How Guangdong’s Counter-Terrorist Unit prepare for the Asian Games

(From QQ Sports) Since July 26th, more than 150 soldiers assembled to Guangdong Armed Police Headquarter to take intensified counter-terrorist training in preparation for the Guangzhou Asian Games. With average age of 19, these soldiers have to pass literal test, psychological test and physical fitness assessment before they can join the unit and serve the Games on standby.

















  1. Crossbows??? I guess they couldn’t afford guns for everybody. Perhaps it’s deliberate to teach them a key lesson : whatever else you do, don’t turn up late, because all the guns will have gone and you’ll have to walk around all day with a crossbow and all the other soldiers will laugh at you (and girls won’t go to bed with you, either).

    1. modern military crossbows are used in the stead of suppressed handguns, to avoid bullet caused detonations, and to establish ziplines.

      1. Well, I must admit it has been quite a few years since I served in an infantry unit, but when I did I remember being trained on assault rifles, submachineguns (including the suppressed or moderated variety), grenades, light machineguns, handguns, even bayonets! But crossbows are the stuff of fantasy. You DON’T use a crossbow to establish a ‘zipline’. There are line-throwers for that sort of thing. They are tried-and-tested and specially designed for the job. Similarly, a crossbow would NEVER replace a suppressed handgun. Handguns are usually a fall-back weapon or used in very close-quarters situations where assault rifles are too large or cumbersome. The disadvantages of crossbows as weapons include (but are not limited to) :

        – one-shot deal; no double-tap, tripple-tap or emptying a full mag into your target with this option. If your target doesn’t go down silently with your first shot, then he’s going to make a hell of a noise and you’ve got no shots left.

        – large and cumbersome; being larger than a suppressed MP5 in both length and girth, a crossbow not only packs less firepower but it also puts far greater restrictions on movement, especially around barricades and in confined spaces such as buildings or vehicles.

        There is a reason (actually, quite a few reasons) why the world moved on from bows and crossbows as weapons of war.

        Oh, and what was your other point? To avoid “bullet caused detonations”? Huh? Seriously? I could empty a mag into a grenade or a stick of C4 and it wouldn’t go off. HE requires a detonator; it’s as simple as that. And primative ‘impact’ explosives are, I’d guess, no less likely to be set off by the impact of a crossbow bolt than by a bullet. Let’s remember that in terms of the impact they deliver, a bolt from a crossbow (especially the pictured variety of compound bows) can pass clean through a man at short range. By contrast, a sub-sonic 9mm bullet from a suppressed handgun will most likely stay within the body (supersonic ammunition, I admit, is more likely to pass clean through, but you wouldn’t use supersonic ammunition with a suppressed firearm).

        On re-reading your post, however, I note that your opening line started with “modern military crossbows…”, and I have to concede that, having left the army over five years ago, I may not be up-to-speed on the latest weapons or training. In your sentence, is it the army that has to be ‘modern’, or is it the crossbow which is modern? That point was a little unclear. However, I consider that the army in which I served was modern both in its training and its weaponry.

        I admit that I have never served in the special forces or counter-terrorism or anything, but I have served along side our more elite units and I can’t recall any of them ever being trained to use crossbows. It’s the stuff of Hollywood.

        1. It would sound like a joke as the usage of crossbow is mainly due to … affordability, or budget. I just did a very short research on google in regard of crossbow in modern military use, it turned out with more questions than answers.

          But understand this, this seems to be the special forces they are talking about. And Chinese army is no Iraqii. Their special forces are way more well trained than even the American counterparts (I did spend my years in USMC, although not in Recon). So they are not poorly armed as you may see the like of … gangster fight in movies: “machetes are all given out, pick up a dinning knife”.

          Despite how much reasoning and discussion we have on the topic, the fact remains that “crossbows are shown in pictures above”. Now, is it true that they use crossbows or merely doing this to throw off terrorists as a deceptive tactic? Or what are the real applications of crossbows that you think would serve? We may not know for sure, but the fact remains, as well as the reasonings behind it. It would be naive for us to use simple reasonings to judge via some photos.

          As the crazy man says: “go test them!” and perhaps we will find out real quick how effective their special forces are, and if they will use crossbows against you. But this is hypothetical speaking, I am not here to incite any terrorist act on China or anyone. 🙂

  2. Quite intriguing indeed. I suppose it’s not about showing muscle only. To me the image conveys diversity, complexity, being prepared to as little or as much as possible: whatever may be required.

  3. These guys are okay, but it’s the intelligence agencies/work that is really behind catching terrorists.

  4. Them being a counter terrorism unit, I assume there is a hostage scenario in their program. Having crossbows will limit any excess noise for the sniper. Although, I would think a silencer would be better…….:)

    1. You do know that a silencer will still put the gun shot sound at around 120-130db right? This ain’t the movies.

      1. I don’t. I only guess that the crossbow might be used for sniping purpose due to it’s low noise, I left the silencer in as a afterthought assuming the silencer if used from a long enough range will suffice as well..

        1. Having used purpose-built moderated .308 sniper rifles at 600 yards I can confidently report that the noise is freakishly quiet. The key is, of course, to ensure that the shooter is using sub-sonic ammunition. This makes 600 yards about the maximum effective distance. Then again, most (anti-personnel) sniper engagements take place sub-600 yards anyway.

        2. Early speculations, I believe crossbows would be used as multi-purpose tools. It might be used to snipe close ranged low-key targets (like terrorists guarding the outer perimeter without hostage nearby) with complete silence. But that would be the side use, as a smallest pistol with silencer would do the same job (and much easier to carry and conceal).

