Excerpt from Congressional Report:
Enabling Modern Warfare: Joint Operations
"China’s military has been working for several years to develop the capability to conduct integrated joint operations (IJO), a concept the PRC believes essential to modern warfare. IJO are characterized by the integration of multiple service elements under a joint command headquarters, making full use of advanced information technology and a networked command platform. China’s research, training, and preparations for joint operations have evolved substantially since the promulgation of its first joint campaign doctrine in the late 1990s, but serious challenges limit the PLA’s ability to conduct IJO through at least 2010.
Early Chinese attempts at joint operations focused on the cooperation of branches within a service and operations loosely coordinated among the services using phased operations.
The PLA issued its first doctrine for the conduct of joint operations in 1999. However, PLA training and exercises for several years after the doctrine’s establishment reflected a reliance on pre-determined sequencing of service operations with little interaction or integration of the forces.
Recent efforts toward more integrated operations are embodied in the January 2009 edition of the PLA OMTE. This OMTE has been noted in official Chinese media as a new starting point for IJO and as making PLA training more joint and complex.
Obstacles. "China’s military leaders recognize and acknowledge that one of the primary obstacles to IJO is that many PLA commanders have little or no training for, or experience operating in, a joint environment. Key challenges include a shortage of commanders and staff qualified for such operations; a lack of understanding of the capabilities, equipment, and tactics of the other services; and a lack of advanced technology to enable communication and information sharing among the services.
Efforts to Improve. "To rectify these deficiencies, the PLA launched enhanced training and professional military education, cross-training rotational assignments to different services, war simulations, military training coordination zones, and multi-regional military exercises. In 2009, the PLA conducted at least three high-profile joint exercises through mid-September, including a joint ground-air exercise involving cross-military region deployment of up to 50,000 troops, a joint campaign exercise to train theater-level commanders in joint operations, and a joint anti-terrorism exercise with Russia. "