Change to smaller but more ca­pa­ble force comes as 90th an­niver­sary nears

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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