Countries increasingly send officers to China for military training
China aims to make its foreign military training schools a more popular choice among military officials in developing countries.
This information comes from a report by a British research organization. He revealed that a record number of officers from African Commonwealth countries are training in China. Commonwealth countries are those that were once ruled by Great Britain.
Since the 1950s, the famous British Army Sandhurst has often been the first choice of developing countries to send their best military officers for training. But China is making gains.
Diffusion of influence
Researchers Radomir Tylecote and Henri Rossano are the editors of the report âChina’s Military Education and Commonwealth Countriesâ. They are part of the London-based policy research group Civitas. The researchers say that China’s military training programs are part of its efforts to gain influence in developing countries.
The researchers wrote that “China is increasingly using its military training for foreigners as a method of promote its governance modelsâ¦ âThey said during the training, China is promoting itsâ Party-Army model â. This is where the military serves the ruling party. They noted that such a system goes against multi– democratic party systems.
Civitas said China has trained thousands of mid-level and senior officers from more than 100 countries in recent years. The numbers are increasing, with a large amount of African Commonwealth countries.
Belt and Road Initiative
Many countries that join foreign military training programs also receive loans and financial support from the Belt and Road of China, or BRI. The United States and the European Union have criticized the BIS. They say it is used for economic purposes coercion and that the loans are used to force China’s political goals.
China has denied the charges.
Tobias Ellwood is Chairman of the UK Parliament’s Defense Committee. He told British newspaper The Times last week that China had trapped many countries in long-term economic agendas. He said these countries cannot pay for the programs and China is using this to reshape the international system. He said it was no surprise to learn that China’s growing influence now includes military training schools.
The Global Times, a newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, said the military training programs help change foreign officers’ misconceptions about China.
Some Western politicians and researchers warn that there is evidence that the relationships China creates with foreign military officers can have political effects. This includes changing the political systems of some developing countries.
They used Zimbabwe as an example. It was once a member of the Commonwealth. Former Zimbabwe ruler Robert Mugabe was a student at the International College of Defense Studies in China. He identified himself as a Marxist for much of his reign.
Other Commonwealth countries receiving Chinese military training are Cameroon, Rwanda, Guyana, Kenya and Uganda. China supports politico-military schools in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. China is also supporting a school in Namibia and developing training programs for the Sri Lankan army.
I am GrÃ©gory Stachel.
Jamie Dettmer reported this story for Voice of America. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in this story
promote – v. help (something) to happen, develop or increase
constrain – v. make (someone) do something using force or threats
to afford – v. to be able to pay (something)
Marxism – not. Karl Marx’s political, economic and social theories, including the belief that the struggle between social classes is a major force in history and that eventually there should be a society in which there are no classes