Foreign media: PLA Rocket Force the core force of China's strategic deterrence

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-01-04 23:21

BEIJING, January 4 (ChinaMil) -- China's Central Military Commission (CMC) appointed the commanders for the newly established PLA Army’s leading organ, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force, which is part of China's efforts to push forward the military reform and promote outstanding commanding officers, reported Hong Kong's South China Morning Post on January 3, 2016.

The 62-year-old Li Zuocheng was appointed as commander the PLA Army. He was the hero of the Sino-Vietnamese War, and has acted as the commander for a number of rescue and relief tasks.

Wei Fenghe and Gao Jin took up the commanders of the PLA Rocket Force, renamed from the PLA Second Artillery Force (SAF), and the PLA Strategic Support Force respectively.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated three new units of China's People's Liberation Army at a ceremony on Thursday in Beijing, in a bid to establish a coordinated system of China's army, navy and air forces that is adaptable to modern warfare," reported Nikon Keizai Shimbun using the title of "Three new PLA units created in armed forces' reform".

"The PLA Rocket Force, renamed from the PLA Second Artillery Force, is in charge of China's ballistic missiles. It has been upgraded to the same level as the country's army, navy and air forces. The PLA Rocket Force is a "core force of strategic deterrence ... and an important building block in upholding national security," Xi said at the ceremony," according to the report.

In Nikkei's report, it also said that "speaking to reporters on Friday, defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun reiterated the country's no-first use nuclear weapons policy. The PLA Army’s leading organ did not exist in the conventional Chinese military. Thus, the creation of the leading organ means that the navy and air forces are now treated on a par with the army, in a clear departure from the PLA's heavy focus on the army. It is designed to further integrate the operations of the three forces. "

"China has unveiled changes to the structure of its military, adding three new units, described by President Xi Jinping as a major policy decision to realize the Chinese dream of a strong Army ", reported Philippine Daily Inquirer on January 3, 2016.

According to the report, "Xi, who is chief of the Communist Party and also serves as head of the military, has previously announced plans to slash China's number of troops by 300,000 to roughly two million to craft a more efficient fighting force. China's Central Military Commission, which Xi chairs, on Friday also released guidelines to help build the country's vision of a modern military before 2020 by cutting troops and improving the quality of combat personnel."

China released its latest major movement for the military reform at the beginning of the new year, and not only the PLA Rocket Force became a new military service, but also the army has set up its own headquarters, reported Hankook Ilbo on January 3, 2016.

The PLA which used to be good at the "huge-crowd strategy" is now turning itself into an elite modern military that can fight the most cutting-edge space war, which is an important awakening for China to realize its China Dream, according to Hankook Ilbo.

"Other reform plans include phasing out old equipment, developing new weapons systems and reducing troop numbers", reported Associated Press, it said that "the reforms also tighten the party's leadership over the army. It used to be supervised by four headquarters, while now the army's general command is controlled directly by the Central Military Commission, whose chairman is Xi.

China hopes to keep up with the world's security development tide through the reform, said Japan's The Diplomat. Like the economic reform, the military reform will become a revolutionary event for Xi Jinping while he heads the administration.

The military reform is not an image project, but the need of the internal operation of the Chinese armed forces. This reform will not simply follow the examples of Russia or the United States, but will follow the military development trend of the world for the purpose of enhancing the fighting and defense capability, and is an active strategic adjustment made by the Chinese military, said The Diplomat.

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