Profile: Xi Jinping and his era

Xinhua | 2017-11-17 10:56

Profile: Xi Jinping and his era

Xi Jinping talks with soldiers onboard the Navy destroyer Haikou during his inspection at the Guangzhou military theater of operations of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Dec 8, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]

A new disciplinary commission and a commission for political and legal affairs were set up under the CMC on the orders of Xi, and more than 40 military statutes and regulations were adopted in a bid to preserve exemplary PLA conduct, strict discipline and high morale.

Xi also ordered the military to relinquish all business activities, a move that touched upon considerable vested interests. Some had expressed reservations, but Xi went through with it. "The army shall act like an army," he said.

All these have pressed the PLA to focus on the improvement of its combat capability which, according to Xi, should be the "only and fundamental" benchmark of the military.

Xi is well aware of the need to improve PLA combat capability. Back in 2012, he pointed out that the military was lacking in its capacity to win in modern warfare.

Lagging behind on the military front is lethal to the security of the country, Xi said. "I have read a lot on China's modern history, and it gives me great pain whenever I come across a time when we dropped back (in military building) and fell victim to invasions," he said.

To make sure that painful history does not repeat itself, Xi has spearheaded national defense and military reform since 2015.

Military organizations were revamped and the joint combat command mechanism was improved. The four military headquarters -- staff, politics, logistics and armaments -- were reorganized into 15 agencies, while the seven military area commands were regrouped into five theater commands.

In the meantime, the percentage of land forces' personnel among the entire PLA was cut to less than half for the first time, and the new Rocket Force and the Strategic Support Force were established. The number of PLA officers was also reduced by 30 percent, and hundreds of generals switched posts.

Xi's uncompromising resolve yielded solid results. The past five years were witness to the greatest strides the PLA has ever made towards modernization.

A tiered combat command system including the CMC, theater commands and the troops was set up. In addition, a management system links the CMC to services and then to the troops.

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