Pres­i­dent tells the Army to im­prove

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping told the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army on Wed­nes­day to im­prove its ground force’s mo­bil­ity and joint op­er­a­tions ca­pa­bil­ity.

Xi, also chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, urged the mil­i­tary to ac­cel­er­ate its ground force’s trans­for­ma­tion and re­form.

He said the Army’s man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ment meth­ods will be over­hauled while its struc­ture and com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity will be ex­ten­sively up­graded.

Xi told the Army to adopt re­al­is­tic com­bat sim­u­la­tions in its train­ing and drills and to en­hance pre­ci­sion and ef­fi­ciency in re­con­nais­sance, com­man­dand con­trol, lo­gis­tics sup­port and strike op­er­a­tions.

The Army must im­prove when launch­ing air-land op­er­a­tions, re­spond­ing to emer­gen­cies, mak­ing longdis­tance de­ploy­ments, en­gag­ing in spe­cial war­fare as well as per­form­ing “strate­gic as­saults”, the pres­i­dent said.

Xi was mak­ing a morn­ing in­spec­tion tour of the PLA Army Head­quar­ters in Bei­jing. It was the first time that he had vis­ited the head­quar­ters, which was es­tab­lished in late De­cem­ber along with the PLA Rocket Force and PLA Strate­gic Sup­port Force.

Pre­vi­ously, the PLA’s ground force did not have a head­quar­ters, as its units were un­der the di­rect con­trol of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion. Re­gional mil­i­tary com­mands were in charge of the de­tailed op­er­a­tions of ground units sta­tioned within their ju­ris­dic­tions.

Gao Zhuo, a mil­i­tary ob­server in Shang­hai, said Xi’s re­marks in­di­cate that the PLA Army has be­gun to place more em­pha­sis on hon­ing its abil­ity to launch spe­cial op­er­a­tions.

“As far as I know, a lot of ex­ist­ing spe­cial op­er­a­tions units un­der the ground force have been ex­panded and pro­moted, while some new units were set up re­cently,” he said.

“Spe­cial war­fare re­quires a high level of col­lab­o­ra­tion

Spe­cial war­fare re­quires a high level of col­lab­o­ra­tion and co­or­di­na­tion among dif­fer­ent mil­i­tary branches”

and co­or­di­na­tion among dif­fer­ent mil­i­tary branches, so the ground force is striv­ing to im­prove its joint op­er­a­tions ca­pa­bil­ity.”

On Tues­day af­ter­noon, Xi called for a stronger PLA to be built through on­go­ing mil­i­tary re­form as he presided over a group study sem­i­nar of the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, which fo­cused on the mas­sive re­form of China’s na­tional de­fense and mil­i­tary.

He said the re­form would bring com­pre­hen­sive and rev­o­lu­tion­ary changes to the PLA, and its ul­ti­mate goal is to build a strong mil­i­tary com­men­su­rate with the na­tion’s in­ter­na­tional sta­tus.

Based on the re­form plan that was ap­proved by the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion at a con­fer­ence in Novem­ber, the pre­vi­ous seven re­gional mil­i­tary com­mands were re­grouped into five the­ater com­mands.

The four top mil­i­tary de­part­ments — Gen­eral Staff, Po­lit­i­cal, Lo­gis­tics and Ar­ma­ments — were re­or­ga­nized into 15 agen­cies di­rectly un­der the Cen­tralMil­i­tary Com­mis­sion.

Xi said the re­form has re­solved some long-stand­ing prob­lems as well as many tough is­sues that were re­garded as be­ing im­pos­si­ble to solve, de­scrib­ing it as a his­toric move in the PLA’s his­tory.

By 2020, ma­jor changes and up­grades to the PLA will have been ac­com­plished, he added.

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