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China reshuffles senior military leaders

Henry

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China has reshuffled some of its senior military officials, starting the country’s once in a decade leadership transition which will be finalised at a Communist party congress early next month.

The appointment of a new air force chief and senior political officer reveals how the purge of Bo Xilai, the former party secretary of Chongqing whose grab for power threw the party into its worst crisis in decades, has hit his allies in the armed forces.

General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the general staff, has been named commander of the air force, and General Zhang Yang has been promoted from political commissar of the Guangzhou military region to director of the general political department.

The appointments, which the ministry of defence confirmed to the Financial Times on Tuesday, signal that both men are poised to gain seats on the central military commission (CMC), the 12-member body which leads the People’s Liberation Army.

Like the back-room negotiations driving change in the civilian leadership, Beijing’s military power game is driven by personal networks formed by officers’ family backgrounds, regional ties and relationships with mentors or former bosses.

While the promotion of Gen Ma, a princeling with ties to incoming leader Xi Jinping, was widely expected, Gen Zhang is seen as a dark horse. His promotion to director of the PLA’s general political department spells an abrupt end to the career hopes of some high-profile officers who had been seen as CMC contenders.

As the FT reported this year, the prospects of General Liu Yuan and General Zhang Haiyang, two senior political commissars, were at risk because of their close ties to Bo Xilai.

Chinese military analysts said on Tuesday that Gen Zhang’s promotion would squeeze out both the two other candidates.

“He will be taking the only available political work spot,” said Major General Qiao Liang, a military analyst who teaches at an air force academy.

Mr Bo is expected to be stripped of his post as a delegate of the National People’s Congress, the rubber-stamp parliament, this week – the final procedural step opening the way for his formal indictment.

Tuesday’s appointments foreshadow one of the biggest military leadership turnovers in decades. After more than 10 years of double-digit growth in military spending, the People’s Liberation Army is beginning to make its influence felt in the region with a more assertive stance in territorial disputes and naval missions further off China’s shores. This has contributed to a growing perception among China’s neighbours, and in the west, that Beijing will eventually challenge the US position as sole superpower.

As many as eight of the 10 PLA officers in the 12-member CMC are to step down after the Communist party’s 18th congress in early November as they reach retirement age.

Since the commanders of the air force and the director of the military’s general political department are among those who have a seat on the CMC by default, Gen Ma’s and Gen Zhang’s places on the commission are all but confirmed.

The commission is headed by Hu Jintao, China’s president who is to retire from his party chief post next month but expected to hold on to his CMC chairman post for a few more years. Xi Jinping, Mr Hu’s probable successor as party chief and president, is a CMC vice-chairman.

General Chang Wanquan, already a CMC member as director of the general armaments department, could be appointed minister of defence. This leaves Beijing to decide on up to five more promotions, including a new chief of the general staff.

China reshuffles senior military leaders - FT.com
 

S10

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It's going to be a new generation of military leaders stepping up. Every 10 years or so you will see something similar. The new batch of general officers are the ones that joined the military in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Many of those from the army have combat experiences against Vietnam.
 

Viet

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It's going to be a new generation of military leaders stepping up. Every 10 years or so you will see something similar. The new batch of general officers are the ones that joined the military in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Many of those from the army have combat experiences against Vietnam.


I pray they are more peaceful and don´t repeat the mistake.
 

Viet

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:) Keep praying. Everybody knows another attack on Hanoi is inevitable.

You fool.
Nothing is inevitable, unless someone runs amok.

As some of the new military leaders had combat experience with Vietnam, that means they know what war means: loss of lives, death, casualty, loss of properties, loss of friendship, loss of economic development. What was the gain for China?

I think the last war was one of the most needless confrontations between Vietnam and China. Evitable.
 

djsjs

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As some of the new military leaders had combat experience with Vietnam, that means they know what war means: loss of lives, death, casualty, loss of properties, loss of friendship, loss of economic development. What was the gain for China?

I think the last war was one of the most needless confrontations between Vietnam and China. Evitable.

Partially correct,but your words and actions are inconsistent.You hurt the feelings of the Chinese people in almost every your post,which increase the possibility of war to a certain extent.
 

Viet

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Partially correct,but your words and actions are inconsistent.You hurt the feelings of the Chinese people in almost every your post,which increase the possibility of war to a certain extent.


I think, I am fair towards you: negative and postive posts/comments weight same. Well, I admit some of your countrymen posts lately have angered me and provoked some reactions from my side. Imagine you were a Viet, pls look at the latest Chinese actions and provocations in the South China Sea, you may understand.

You particularly repeately issued war threats. I never do that. If yes, then a war of words, nothing more. And last but not least, if you look closer, you´ll see I never opened a thread just aiming China-bashing.
 

djsjs

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Imagine you were a Viet, pls look at the latest Chinese actions and provocations in the South China Sea, you may understand.

is there any actions?our marine police is recognized as soft.what did they do ?
you feel threatened assuming the dispute islands are yours.while we feel challenged assuming the islands are ours.
Imagine if the US and Cuba have island dispute,no matter whose it was,i'm sure it would be american's.
Look back at what we do,we propose to jointly develop disputed islands.there is no our warships in the disputed waters.You can never find another big neighbor as docile as us.

imagine if i was a viet, i would not lead my people to the death. only cooperation is future.if you did not carry out landing operations on some islands in 1970s,there would not be 1979 war.you were lucky that we only ate one of your four main forces in about one month.it does not mean you will have good luck the next time.
 

xuxu1457

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CMC should include :
1 chairman: also the Chairman of China
3 vice-chairman: one is vice-Chairman of China, two generals from army
8 committee members:
Secretary of Defense ,leaders of four key PLA departments: general staff, general political, general logistics and general armaments, commander of navy ,commander of air force, commander of strategische Raketentruppe;
 

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