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People’s Daily: The Meaning of “Greetings, Chairman!”

Xi Jinping inspected the large-scale of military parade in Inner Mongolia on July 30, 2017, for the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Xi changed the greeting between himself (the inspector) and the soldiers to Xi’s stating, “Greetings, comrades!” and the troops’ shouting back, “Greetings, Chairman!”

This is the second time that Xi used this greeting. The first time was when Xi inspected the military parade in Hong Kong on June 30 this year.

In the past, the greeting was, “Greetings, comrades” and the response was, “Greetings, leader!”

People’s Daily published an article on its overseas website Haiwai Net to comment on the significance of the change to, “Greetings, Chairman!”

“China National Radio’s military commentator Luu Xicheng commented that this reflected the system that the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) is in charge. The troops’ shouting ‘Greetings, Chairman!’ highlighted the key identity of the CMC Chairman and demonstrated the entire army’s attitude and will to follow the Chairman’s orders.”

Zhai Xiaomin, Professor of the PLA’s International Relations Institute commented that the CMC Chairman occupies a significant position in the military structure. “The current military reform structure ensures the implementation of the system that the CMC Chairman is in charge.” “PLA is an army under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) direction. ‘The (Communist) Party directs the gun.’ ‘Greetings, Chairman!’ shows the CCP’s principle of controlling the army from the political direction. It is a manifestation of the Party’s absolute control over the army.”

{Editor’s note: There are two CMCs in China. One is the state CMC and one is the CCP’s CMC. These two CMCs are just two name plates belonging to the same person. The CCP’s CMC is what most of the people refer to. Thus Professor Zhai thinks “Greetings, Chairman” has a political implication.

The Chinese term “主席” could mean either the Chairman of the CMC or the President of China. The People’s Daily article clarified that it meant the CMC Chairman.

Source: Haiwai Net, August 2, 2017
http://opinion.haiwainet.cn/n/2017/0802/c353596-31049372.html

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