Thousands of Chinese marines will be deployed in the next few days to a training base in northwest China's Xinjiang to begin their first military exercise of 2016, Xinhua reported.
As the Chinese military expands its training sites and conditions, the Xinjiang base gives troops a real combat situation under desert conditions.
Previous drills were conducted at a training base in north China's Inner Mongolia, cold regions in northeast China, and in highland jungles.
The drill will improve troops' fighting abilities "in a wider area, a larger space and in a more complicated environment," said a military source.
The soldiers will be transported via a 5,900-kilometer route from southern province of Guangdong to Xinjiang by train, air or truck. Their mobilization, desert combat tactics and coordination will be tested, and they will also carry out a combat exercise with an infantry division of the Lanzhou Military Command.