Forces asked to prioritize work related to troops' combat readiness, welfare
President Xi Jinping urged the Chinese military to continue reforming its policy system, saying this is crucial to building a world-class force.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Tuesday in Beijing that reforms of the military policy system are intended to resolve institutional hindrances to allow the armed forces to better fit into their new roles and fulfill their new missions.
He said the military must make all-out efforts to push forward reforms of its policy system, and he urged it to strengthen communication with service members to rally support for reforms.
Xi called for the military to integrate policy system reforms with other parts of the ongoing military overhaul that have been ongoing for nearly four years. He also asked forces to prioritize work during reforms that concerns troops' combat readiness and welfare.
The military should use new ideas and try new methods in reforms and should also enhance research and appraisal work to facilitate reforms, he said.
Xi said the Party and central government must spare no efforts in supporting reforms and that the military must update the central departments about the reforms' development.
The president also extended greetings at the meeting, on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, to all members of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force as well as militiamen and reservists as the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the country's armed forces falls on Thursday.
In another development, Xi promoted 10 senior officers of the armed forces to the rank of general or admiral at a ceremony on Wednesday at the Central Military Commission's headquarters in Beijing.
In addition, the president recently gave citations and honorary titles to several military units and service members.
Under Xi's leadership, the Chinese military has been making steady strides toward its goal of becoming a world-class force.
The PLA and the People's Armed Police Force have been undergoing massive reforms launched and guided by the president since late 2015 that aim at making the military leaner, stronger and more efficient.
The Chinese military has extensively shrunk the number of noncombatant personnel in its ranks and streamlined its command structure, according to a defense white paper published last week.
The white paper, China's National Defense in the New Era, published by the State Council Information Office, said the number of offices, administrative levels and office personnel inside the armed forces has been substantially reduced.
Nearly half the noncombatant jobs in the military have been abolished and about 25 percent of office posts at military units above the regiment level have been shed.
Military organizations involved in artistic performances, sports, news services, publications and medical and research work have been dismantled or simplified, the white paper said.
The military had fulfilled its goal of reducing troop numbers by 300,000, and now maintains an active force of 2 million troops, the white paper said, adding that positions had been transferred from the PLA Ground Force to the PLA Navy and PLA Rocket Force.
In his report to the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, Xi pledged to make sure that by 2020, the PLA will basically achieve mechanization, make big strides in informatization and make substantial improvement in strategic capabilities. He also set a midterm goal for the Chinese military — to turn itself into a modernized power by 2035 — and a long-term goal of turning it into a top-tier military by 2050.
Senior Colonel Wang Wei, from the CMC's Reform and Personnel Arrangement Office, said the unprecedented military reforms launched by Xi have been extensively transforming and strengthening the military.
Senior Colonel Shi Qingren, a researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said through the reforms, the PLA has set up a new chain of command and a new set of management systems, adding that it has become more capable of handling modern warfare.