采访/朱智善 编辑/宋风 后制/孙宁
Huge Changes about to Happen in China’s Military
Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun has received word
from high ranks of the Chinese military that huge changes
are in store for the military.
First, a joint operations command will be set up
to improve orders from various departments.
In addition, the current seven military regions
will be reduced to five, and 300,000 troops will be disarmed.
What does the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
intend to do with such a huge move?
Yomiuri reports that China plans to set up
a joint operations command, including the army,
navy, air force and the second artillery force.
The CCP previously relied on the army as the main body.
The Chinese Ministry of Defense responded to the
English version of China Daily by saying that establishing
a “Joint Operations Command" is a basic requirement
of the information age, and the military has begun to
set up a pilot program for it.
China Daily also quoted an official from the
National Security Policy Committee who says
the CCP will further enhance the high-tech capabilities of
naval, air and the second artillery forces.
The official said the navy will be the most important,
and will include more aircraft carriers.
Wu Fan, editor in chief of China Affairs magazine, says
Xi Jinping has set up the State Security Committee and is
making changes to the military to further control the military.
He says Xi’s goal is to deal with external international situations,
internal princelings, local governments, and the Chinese people.
Wu Fan, political commentator: “A joint command model will
lengthen the distance between local governments and the army.
So Xi can strengthen control of the military by asking
the military to obey the central command and keep the party
safe instead of being a watchdog for the local governments.
Thus, a political coup to overthrow Xi is less likely to happen."
Wu Fan says that a local government leader controlling a
large military region can turn him into a powerful prince.
That combined with corruption is what makes
a Bo Xilai type of rebellion possible.
Wu Fan also says that the development of a modern day
defense needs a combination of army, air, sea, undersea,
space, and network army.
The army has long dominated the Chinese military, but a lack
of combat capability forces the CCP to reorganize the military.
Wu Fan: “After this reform, all the generals with
high tech knowledge will come forth to transform
the Chinese military inside and out.
It’s to adapt to the needs of modern international situations and
to deal with challenges from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines,
Japan, and the United States’ strategy to rebalance Asia-Pacific."
The Yomiuri report quoted CCP officials who say that within
five years, China’s Jinan, Nanjing and Guangzhou military
regions will become three theaters (regions for active
operations), with the jurisdiction of the Yellow Sea,
and the East and South China Sea.
Beijing, Shenyang, Lanzhou and Chengdu Military regions
will be reorganized into two theaters.
The report also says the CCP will likely begin a new round
of disarmament, reducing the current 2.3 million to 2 million.
U.S.-based China expert Shi Shi says Xi Jinping’s turning
seven military regions into five weakens Xu Caihou’s
Northeast Army and Guo Boxiong’s Northwest Army.
Shi Shi: “These two forces belong to Jiang’s faction.
The Northeast Army has the resources of
Shenyang Military Region.
If the three coastal military regions stay unchanged and the
remaining four military regions merge, the Shenyang Military
Region will disappear, surely going to the Beijing region.
The Lanzhou Military Region will probably
disappear too, going to the Chengdu region,
which is responsible for South Gate and India."
Shi Shi says the military is the CCP’s trump card,
so they handle it very carefully.
Before Xi Jinping has totally grasped military power,
he will not touch the military.
Therefore, it’s likely that a combined Chinese military
will not happen within a couple of years.
In fact, signs of the weakening Northeast and Northwest
Armies were seen during the CCP’s recent level adjustment of
a dozen deputy military generals.
Hong Kong’s Ming Pao daily summed it up saying that
in recent years, large-scale personnel promotions have turned
the Jinan Military Region into a new force, which has become
a confrontation line with the long dominating Shengang,
Northeast and Northwest Military Regions.
Interview/Zhuzhishan Edit/Songfeng Post-Production/Sunning