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All Xi’s men: China’s armies get new commanders

Discussion in 'China & Asia Pacific' started by Agent_47, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    China recently confirmed 26 new commanders in the People’s Liberation Army’s 13 group armies that saw not a single leader staying with his old unit, with most receiving postings to far away regions from their theater of command.

    Why the shake up in its armed forces, the world’s largest with 2.3 million personnel, when there are conflicts brewing on China’s left and right flanks?

    In April, the PLA eliminated five group armies, in keeping with its modernization plan to prune the ground force to make it a more versatile and combat-capable organization.

    At present, each of China’s five theaters of command control two to three group armies.

    [​IMG]

    Each has combat and non-combat units divided into the following: infantry, armor, artillery, anti-aircraft warfare, anti-chemical warfare, cyber warfare, army aviation, engineer, communications, transportation, pontoon bridge construction, education and training, military hospitals, and arts troupe.

    The size of a group army varies from 30,000 to 80,000 men. We know little about the new commanders besides their brief biographies, but some of the transfers are quite baffling.

    For example, Major General Fan Chengcai, the new commander of the 76th group army responsible for Tibet, previously had a long career in the 14th group army of Yunnan Province, a subtropical region very different from the Roof of the World.

    His comrade-in-arms, the political commissar Major General Zhang Hongbing served mostly in Henan Province, famous for its open plains. They could be experts in high-altitude, cold-weather warfare, but their background doesn’t indicate that.

    There is an alternative explanation to how these decisions were made. While increasing combat effectiveness may be the long-term goal, the immediate concern of the PLA’s commander-in-chief Xi Jinping is about domestic politics.

    The personnel reorganization is Xi’s attempt to curb military factionalism, better rendered in Chinese as “mountaintopism” or shantou zhuyi.

    Influential Chinese military chiefs tend to build their leadership team based on personal loyalty. Turning the party’s army into their personal army, these commanders become in the words of Mao Zedong “mountaintops” that pose a challenge to the PLA’s cohesion as well as the supreme leader’s authority.

    The Qing dynasty fell because a powerful general acquired total control of the New Army. Similarly, Chiang Kai-shek’s defeat on the mainland has been blamed on his failure in containing military factionalism.


    The last thing Xi wants to see is collusion between generals and political opponents to derail November’s 19th party congress, when Xi will be crowned China’s paramount leader.

    The last thing Xi wants to see is collusion between generals and political opponents in derailing November’s 19th party congress, when Xi will be crowned China’s paramount leader.

    Since early this year, Xi has accelerated the promotion of his own generals to the PLA’s highest echelons. In July and August, Xi promoted several dozens of generals, lieutenant generals and major generals to add weight to his control.

    Then, to reduce the threat from regional commanders, Xi employed Mao’s old trick of removing them from their familiar environment and away from confidants.


    The brand-new unit designations for the 13 group armies, numbering from 71 to 84, also shows Xi’s ambition in tearing down existing loyalty networks and rebuilding the army entirely as his own.

    Like all other armed forces, the PLA’s unit designations carry history and esprit de corps. But fresh designations convey new allegiance.

    According to the PLA Daily, the number 71 represents July 1st or the Chinese Communist Party’s founding day. The message is clear here — the party leader is the PLA’s nucleus, not the regional commandants.

    Although expanding combat effectiveness is the group army reform’s premier goal, the assurance of loyalty is equally important.

    The great army personnel overhaul reveals Xi is taking another step towards absolute control over the PLA top brass as he prepares to strengthen his power at the 19th congress.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/xis-men-chinas-armies-get-new-commanders//

    @Hellfire @MilSpec @Sancho @Abingdonboy @zebra7 @Ankit Kumar 001 @PARIKRAMA @nair @vstol jockey @randomradio @lca-fan @kaku @Vyom @Nilgiri @bharathp @Gessler @Blackjay @BlackOpsIndia @NKVD @Robinhood Pandey
     
    randomradio, Sancho, nair and 4 others like this.
  2. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    C'mon @Agent_47 No half hearted measures. Do a write up on the reorganisation of the Armed Forces in phased manner to achieve better grip and re-orientation of the PLA away from Soviet Operational Manoeuvre Group to Brigade Concepts finally. :)
     
  3. kaku

    kaku Major Technical Analyst

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    Interesting.... More interesting thing is, that this written by a newspaper funded by Ministry of State Security.
     
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  4. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Bhai, this is not my write up. Not everyone can write as good as you. :)
     
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  5. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    It is going to be long haul for India and IA ........

    The whole Doklam Drama is staged. Emperor 11 Jumping Pig alias Winnie the Pooh wants to get reelected for third term so he will go to any extent. The change in guards of PLA shows internal rifts and how Winnie is desperate to take control. It is bad omen for entire region as one man's greed for power can lead to a disaster.

    IA should keep vigil and our finger crossed. We can expect any meaningful deescalation only by DEC 2017 or first quarter of 2018 at best.
     
  6. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Actually you should start, a lot of members can chip in.


    The whole re-organisation of the PLA has been a 'civilised' purge in a systematic way. Last year when the process started, this is what we discussed (@nair @PARIKRAMA) that Xi is trying to consolidate his hold over the country and the party.

