Yes the ATOL article was a very interesting one and gave a bit of light on areas woefully neglected by the usual media.
IS there any significance to Premier Wen's comments? It should eb remembered that these exhortations are issued fairly regularly by various senior government ministers and at the basic level are simply reminding the PLA of its core "Historic Mission" objectives, name to be able to acquire and master these abilities and use them to prosecute a "local war under conditions of informationalisation" successfully.
In that light you have to reflect that the exhortations could be construed just as easily as a chastisement for slow progress as it could be for the prospect of imminent action and that neither are likely to be the true reason. There can be no doubt however that these capabilities are a true objective of the PLA and being pursued aggressively.
You also have to be careful when you try and measure the progress as such will have distinctly Chinese Characteristics and organisations will be underpinned by basic Chinese cultural concepts which can lead for marked and suspected differences from corresponding non Chinese models, especially at the top of the tree which is where General Bannerjee aimed some of his remarks.
He was certainly right however to highlight that "local" and "small" should not be considered interchangeable, as they most clearly are not.
This underpins another significant difference between Chinese and other first tier military models; while the US for example has a "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" strategic concept, the PLA is focused on a number of very specific scenarios along its periphery and within the periphery/collective territory of its strategic regional partners. This means that the PLA is able to configure its forces for very specific operational requirements and be able to concentrate them very quickly
I am glad that the commentators did pick up that these strategies include land and not just maritime disputes as I am inclined to believe that excluding Taiwan, that the PRC regards land based threats as its top priority over even the loudest and most visible maritime ones.