Change to smaller but more capable force comes as 90th anniversary nears
President Xi Jinping urged “all-out efforts” to deepen national defense and military reform at a key meeting held ahead of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks on Monday during the 42nd group study of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
During the meeting presided over by Xi, the members of the Political Bureau were briefed on the ongoing national defense and military reform.
The purpose of the group study is to learn about the reform of the military’s scale, structure and power composition, learn the new outlook of the country’s military system, and push forward the military reform, Xi said.
Mentioning that the 90th anniversary of the PLA’s founding is Tuesday, Xi said that the national defense and military reform has achieved “historic outcomes” in the past five years.
Through the reform, the PLA has become smaller but more capable, with better structure and a more scientific composition, Xi said, adding that the country’s military structure, which has relied on land forces for a long time, has been changed fundamentally.
The reform also changed the military’s deployment, which previously focused on self-defense; changed the reliance on quantity of soldiers for combat; and started the change from quantity to quality and from human-intensive to scientificintensive, Xi said. China is formulating a joint fighting system with elite fighting forces as its primary part, he added.
Streamlining the PLA’s scale, structure and power composition and resolving structural contradictions that have been a bottleneck for the military’s development are important parts of the ongoing military reform, Xi said. The military reform is being carried out at a level unprecedented since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, he said.
The president also called for making systematic and visionary plans to help military officers and soldiers have “a sense of gain” throughout the process of reform. The local government should make greater efforts to help officers and soldiers resolve their problems, he added.