Chinese naval soldiers have been receiving lectures about applying ancient military strategies from the centuries-old treatise The Art of War in dealing with modern naval conflicts, Xinhua news agency reported.
After one lecture on Saturday, part of a series given to PLA soldiers on board warships currently conducting drills in the West Pacific Ocean, lecturer Li Hailiang said classic Chinese military strategies would still work in modern times as the nature of war stays the same no matter how other elements change, according to the report.
Military official Lin Hai marvelled that “classic military ideas are never outdated,” the report said.
The Art of War, the ancient Chinese military treatise written by Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general and strategist, dates back to the second century BC.
As part of a comprehensive onboard training programme for naval soldiers, Li said his job was to carry out “insightful research” and to adapt ancient war wisdom to meet modern demands.
The training also include lectures on English language skills, military commanding and equipment support.
Another lecturer Liang Manli said one focus of future language lessons would be to improve naval soldiers’ ability to understand “accented” oral English and to communicate with fleets from other countries, as the Chinese navy increases its presence in international waters.
The navy of the People’s Liberation Army has been carrying out such onboard training programmes since 2008.
Battleships from the navy’s South Sea Fleet, including the amphibian landing craft Changbaishan and the missile destroyers Haikou and Wuhan, entered the West Pacific Ocean for a drill on Monday, after conducting exercises in the Indian Ocean from last Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
Before that, the fleet patrolled the Xisha and Nansha islands in the South China Sea since January 20.