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China on new “Long March” to deepening military reform

image001Chinese President Xi Jinping (L, front), also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, confers a military flag to Commander Liu Yuejun and Political Commissar Zheng Weiping of the Eastern Theater Command in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 1, 2016. Xi on Monday conferred military flags on the five newly-established theater commands of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). (Xinhua/Li Gang)
Xinhua: Nov. 24, 2015 marked a fresh start in the history of the Chinese Armed Forces, as the nation embarked on a long march of deepening military reform.
One year on, the blueprint of the reform are clearer, and the commitment to building a strong military has become stronger.
Amid profound and complicated changes in the international situation and the country’s ongoing efforts in revitalizing the Chinese nation, China has entered a key stage of transforming itself from a big country to a strong power, which calls for greater courage in advancing military reform.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, the central authority has championed improving combat capabilities as the ultimate goal of building a strong army.
Hence, a new round of reforms focusing on removing systematic barriers that hinder military development have been rolled out.
In December 2015, military flags were conferred on the general command for the PLA Army, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force; Days later, China reshuffled its military headquarters under the Central Military Commission, the country’s top military organ; In February, the military was regrouped into five PLA theater commands.
However. Reform does not end here. China has also been working hard to build up its military capacity through civilian-military integration and innovation-driven development.
Over the past years, the country has strived to develop its national defense technology by harnessing the “Made in China 2025” and “Internet Plus” programs as well as cutting-edge information technology, such as big data.
Meanwhile, anti-graft efforts have been enhanced, contributing to the building of a clean military.
Despite of the remarkable achievements, arduous tasks remain.
Following the optimization of the military administration and command structure, the scale and structure of troops is set to be reviewed next.
China has announced a cut of 300,000 standing troops to be finished by the end of 2017, aiming to build a more elite and efficient military.
The country is resolved to advance the reform, to lay a solid foundation for national defense and military development in next decades.

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