars and artillery-detection radar was used in the drills.
The on-site commander was quoted by the report as saying that the live-fire exercises simulated various possible situations and demonstrated the PLA's determination, will and capability to resolutely defend national sovereignty, border stability, and the safety of people's lives and property.
In recent times, due to various reasons, armed conflicts have erupted in several areas in northern Myanmar, resulting in casualties and a complex and severe security situation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily news conference on Tuesday that China is highly concerned about the situation in northern Myanmar and urged relevant parties in the Southeast Asian nation to immediately cease fire, adhere to dialogue and consultation to resolve differences peacefully, avoid escalation of the situation, and take effective measures to ensure security and stability along the China-Myanmar border.
Military commentator Zhang Junshe said that the drills were conducted entirely within China's territory to address possible contingencies, and have not violated the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries.
He said that the main purpose of the drills was to test the basic capabilities required by the troops for border defense and control — rapid mobility, border control and firepower.