August 1 is China’s Army Day, which is a time when new policies and personnel moves in the (Chinese) People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are announced. Rumors were swirling around for a while that there would be promotions from lieutenant generals to full rank generals, a common strategy for building military ties when a new generation of leaders gets into power. Although no such changes are reported so far, there are still quite a few PLA personnel changes at this unique time.
According to a report from Wenweipo on August 4, 2005, this year’s personnel moves involved several military regions: Langzhou, Shenyang, Nanjing; and Beijing; the moves also affected the General Staff Headquarters, General Logistics Department, and General Armament Department. Two nominations were eye catching:
1. Lieutenant General Sun Dafa, Deputy Political Commissar of Nanjing Military Region, became the Political Commissar of the General Logistics Department.
2. Zheng Baohua of Dalian Naval Vessel College is reported to have become Deputy Commander of the Navy.
This personnel move affected Shenyang Military Region the most. Shenyang Military Region Political Department Director Pan Ruiji succeeded the retiring Zhou Yongshun to become the Deputy Political Commissar of the Region. Pan’s old job was filled by Major General Zhang Tiejian, previously Director of the Political Department of a Group Army of the Shenyang Military Region and subsequently promoted to Director of Organization under the General Political Department. The former President of the Dalian Army Academy, Major General Gao Fenglou, was promoted to become Deputy Chief of Staff of the Shenyang Military Region. Wang Zixin, a staff member at Shenyang Military Region Headquarters, became Chief of Staff in the Liaoning Province Military Region.
In the Lanzhou Military Region, Major General Chang Guixiang, former Ningxia Province Military Region Commander, was recently moved to become Deputy Chief of Staff of the Lanzhou Military Region. Xinjiang Military Region Chief of Staff Major General Zhang Shiming was promoted to Deputy Commander of the Xinjiang Military Region. Zhang’s predecessor, former Deputy Commander Major General Li Xinguang, has become Deputy Commander of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corp.
The Beijing Military Region also has some minor changes. Major General Zheng Qin, Deputy Chief of the Staff of Beijing Military Region, was moved to become commander of a Group Army. General Zheng is the son of former Commander of the Beijing Military Region Lieutenant General Zheng Weishan. General Zheng’s predecessor, Feng Zhaoju, has become Director of the Armament Department for the Beijing Military Region.
In mid-July, Lieutenant General Sun Dafa, Deputy Political Commissar of the Nanjing Military Region, will become the Political Commissar of the General Logistics Department. But his name has not appeared as yet on the Chinese military’s official website "Leaders in four General Departments." But General Sun has made his inaugural appearance in a group activity by the General Logistic Department just before August 1.
Major General Zhang Chi was promoted to become Director of the Electronics Division in the General Armament Department.
In the General Staff Headquarters, Major General Qi Jianguo, former Commander of a Group Army, has become Director of the Combat Department. Former Director of the Electronic Division in the General Armament Department, Major General Yu Ancheng, has retired. Major General Zhang Chi succeeded General Yu. Prior to his current position, General Zhang was the Director of Foreign Affairs in the General Armament Department. Before that job, he was Deputy Director of Planning in the General Armament Department.
In the Navy, the Deputy Commander of the Navy and the Director of the Navy Armament Department, Jin Mao, recently retired. Zheng Baohua of the Dalian Naval Vessel College was promoted to Deputy Commander of the Navy. Zheng Baohua was born in 1948 in Fengnan County, Hebei Province; his status is at Army Commander rank; he is a Navy Major General. Major General Hou Jian, former Political Commissar of Zhanjiang Secure Navy Base, was promoted to Director of the Political Department for the South China Sea Fleet.
Lily Qu is a correspondent for Chinascope.