Xi carries out major overhaul of military leadership

Calls for transforming PLA into one of the leading fighting forces by 2050.

Updated - December 03, 2021 10:38 am IST

Published - October 27, 2017 04:42 pm IST - BEIJING:

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves during a press event to introduce the new members of the Chinese Politburo in Beijing's Great Hall of the People in this October 25, 2017 photo.

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves during a press event to introduce the new members of the Chinese Politburo in Beijing's Great Hall of the People in this October 25, 2017 photo.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has followed up the closure of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with a major revamp of the military leadership.

On Wednesday, a new lineup of the apex Central Military Commission (CMC) was announced. A day later, Mr. Xi urged military leaders to transform the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into one of the leading fighting forces by 2050. He said the Chinese military must be fully modernised by 2035.

Mr. Xi heads the CMC, but its size has now been sharply reduced to seven, from the previous 11.

Mr. Xi has appointed PLA Air Force General Xu Qiliang as the first vice-chairman of the CMC. Gen.Xu servied as the second Vice-Chairman during President Xi’s first term. General Zhang Youxia would now become the second vice-chairman.

Like fathers, like sons

Chinese media reports say that President Xi and the Gen.Xu had worked together in the coastal city of Fuzhou. Mr. Xu was appointed local commander of the air force in Fuzhou, in late 1989, a year before Mr. Xi became the party head of the city.

Gen. Zhang, the second Vice-Chairman, is also well-known to Mr. Xi. Both are natives of Shaanxi province, and their fathers worked together in the 1940s during the course of the Chinese revolution.

The other four CMC members are: General Wei Fenghe, General Li Zuocheng, Admiral Miao Hua and Lieutenant General Zhang Shengmin.

No let-up in anti-graft drive

Gen. Zhang Shengmin is the chief of the CMC’s anti-corruption Discipline Inspection Commission. Analysts said that his appointment in the CMC signals that there would be no letup in Mr. Xi’s massive anti-graft drive in the PLA, which has already felled more than 100 generals.

Two former CMC vice-chairmen — Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou — were arrested for corruption. Xu later died of cancer while in detention.

Mr. Xi has already brought in major structural changes in the military focused of joint tri-service combat, undertaken by five newly-formed theater commands.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.