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Liu Yazhou: What Does the Central Military Commission Conference on Army Reform, involving Military Heavyweights, Tell Us?

On December 2 and 3, 2016, the Central Military Commission held a conference in Beijing on reforming the structure and strength of the army. Following the conference, Liu Yazhou, General of the Chinese Air Force, published an article discussing the pressing need for Chinese military reform.

He said, “The new military revolution is surging. At present military reform in all countries is advancing by leaps and bounds. The time left for the Chinese army’s reform <to catch up> is not much.

“Three big events may affect China in the future: 1) A war in the Taiwan Strait. 2) A Sino-Japanese War. The Taiwan Strait war could lead to a Sino-Japanese war. The East China Sea conflict could also lead to a Sino-Japanese war. There is an irreconcilable disagreement between China and Japan on the determination of the border in the East China Sea. If China’s attitude is too strong, it will lead to war; if China’s attitude is too weak, it will also lead to war. 3) Frontier unrest.

“Once the war breaks out, China can only have one choice <winning the war>. The United States can have a variety of options.

“The shadow of the United States, flashing the U.S. military presence, is behind all three events. China cannot be the enemy of the United States. However, the Chinese army has to take the U.S. military as an enemy. To take the U.S. military as an enemy, we must first take the U.S. military as a teacher. The U.S. military has gone too far. It is far superior to other countries in terms of war thinking, combat theory, and technical tactics, <‘the U.S. can defeat the world coalition.’>”

“We always talk about politics, but what is the biggest political issue? Accelerating military change and military reform is the biggest political force for our armed forces and this is a solid political battle. Our army is based on politics to conquer the world.”

To succeed, Liu concluded that the government has to emphasize education and improve the quality of the military. Every individual in the military should set his eyes on the sea and on space, away from the land.

Source:, December 25, 2016