The replacement for the WZ131 was, on paper, the ZBD 97. This is an amphibious IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) with narrow tracks that do not allow the vehicle to move across marshy terrain the WZ131 (which was not amphibious) could handle. The 20 ton ZBD 97 has a top road speed of 65 kilometers an hour and water speed of 20 kilometers an hour. It can travel 500 kilometers on roads on a load of fuel.
The original ZBD 97 used license built components of the Russian BMP 3 in a Chinese designed amphibious infantry fighting vehicle chassis. The later ZBD 97 entered service seven years ago, armed with a 30mm autocannon and a 100mm gun/missile launcher in a small turret, plus several 7.62mm machine-guns. The fire control system includes a night sight. The crew of three is accompanied by seven infantrymen in the rear. All that is very well but it does you little good if the vehicle is stuck in the muck most of the time. Senior army officials apparently believe that any future wars in the mucky south would stick to the roads. That attitude is not likely to change until the next war in the south.