China said it has began to halt all military-provided paid public services as part of the nation's highly-anticipated military reform, which analysts said would help prevent corruption and enhance combat capabilities.
China's Central Military Commission (CMC) recently announced an end to all paid services of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the People's Armed Police Force, the PLA Daily reported Sunday.
According to the announcement, the CMC planned to completely stop paid services within three years. Services related to social security can be conducted within the military under the system of civil-military integration.
The announcement said all the military units should halt new projects or contracts involving paid services, and that expired contracts should not be renewed.
Paid public services refer to services provided by the military to the public, such as military-run hospitals, hotels or others that do not pose a security risk, according to Gong Fangbin, a professor at the PLA's National Defense University. Gong said that such services may be managed by social organizations in the future.
"Paid services can sometimes encourage corruption and the military should focus on national defense," Gong told the Global Times.
Chinese forces had been engaged in business activities to make up for insufficient military spending since the 1980s. In 1998, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee required the military and armed police to halt all business activities, only allowing some designated organizations and industries to provide paid services, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
"The announcement also aims to improve the military's combat capability," Gong noted.
A PLA Daily editorial published on Sunday also said that military should focus on how to win wars. "Profits will distract the military from strengthening its combat capabilities," it read.