China’s military leadership undergoes reshuffle as PLA restructures

19th CPC National Congress

The new Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China said it’s ready to run the world’s biggest military. The seven-member line-up was revealed after the close of the Party Congress.

CGTN’s Han Bin has more on this major military reshuffle.

It’s time for China’s military reshuffle. The election was behind closed doors, but it reveals the consensus within the Party. The line-up includes two vice chairmen and four members.

One obvious change: a smaller commission – from eleven of the last session to seven. Xi Jinping remains Chairman and Xu Qiliang remains vice-chairman but now ranks 1st. Zhang Youxia advances to 2nd Vice-Chairman. The new Commission signals the completion of military restructuring.

Under the leadership of the new Central military Commission, the army will continue to fulfill its obligations on the path of building a strong military with Chinese characteristics, and provide strategic support to help the country achieve its rejuvenation.

The CPC Central Military Commission is the supreme strategy decision-making body, with Chairman Xi Jinping, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Xi’s reforms are unprecedented in the army’s modern history. He has cut personnel by 300,000. Four General Departments — Staff, Political, Logistics and Armaments — have all been retired, and replaced by 15 new units of 6 departments, 3 commissions, and 6 offices. Also, the original 7 Military Regions have been trimmed to 5 Theatre Commands.

“The PLA will deepen international cooperation with other armies, and expand the platform of cooperation to a higher level,” Ren Guoqiang, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense said.

At the monthly regular briefing, spokesman Wu Qiang released the PLA’s new strategy for greater opening up. Xi Jinping has set a higher target for the PLA to become a world-class fighting force in just three decades. His thinking on a strong army has been written into the Party charter as a guiding principle.

With the announcement of a new Central Military Commission, the PLA is entering a new era under Xi Jinping’s leadership. The army is already the world’s biggest, and now it is aiming to become the best. Changes will continue to unfold, as the military improves its capabilities under the new command structure.


Einar Tangen discusses China’s military reform

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