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People’s Armed Forces Departments Expanding Within Chinese State Owned Enterprises

Several Chinese State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have established People’s Armed Forces departments (人民武装部) within their organizations. Examples include the Shanghai Municipal Investment Group (Shanghai’s government financing company), the Mengniu Group in Inner Mongolia, as well as 10 SOEs in Wuhan City, Hubei Province and several SOEs in Huizhou City, Zhejinang Province.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of National Defense, stated at a press conference on October 26, 2023 that “Our national defense is the defense of the whole people. The People’s Armed Forces departments of state-owned enterprises are part of the national defense system and are the armed work departments of the Party within state-owned enterprises.”

Political observers suggest a few possible explanations for why Beijing is establishing these new People’s Armed Forces departments within state-owned enterprises. Integration between SOEs and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could help to quell potential domestic unrest resulting from China’s economic downturn. It could also help to save resources for the PLA and could potentially enhance the military’s ability to mobilize in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan.

Source: Deutsche Welle, February 23, 2024中企纷纷设立人民武装部为哪般/a-68353845