Chinese armed forces have begun “intense” real combat training, a defense ministry spokesman said Thursday.

“Our soldiers take part in live-fired drills, engage in simulated confrontations and sail far into open sea,” said Wu Qian, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense. “They are in high spirits.”

He said the armed forces are addressing the discrepancy between training and real combat requirements.

He said the military is boosting the ability to fight in joint operations and to operate in all terrains, aiming to have the ability to control crises and win battles.

“The armed forces are confident of fulfilling the mission bestowed by the Party and the people,” he said.