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PLA continues long march of logistics reform
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14:23, July 28, 2007

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Early on Oct. 25, 1949, three regiments of China''s People''s Liberation Army (PLA) landed on the Jinmen of Taiwan Island, prepared to deal a fatal blow to the fleeing Nationalists.

Two days later, with the landing vessels stranded above the tide mark, their ammunition and provisions exhausted, the PLA troops were wiped out.

The battle provided a much more needed morale boost to the Nationalists, accustomed to defeats by the PLA on the mainland, and laid the foundation for the current situation across the Taiwan Strait.

The PLA chiefs, examining how they had snatched defeat from the jaws of final victory, looked at the broken supply lines and began a long overhaul of logistics support.

"The battle China faces in the future will involve all three services. Joint operations make joint logistics support imperative," said Liao Xilong, a member of the PLA Central Military Commission and the chief of the General Department of Logistics.

The PLA gained its first joint combat experience when it captured Yijiangshan Island in 1955 with the successful deployment of more than 10,000 troops, 188 vessels and 184 aircraft.

The PLA experimented sporadically with joint logistics in the following decades, learning from the the 1990 Gulf War and the 1998 NATO military campaign in Kosovo.

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