Xi’s focus turns to the military at National People’s Congress

China 24

PLA 90th AnniversaryA flag guard formation attends a military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA at Zhurihe training base in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (Xinhua photo)

Delegates at China’s Two Sessions turned their attention to the military on Monday, with President Xi Jinping joining in on the discussions.

CGTN’s Han Bin reports.

The world’s biggest army is aiming to become the best. Under President Xi Jinping, China’s military is undertaking a new round of reforms.

“Its work should focus on being ready to fight and to win,” Xi said at the National People’s Congress

The president outlined a smaller, but smarter, military. The order has gone out for greater integration through dual-use technologies, which are common in many Western armies.

Though significant breakthroughs in reform have yet to arrive, most believe the country is building a more competitive force.

“Many of the advanced technologies are coming from civilian enterprises,” according to Zhou Ruxin, chairman of Beijing BDStar Navigation. “Civilian companies have flexible systems. In the civil product development process, they can greatly improve weapon quality and reduce technology costs.”

Decades of intertwined interests within the military and industrial bases might mean that reform won’t be easy. It remains unclear how long it will take to achieve significant civil-military integration, and how much such a transformation would help fulfill Xi Jinping’s directive for the PLA to become world-class.

Sam Zhao explains China investment in modernizing the military

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Sam Zhao about China’s efforts to modernize its military. Zhao is the Director of the Center for China-U.S. Cooperation at the University of Denver.