Source: Agencies29 Jun 2015 21:06:43

Beijing, June 29: Seldom it happens when your supposedly arch rival praises you and your strength. But when it happens, it either shows the traits of healthy competition and improved relations or the recognition of your strength in the rival's camp. Now, similarly, one of the military official of China has praised India's Main Battle Tank called as 'Arjun' tank.

People's Liberation Army opened the doors of its prestigious Armoured Forces Engineering Academy for the Indian journalists which happened for the first time. It was opened to provide fewer insights to the outer world about modernization drive.  

Chinese official known as Senior Colonel Liu Degang who is a deputy commander of the Academy answered the journalists that India's indigenously built battle tank is ‘very good’ for the Indian conditions. He is a defense expert and closely observes the military and hardware developments of other countries including India.

The Arjun is a third generation main battle tank developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) for the Indian Army. It is powered by a single MTU multi-fuel diesel engine and can achieve a maximum speed of 67 km/h and a cross-country speed of 40 km/h. 

The prestigious academy to which Liu is associated with, trains near about 6,000 cadets every year.  This academy specializes in providing training to its cadets at various levels from diploma to masters to doctorate studies in tanks and armoured vehicles.

He told Indian media that China is opening up politically and militarily and engaging more and more nowadays with other countries including its neighbours.

Liu said his academy has hosted 300 delegations from 70 countries and already trained 2,700 army men from around 40 countries. It has also sent 500 trainers to conduct international academic exchanges which also acted as UN military observers. The academy has been built in 1.20 lakh metres of built up area and housed in 453 hectares.

It is one of PLA’s 16 diploma granting institutions fostering officers for its armoured mechanised forces.  Besides training cadets for PLA, it also provides training for overseas cadets specially for various South Asian countries, including Pakistan.

Besides briefing on the Academy’s academic activities, the team of Indian media flown in from New Delhi at the invitation of the state-run All China Journalists Association (ACJA), were shown China’s Main battle tank 96A, infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, anti-tank missiles launcher T-89, which has 12 missiles on board. 

Most of the China’s land-based military hardware goes through mandatory trials and exercises in the extreme conditions of Tibet on the India-China border. 

The 2.3 million-strong world’s largest standing military, the PLA, has launched a massive military modernisation of drive in the past few years.