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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

Comments on China’s Military Parade

On July 30, 2017, China held a large-scale military parade at Zhurihe, Inner Mongolia  for the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Around 12,000 soldiers participated in the parade. They demonstrated over 600 sets of military equipment (including tanks and missiles) and flew over 100 airplanes.

The following are comments from some overseas Chinese media:

BBC:

The Communist Party showcased its military power. Part of it was to send a warning to India and to the U.S., but mainly, it was to secure Xi Jinping’s leadership position. In (the CCP’s) culture, power is secured by the gun. Whoever controls the military and the police becomes the top leader. This was Xi demonstrating his power; the goal was to warn his political opponents: He has a stable power base and he is the big boss. He can make the calls for official’s appointments at Communist Party’s 19th Party National Congress.

VOA:

From China Central Television’s (CCTV)’s video of the Zhurihe military base, people could see a simulation of the building of the President’s Palace of Taiwan in the background. China purposely didn’t hide it, so as to send a warning message to Taiwan.

Duowei:

Xi gave four requirements to the parade troops. First, “Adhere to the fundamental principle and system that the (Communist) Party has absolute control over the military. (The Military should) always listen to the Party and follow the Party.” Second, “Adhere to the goal of serving the people and always stand alongside the people.” Third, “Adhere to the fundamental standard of combat capability and focus on preparing for wars.” Fourth, “Adhere to building the army via political management, reform, technology, and the rule of law.”

“Adhering to the Communist Party’s absolute control over the military” is the political core intent of this military parade.

Epoch Times:

Five issues can be observed from the military parade:

1. This was the first time that the Communist Party held a military parade on the PLA’s anniversary.

2. This was the first time to focus on real combat. Soldiers wore camouflage instead of formal uniforms. They ran to their positions instead of walking in parade steps. Xi Jinping also wore camouflage.

3. Fan Changlong, the Vice Chairman of the CMC, called Xi Jinping the “Superior Leader” (领袖) and “Commander-in-Chief” (统帅). It showed that Xi has secure his position and in his power over the military.

4. This was a show of power in front of the upcoming Party’s 19th National Congress, during the in-fight between Xi Jinping and former leader Jiang Zemin and his faction.

5. It also served as warning to certain countries around China.

Sources:
1. BBC, July 31, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/press-review-40781062
2. VOA, July 31, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/xi-military-20170731/3966404.html
3. Duowei, July 29, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-07-29/59827853.html
4. Epoch Times, July 30, 2017
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/17/7/30/n9479244.htm

Global Times: China Established New Military Organization for High-Tech Weaponry

Global Times recently reported that, in 2017, as part of the Chinese Defense Technology Innovation Reform, China established a new top-level organization to oversee advanced military technology developments. Modeled after the U.S. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the new organization, with the name Military Science Research Committee of the Central Military Commission, was tasked with participating in the programs that develop stealth aircraft and electromagnetic cannons. Along with another organization established earlier, called the Military Technology Committee of the Central Military Commission, the new organization operates at the “top tier” of the military technology and innovation domain. The new committee consists of a wide range of scientists and engineering experts. Many observers expressed the belief that the goal of the new structure is to mimic the U.S. DARPA, with the hope of delivering the same level of fruitful outcome of cutting edge technologies.

Source: Global Times, July 27, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-07/11040385.html

Chinese Diplomat: The Indian Army Can Either Withdraw or Be Captured or Annihilated

On July 19, on the China International Television “Dialogue” program, the former Chinese Consul General in Mumbai, Liu Youfa said that, since China and India reached a strategic partnership in 2005, the two countries have been moving forward in bilateral relations. The current Chinese leaders do not want this incident (confrontation in the border area) to became a stumbling block to their bilateral relations. China left India with enough time to deal with the incident.

“According to my understanding of international law, when the soldiers cross the border into other countries, they are ‘enemies.’ Only three kinds of consequences await them: automatic withdrawal, being captured, or, if the conflict escalates, being annihilated. The Chinese side is waiting for India to make the first wise choice (withdrawal), which would be good for both sides.”

Source: Sina, July 21, 2017
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/nd/2017-07-21/doc-ifyihrit1081222.shtml

China Conducts Military Exercise and Relocates Military Supplies to Tibet to Display Military Muscle against India

Several media reported that the PLA’s recent military exercises in the northwestern region and the movement of tens of thousands of tons of military weapons and supplies to northwest China was meant to display its military muscle in front of India. An article that Huanqiu published stated that the PLA conducted another military exercise in the Xi Ning region following the military exercise in Tibet. Hongkong’s South China Morning Post, CCTV, and Eastday.com carried articles with photos showing that the PLA transported tens of thousands of tons of military vehicles and equipment to Tibet. The media from India pointed out that even though the military exercises took place in the northern part of Tibet, it would be very easy for Beijing to move the military supplies quickly to the Indian border through the railway and infrastructure system in Tibet. One military expert who chose to remain anonymous told Huanqiu that the standoff between India and China has been going on for over one month now and China must be prepared.

Sources:
1. CCTV, July 16, 2017
http://tv.cctv.com/2017/07/16/ARTIcrd9ATXhh0dLPhkWYmBD170716.shtml
2. Huanqiu, July 20, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com/china/2017-07/11006536.html
3. Eastday, July 19, 2017
http://news.eastday.com/c/20170719/u1a13132011.html

PLA Daily: Army’s Active Duty Member Count Was Reduced to 50 Percent in Military Reform

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily published an article on WeChat (a popular Chinese social media) under its WeChat account Jun Zhen Ping Studio, regarding the on-going military reform.

The article stated that, “After this reform, for the first time, the Army’s active duty member count dropped below one million. The Navy, Rocket Army, and Strategic Support Force all had increases while the Air Force stayed at the same level. The Army numbers about 50 percent of the overall military forces.”

Source: Chuansong.net, July 11, 2017
http://chuansong.me/n/1968026052724

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