Over the weekend, workers in Chinese car factories were mobilised by the People’s Liberation Army as the Communist nation conducted strategic military-civil “deep fusion” exercises in southwestern China amid growing global tensions.
According to Beijing’s official military news site JS7tv, the protocols simulated was a requisition order for large platform trailers.
Car factories also temporarily repurposed their equipment and staff to convert 20-ton semi-trailer trucks into larger, sturdier vehicles.
These vehicles will be capable of transporting a 40-ton Type 59 main battle tank across China’s integrated network of highways.
It is believed the conversion took around eight hours and would be key for the deployment of heavy armoured vehicles.
Other national defence protocols included moving car production lines to make all-terrain light combat vehicles.
While being low in armour, these vehicles are capable of fast transportation of troops and equipment.
Chinese state media said the exercise demonstrated the country’s “industrial potential during wartime”.
The Global Times said: “The People’s Liberation Army conducted intensive military exercises in the Taiwan Straits region recently.
President Xi Jinping demanded improvements to the armed forces’ joint combat capabilities amid the “intensifying situation and increasing risk of military conflicts” in the South China Sea and with India.
The South China is a highly contested area with China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines all laying claim to parts of the archipelago.
Diplomatic relations between the nations, which have laid claim to the islands, are already extremely strained.
China has recently constructed several military bunkers on some of the atolls and has asserted its dominance in the region.
Despite having no claim over the archipelago, Washington has increased their military presence in the region.
Back in July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “The United States’ policy is crystal clear: the South China Sea is not China’s maritime empire.
“If Beijing violates international law and free nations do nothing, history shows the CCP will simply take more territory.
“China Sea disputes must be resolved through international law.”
Beijing is also facing bloody border disputes with India.
Tensions between Beijing and New Delhi have reached boiling point over recent weeks following a bloody clash between troops on the highly disputed Himalayan border.