‘Solemn’ retirement ceremony called for PLA officers

Source: Global TimesEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-06-14 08:15

An article published in the China Youth Daily on Monday called for a "solemn" retirement ceremony for Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) officers, accounting for half of 300,000 military personnel who were cut as part of China's military reform.

Retirement ceremonies were recently held for military personnel from the Western, Central and Eastern Theater Commands. However, the article said that a grand ceremony was usually held for retired soldiers while those PLA officers left silently which has caused lasting sentiments in their heart.

Xu Guangyu, senior consultant of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times on Monday that it's very difficult to organize a ceremony for retiring officers because of their scarcity on a team.

"They have fought and made relentless contributions to the army and face many uncertainties in life. The ceremony will warm and encourage them," the report said, adding that all kinds of ceremonies in the military, including an enlistment oath-taking ceremony and one for promotions have been improved, some of which have been institutionalized in regulations and laws.

"However, we left out one for retiring officers.Holding a ceremony for officers is a way to express our gratitude to their service to national defense, contributions to the country, and affirmation of their honorable military career," said the report.

"It also sends a message to those still serving in the military that they will be treated well," said Xu.

In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced 300,000 troops would be cut from the PLA as part of the military reform, which also includes a redrawing of the regional military command system and streamlining the Party leadership, aiming to develop a modern military system "capable of winning information-age warfare."

The cut represents about 13 percent of the 2.3 million-strong military force.

By 2020, the PLA will have finished mechanization of all forces and made important progress in incorporating information and computer technology, according to a five-year military development plan.

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