President tells the Army to improve
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” Gao Zhuo, a military observer in Shanghai
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 Central Military 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.