06:46 GMT +325 March 2018
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    China to hold large-scale military drills in second half of 2009

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    BEIJING, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - China will conduct large-scale military exercises involving 50,000 troops in the second half of this year, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, citing military sources.

    Four divisions supported by air force units will take part in the Kuayue-2009 drills, which will be conducted on the territory of the Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou military districts.

    The exercises will test the People Liberation Army's (PLA) command and decision-making capabilities and the interoperability of ground troops and air units in intense electronic warfare conditions. The drills will also involve airborne assault operations and special forces missions.

    The 2008 China Military Power Report, released by the U.S. Congress, said that Beijing spent as much as $139 billion last year on modernizing its military forces. The sum is more than three times China's officially announced defense budget,

    According to official Chinese data, the PLA currently numbers 2.3 million active personnel deployed in seven military districts, with over 800,000 reserves.

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