The PLA Navy celebrates Navy Day every year on April 23. This year marks the 68th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese navy. It is also the second year of the nation's military reform, which positions the PLA Navy to take on more responsibilities.
Below are some must-know facts about the PLA Navy, which guards the country's 18,000-kilometer-long coastal line and 3 million square kilometers of waters.
According to the PLA Daily, the Chinese navy has several hundred troops stationed on mountainous islands in the sea. Combat ships are out in the water for nearly two-thirds of the year. Every day, thousands of naval soldiers and officers go to work on hundreds of ships, and every single one of them is expertly trained to fight, should the need arise. China has also made breakthroughs in the development of aircraft carriers, and is one of the few countries in the world that can independently train pilots for carrier-based fight jets.
Blue-water training has become a regular practice for the Chinese navy. To enhance the nation's convoy and combat capability, China has stepped up training away from home. Naval ships and aircraft have made several hundred training trips. Between the end of 2016 and early 2017, China's aircraft carrier fleet also for the first time joined blue-water training in the West Pacific.
Every year, several hundred navy patrol trips are made to enhance the security of waters under Chinese jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the weapons advancement and logistics for naval forces have made remarkable progress, with the arrival of more advanced depot ships, emergency response ships and helicopters. New technologies have even ensured that fresh fruit and vegetables can be preserved for up to 50 days, up from the previous 15. The Chinese navy has demonstrated high efficiency in escort missions, joint rescue and evacuation.