CIRA China analyst John Chen and CIRA head James Mulvenon authored a chapter in the recent conference volume The People in the PLA 2.0 regarding PLA foreign training exercises:
The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) top leaders recognize that the quality of its personnel is a vital component of its efforts to become a more effective fighting force and its accelerated preparations to fight and win wars. This recognition was made clear in the 19th Party Congress Work Report delivered by President Xi Jinping in November 2017, in which he called for the “strengthening of the military human capital training system” (加强军事人才培养体系建设) as part of the military’s renewed mandate to prepare to fight and win wars. President Xi’s call to improve the PLA’s personnel quickly filtered down through various levels of the PLA: soon after the Work Report, service-level party committees (党委) charged with force construction and personnel development issued specific documents detailing how they plan to implement the Chairman’s goals. Personnel training exchanges with foreign countries are one mechanism by which the PLA is attempting to improve its ability to fight and win the next war.