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Central Military Commission Has Changed the Leadership in Two-Thirds of Its Organs

Two years ago, Xi Jinping restructured the Central Military Commission (CMC) by putting 15 organs under it . Since then, the top leaders of 10 organs have been changed. The two most recent appointments are Qin Shengxiang (秦生祥), former Director of the General Office of the CMC, who was appointed as the Political Commissar of the Navy and Song Puxuan (宋普选) the former Commander of the Northern Theater, who replaced Zhao Keshi (赵克石) as the head of the CMC Logistic Support Department. {Editor’s note: In the PLA system, there are two top officials per unit, one is the Commander (or Minister or Director) and one is the Political Commissar. Changes in either position means that Organ had a leadership change.}

The following are the heads of the 15 organs:

General Office: Director replacement to be announced
Joint Staff Department: Joint Chief of Staff Li Zuocheng (李作成) (New)
Political Work Department: Director Miao Hua (苗华) (New)
Logistic Support Department: Minister Song Puxuan (宋普选) (New); Political Commissar Zhang Shuguo (张书国)
Equipment Development Department: Minister Zhang Youxia (张又侠) (Unchanged); Political Commissar An Zhaoqing (安兆庆) (New)
Training and Administration Department: Minister Li Huohui (黎火辉) (New); Political Commissar replacement to be announced
National Defense Mobilization Department: Minister Sheng Bin (盛斌) (Unchanged); Political Commissar replacement to be announced
Discipline Inspection Commission: Zhang Shengmin (张升民) (New)
Politics and Law Commission: Li Xiaofeng (李晓峰) (Unchanged)
Science and Technology Commission: Liu Guozhi (刘国治) (Unchanged)
Office for Strategic Planning: Wang Huiqing (王辉青) (Unchanged)
Office for Reform and Organizational Structure: Replacement to be announced
Office for International Military Cooperation: Hu Changming (胡昌明) (New)
Audit Office: Guo Chunfu (郭春富) (Unchanged)
Agency for Offices Administration: Liu Zhiming (刘志明) (Unchanged)

Source:, September 13, 2017

Central Military Commission Completed Military Restructure and Inspection Tour

Xinhua recently published an article about the restructuring of the Chinese military, following the directives that Xi Jinping issued. After eight months of consolidation, restructuring, and inspection work, the Central Military Commission has completed both the restructuring of the military and an inspection tour. The article stated that the military inspection team visited military sites, universities, and the armed police force. The focus of the inspection work was to determine whether the military follows the rules and political orders; whether they are loyal, whether they have the ability to execute orders, and whether the party organization and the members are performing their roles in the military.

Source: Xinhua, September 10, 2017

Chinese General Comments on U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr.

At the time of the USS John S McCain’s collision with a non-military vessel near Singapore on August 21, the “Defense Times” program on China News Radio (CNR) interviewed Jin Yinan, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General.

Jin Yinan commented on Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command:

“I think all the soldiers around the world have a common trait: do well on you own duties; train well; and prepare well for war.  However, since Harris became the Commander of the Pacific Command, he has been indulging himself in politics. He has been eager to make (political) statements. That’s a big taboo. It means the military is interfering in political affairs. His interest is not on training or management, but rather on showing-off. (He) uses the U.S. power to protect the interests of his mother country – Japan (Editor’s note: Harris is the first Asian American to achieve the rank of Admiral in the U.S. Navy, and the highest-ranking Japanese American). Of course he still needs to protect the interest of his father’s country – the U.S. Harris is a completely political soldier. He has been keen on attending large international conferences and keen on making tough statements at those meetings. Yet he has ignored military management and training. So the time when he serves as the Commander of the Pacific Command is the time that the Pacific Command has the most problems.”

Source: PLA Website, August 24, 2017

BBC Chinese: China Conscription Health Examinations Exposed Many Issues

BBC Chinese recently reported, based on government sources, that, according to data collected through the nationwide conscription process, a large number of candidates did not meet the lowest physical and health requirements for joining the military. Some cities even invalidated almost 57 percent of the applicants. On average, 20 percent of the candidates were overweight. Many candidates suffered liver issues and had eyesight problems. Studies of the conscription candidates showed that the poor health conditions were directly related to drinking alcohol and a large volume of soda, spending long hours on cellphones, and a severe lack of sleep. China’s soldiers used to be drafted mainly from rural villages, where people do heavy labor work in agriculture. Now more and more military candidates are from the urban population with most of the individuals enjoying a city life style. The studies also showed that, in the 1980’s, the Communist Party allowed the military to conduct business like commercial companies. Though that policy was called off a decade later, the entire military has been corrupted ever since. Now the physical quality of the Chinese military is a big national security concern.

Source: BBC Chinese, August 24, 2017

The Second China-Made Aircraft Carrier Approaches Completion

Radio France International (RFI) recently reported, based on China’s official information, that China’s second domestically made aircraft carrier is about to be completed. Experts estimated that the carrier is not far from delivery to the Chinese Navy. Some Hong Kong media sources revealed that the new carrier is a model 002 instead of the previously rumored model 001A. It seems the new carrier is being constructed at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company. At the end of year 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Defense confirmed that the work on China’s second carrier had started. However, there is no additional information anywhere describing the differences between Model 001A and 002. It is not unusual for the Chinese Navy to have ship models that change during the process of construction. It happened before. The same company constructed China’s Aircraft Carrier that is currently in service, the Liaoning.

Source: RFI, August 21, 2017

Xinhua News Analysis: U.S. Army Cyber Command to Upgrade; Cyber War Is No Longer a Future Concept

China’s state media Xinhua published a news analysis on U.S. President Trump’s announcement to elevate the U.S. Cyber Command to a Unified Combatant Command. It said that the upgrade of the U.S. military cyber command to the U.S. military tenth joint operations headquarters, a status equivalent to the U.S. Central Command and other major combat commands, means that cyber space is officially listed as the U.S. military’s fifth battlefield along with marine, land, air, and outer space. Thus the worrying trend of the militarization of cyberspace has been further exacerbated.

The article quoted a statement that the Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Michael Rogers, made at a Congressional hearing in May, “Every conflict in the world now has a conflict in the dimension of cyber space. … A cyber war is not a future concept or a film scene. It has a real existence.”

The article stated in conclusion, “At the beginning of the establishment of the U.S. military cyber command, Commander Keith Alexander asserted that it would not promote the militarization of space in the military. Since then, however, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and other countries have announced the formation of cyber forces. Now the upgrade of the U.S. military cyber command is likely to trigger other countries to follow suit, thus further intensifying the arms race in cyber space.”

Source: Xinhua, August 18, 2017

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