          However, I believe the multi-purpose for this is a tool that can deliver dart with rope, at the same time deliver some kind of smoke/flashbang grenades with great accuracy (comparing to the simple launchers).

          It is unlikely they use crossbows in a fire fight like some readers speculate from above. It would be worse than a WW1 weapon, or maybe you are exceptionally good at being a crossbowman.

          1. I also want to add 2 things:

            – Examining the photos again, those crossbows are built with a metal brace in the front, look like for it to hold some kind of heavy ammo. I believe this is made to stabilize projectile like a smoke grenade. The crossbows also come with a scope for greater accuracy.

            – These crossbows look professionally built, not some crudely made in militia. It suggests that such weapon was not a relic of some war in the past but a new addition to the force later on. Sure that during many conflicts Chinese army would have not been armed with the best weapons, but crossbows were not standard issues. They would rather use old weapons captured from enemies even from previous conflicts rather than specially designed and built in mass quantity these …. high tech looking sport crossbows. You know, they do cost more than buying a gun in US?

  5. Wow, I feel so safe now in GZ, but not because of the crossbows and hand-to-hand knife-fighting (I want to play with a crossbow too!): my comfort lies purely knowing that these guys have been trained against one of the biggest and perhaps more likely threats- torrential rains turning GZ streets into muddy rivers.

  6. Crossbows are used in cases where you don’t want to give away your position when mounting an attack. A gun shot (if missed, or if there are several assailants) would put you in immediate danger, because all they have to do in shoot in the direction of the gun shots…

    1. Crossbows are used in cases where you don’t want to give away your position when mounting an attack. A gun shot (if missed, or if there are several assailants) would put you in immediate danger, because all they have to do is shoot in the direction where the shots were fired at them. Crossbows are silent 🙂 and give an element of surprise to your enemy.

  7. Crossbows are for shooting pigs…the boys have to eat after a hard day in the mud!

    It is Guangzhou, remember – anything that moves is fair game for dinner in this part of China!!!


    Modern military and paramilitary use

    In the Americas, the Peruvian army (Ejército) equips some soldiers with crossbows and rope, to establish a zip-line in difficult terrain.[40] In Brazil the CIGS (Jungle Warfare Training Center) also trains soldiers in the use of crossbows.[41][42] In the United States, SAA International Ltd manufacture a 150 ft/lb crossbow-launched version of the U.S. Army type classified Launched Grapnel Hook (LGH), amongst other mine countermeasure solutions designed for the middle-eastern theatre. It has been successfully evaluated in Cambodia and Bosnia.[43] It is used to probe for and detonate tripwire initiated mines and booby traps at up to 50 meters. The concept is similar to the LGH device originally only fired from a rifle, as a plastic retrieval line is attached.[44] Reusable up to 20 times, the line can be reeled back in without exposing oneself. The device is of particular use in tactical situations where noise discipline is important.[45]

    A pistol crossbowIn Europe, British based Barnett International supplied crossbows to Serbian forces which according to The Guardian were later used “in ambushes and as a counter-sniper weapon”, against the Kosovo Liberation Army during the Kosovo War in the areas of Pec and Djakovica, south west of Kosovo.[46]. Whitehall launched an investigation, though the department of trade and industry established that not being “on the military list” crossbows were not covered by such export regulations. Paul Beaver of Jane’s defence publications commented that, “They are not only a silent killer, they also have a psychological effect”. On 15 February 2008 Serbian Minister of Defence Dragan Sutanovac was pictured testing a Barnett crossbow during a public exercise of the Serbian army’s Special Forces in Nis, 200 km south of capital Belgrade.[47] Special forces in both Greece and Turkey also continue to employ the crossbow.[48][49] Spain’s Green Berets still use the crossbow as well.[50]

    In Asia, Chinese armed forces use crossbows at all unit levels from traffic police to the special forces units of the People’s Liberation Army.[citation needed] One justification for this comes in the crossbow’s ability to stop persons carrying explosives without risk of causing detonation.[51] Furthermore, during the Xinjiang riots of July 2009, crossbows were used alongside modern military hardware to quell protestors.[52] Indian Navy’s Marine Commando Force were equipped until the late 1980s with crossbows supplied with cyanide-tipped arrows, as an alternative to suppressed handguns.[53]

  9. Fantastic, a Wikipedia post. That’s authoritative, that is. No two ways about it. Yup; I’m a believer in the merits of the crossbow, now.

    Of course… that entire Wikipedia article (which some people keep on mistaking for actual research (or, worse still, ‘fact’)) was cribbed from Now THERE’s a fine forum! Still confident that your Wiki source is rock solid? I mean, not being funny or anything, but the Indian MARCOS haven’t used crossbows for over 20 years. They were replaced by suppressed pistols quite a while back.

    Still, if you are going to stick by Wiki (and why not? it’s a rainy day and there’s not much better to do), take a closer look at what it’s telling you :

    …the countries that are still using crossbows are, by-and-large, not exactly renowned for being at the forefront of modern military training or tactics. Given how quickly China is modernising (and striving to be SEEN to be modernising), I am very surprised that they want to publicly lump themselves together with those other countries on the list, whose militaries are held in very low regard.

    1. Why so angry, Kang? I mean, yea, firepower will probably be more effective, but the Chinese government has decided to equip their soldiers with crossbows, so be it.

  10. A weee bit excessive all this please !!
    RELAX a bit…
    This is over kill.
    Why not the same attention to the 300k+ foreign businessmen and women who come into GZ twice each year for the trade show… That event is organized with fantastic precision and justifiable pride. Surely THAT has a higher Threat level than “This” event.

    The security is so tight it seems more to show off and impress and say LOOK world we got these new toys and we wanna use them!!!

    Famous Proverb – To kill a mosquito- Use an army.

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