Taiwan Liberty Times News reported that, according to an article Xinhua published, on July 29, Xi Jinping participated in a promotion ceremony that the Central Military Commission held. Xi promoted Xu Zhongbo, the political commissar of the PLA Rocket Force to the rank of general. Video footage from CCTV showed that Xu was the only officer at the ceremony accepting a promotion. The ceremony only lasted a little over one minute while six Central Military Commission members sat in the background with straight faces. In the photo that Xi took with Xu, Xi appeared to be preoccupied and did not seem happy. The report quoted a commentator from the Epoch Times who stated that, as domestic infighting and external pressure have been intensifying, Xi is using his appearances to show off his military power. In the past two weeks, Xi visited the following: On July 22-24 he went to the Siping War Memorial and the Changchun Aviation University in Jilin province. [Editor’s note: During his visit, Xi said, “We must defend the great socialist cause created by the party and pass it on from generation to generation.] A few days later, Xi used his military power to warn his opponent. [Editor’s note: On July 30, members of Central Politburo attended a group study session where Xi Jinping emphasized that “a strong country must have a strong army, and a strong army can ensure national security.”] The promotion of Xu Zhongbo appears have broken protocol because Xu was appointed to the political commissar position not too long ago. It seems obvious that, during this uncertain period, Xi has to make unconventional moves to show that his senior ranking officers are still loyalty to him.
1. Liberty Time News, July 31, 2020
2. Xinhua, July 29, 2020