    This remains a side show. With incremental 'run ins' being conducted with two basic aims:

    1. To show the Pakistan Army that the Chinese are exerting pressure against India. This insures the Chinese CPEC against the ongoing political upheaval, conveniently allows PA to 'sell' the idea that the Chinese are standing with Pakistan on question of Kashmir (a public posturing; the political posture of Chinese will be written off as being the diplomatic requirement) and allows for quelling of the dissenters who expressed reservations and opposition when the CPEC White Paper was made public, which listed out establishment of exclusive Chinese townships and lease of 10000 Hectares of agriculture land without any mention of the terms and conditions, among other things.

    2. To consolidate power of Xi Jinping. If you look at the 'crisis' in the East of China (North Korea) and along Sino-Indian border, you will find that the Chinese have been found 'engaged' on two fronts at the same time by two nations - India and US, which are increasingly 'aligning in an anti-China partnership'. The calibrated escalation of tensions by North Korea with US, with the former threatening a test off Guam by the end of this month, and no test in sight, signals the calibration of the North Korean rhetoric from someone who stands to gain, rather than an independent North Korean thinking. This obviously allows the Xi to have the reasons to establish a firm and complete control in name of crisis and reorientation.

    That is why I keep saying Doklam may at maximum, and that is if at all, be a skirmish.
     
  7. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Moving people around in command positions is smart management. Makes for good experience and lessens corruption. No one should stay in the same command for more then a few years.
     
  8. Vyom

    Vyom Captain GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    That's precisely not how China works. All PLA generals are Political appointees and not officers grown in the ranks of the military. So in this case a Politician who has zilch knowledge of Military has been shifted from one place to another. And Chinese politicians are corrupt to the the core
     
  9. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Opinion and prejudice is not a good substitute for facts, nor is the pot calling the kettle black.

    Beginning in 1978, the PLA began to revive the military academy system, which the Cultural Revolution had devastated. By 1984 the system had over 100 institutions and consisted of 2 kinds of schools: command schools and specialized technical training centers. The PLA increased funding for military education, incorporated the study of foreign military experiences into the curriculum, and expanded contacts with foreign military academies. The rejuvenation of the military academies highlighted the emphasis placed on officer training. The PLA stipulated that most new officers should be military academy graduates, set minimum education levels for all officers, and established special classes to help officers meet those standards. Education and militaryacademy training thus became criteria for promotion, in addition to seniority, performance, and experience.

    In 1986 the PLA introduced three measures that further strengthened the military academy system. First, at the top level the PLA's Military Academy, Political Academy, and Logistics Academy merged to form the National Defense University, China's senior military training and research institution. Second, a new, three-level training system for command officers was announced, whereby command officers would receive regular training at junior, middle, and higher military command academies. Third, noncommissioned officer (NCO) training entered the military academy system with the establishment of a naval academy for petty officers and an air force NCO academy and the creation of NCO classes in over forty ground force academies.
     
  10. RMFAN

    RMFAN BANNED BANNED

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    China names new commanders for army, air force in reshuffle
    By Reuters

    PUBLISHED: 10:24 BST, 1 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 BST, 1 September 2017


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/re...tml?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
    • e-mail


    BEIJING, Sept 1 (Reuters) - China has appointed new commanders of its army and air force in a reshuffle ahead of next month's Communist Party congress, as President Xi Jinping brings new blood into the military's top ranks amid an ambitious modernisation programme.

    China's armed forces, the world's largest, are ramping up their capabilities with new equipment like aircraft carriers and stealth fighters as the country pursues a more assertive stance in the disputed East and South China Seas and seeks to project power far from home shores.

    The new army chief, Han Weiguo, is not a high-profile figure but has risen rapidly, with three promotions since 2015.

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    He was also commanding officer in charge of a military parade in Inner Mongolia in July overseen by Xi to mark 90 years since the founding of the People's Liberation Army.

    Han had previously served as head of the central theatre command, a military district that includes Beijing and a large swathe of central China.

    His new position was announced by state media on Friday. The army has been less of a focus of the military modernisation, with more resources poured into the air force and navy that have increasingly been carrying out drills in distant regions.

    The new air force chief, Ding Laihang, announced by the Defence Ministry on the same day, is also a relatively low-profile figure, who ran air force operations for China's northern theatre command before his promotion.

    New navy chief Shen Jinlong took up his position in January. Sources with ties to the leadership say he is close to Xi.

    All three men could be promoted to the Central Military Commission headed by Xi, which is in overall charge of the People's Liberation Army, when the party holds its once-in-five-years congress in Bejing next month.

    Another promotion was announced in August, with previous army commander Li Zuocheng being made the new chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army.

    Li has had a much higher profile, as one of the few senior military officers with combat experience, having fought Vietnam in a brief border war in 1979.

    Last year he was glowingly profiled in the official Beijing Daily, which described his time fighting the Vietnamese, accompanied by black-and-white pictures of the then 26-year-old in a trench and pointing to a map.

    It was not clear what had happened to Fang Fenghui, the chief of the Joint Staff Department before Li.

    At a news briefing on Thursday, Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang declined to comment on Fang, who turns 67 next year, usually around the age at which Chinese officials retire. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)



    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/re...s-army-air-force-reshuffle.html#ixzz4rh8R9JW9
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  11. RMFAN

    RMFAN BANNED BANNED

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    Many news media outside China reported, the former chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army, Fang fenghui has been detained by Xi jinping.

    The latest list of representatives of PLA in CCP 19th Congress published by the Chinese state media has shown Fang fenghui and Zhang Yang not in the list, and this is verified that they are in trouble indirectly.
     
  12. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    PLA = Personal Looting Authority
     

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