PLA reforms put command efficiency first
Source: Global TimesEditor: Yao Jianing
Ground forces to have single leadership body
establishment of a leadership body for the Chinese ground forces and
joint operational command system will be highlighted in the upcoming
military reform to boost the efficiency and modernization of the
military, analysts said on Friday, a day after the country unveiled a
major reform plan for its military.
The reform plan will focus on
the improvement of the leadership and management system, restructuring
of Central Military Commission's (CMC) departments and function
reallocation, a joint operatioanl command organization and system to
coordinate battle zone commands, Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, a spokesman
for the National Defense Ministry, said on Friday at a press briefing.
leadership body will be founded to lead the ground forces of the
People's Liberation Army (PLA), which are currently supervised by four
headquarters - the General Staff Headquarters, the General Political
Department, the General Logistics Department and the General Armament
Department. This is a major measure to improve the leadership and
command system, Yang said.
Yang said the streamlining and
downsizing of the military will start from the CMC. By focusing on major
functions and merging similar functions, the multiple-department CMC
will become more efficient in supervision and coordination.
He added that a large number of departments and staff will be cut and the units affiliated to CMC will be reduced substantially.
military expert Zhao Xiaozhuo told the Global Times on Friday that
starting with cutbacks to the CMC's departments makes the reform
markedly different from previous ones, indicating that the highlight of
the reform is reshaping the command system.
were more about downsizing the military, instead of restructuring," Zhao
said, adding that the measures include adjusting the CMC headquarters
system, establishing the army's leadership body and regrouping military
"The army can be more
independent and professional in areas such as arms provision and battle
plans, after establishing its own management body," said Major General
Xu Guangyu, a senior consultant of the China Arms Control and
"Unlike navy and air force with their
own management bodies, the army is mainly managed by the General Staff
Headquarters since it has long taken a dominant role in the military.
However, the headquarters, which also supervises the navy and air force,
cannot pay full attention to the development of the army," Xu said.
fact that the ground forces lack a unified command center is a sign
that China's military still holds the "army prevails" perception, which
does not fit the increasingly complicated demands of warfare, Lou
Yaoliang, a military expert, said on Friday.
Xu stressed that
specializing in management of the army, which draws on the experience of
other major countries, will not change its status as the core part of
the Chinese military.
Joint operational command
"Establishing a joint operational command system is another highlight of the reform," Xu noted.
said the system, coupled with the founding of battle zone commands,
will enable the military to conduct operations more efficiently.
current military area commands apply to the headquarters of navy and
air force, as well as to the CMC before dispatching troops, while the
joint operational command system will empower battle zone commands,
which focus on operations, to deploy troops of all services and arms, Xu
Rear Admiral Yang Yi, an expert with PLA navy, told
the Global Times on Friday that the system will train troops of all
services in coordination from the very beginning, to ensure that they
can work together closely in combat.
Experts admitted that the
reform plan is not going to be easy, since it involves a large number of
departmental and personnel changes.
Zhao noted that the reform should seek a balance among the interests of the Party, the military and the individuals.
spokesman said the reform stressed veteran management and resettlement.
Veterans are valuable to the Party and country, he noted, as they have
completed strict training and important tasks, and will be granted
special job placement policies upon transfer or retirement.
departments of the military, including the four headquarters, navy, air
force, the second artillery force, and seven military area commands,
vowed on Friday to uphold the decisions of the CMC and its chairman Xi
The spokesman noted that the reform also stresses the
importance of regulating power within the military, saying a strict
system was needed to supervise the use of power.
A new discipline
inspection commission will be established within the CMC, and
disciplinary inspectors will be sent to CMC departments and battle zone