PLA’s New Leadership Appointments to Focus on the Taiwan Strait and Loyalty: Experts

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In the 20th rubber-stamp legislature to beryllium held successful China connected Oct. 16, the authorities volition recompose its subject enactment to absorption connected determination subject coercion successful the Taiwan Strait and loyalty said China experts.

Xi Jinping, the caput of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), accrued his power implicit the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) done subject betterment and utilizing anti-corruption campaigns to imprison and execute those who enactment an opposing governmental faction. The PLA is the subject of the CCP and not the Chinese military.

Over the years, Xi personally directed the appointments of members of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the bid authorization of the equipped forces.

In the upcoming nationalist meeting, Xi is expected to proceed a 3rd five-year word arsenic the person of some the Party and the CMC.

A younger procreation of CMC commanders who gained acquisition successful the Taiwan Strait Crisis successful the mid-1990s are expected to regenerate aging elder commanders.

Aging Military Commanders

Four of the six enforcement members of the CMC person reached the status property of 68.

Both Vice Chairmen Xu Qiliang and Zhang Youxia are aged 72; Wei Fenghe the PLA Rocket Force commandant is 68; and Li Zuocheng the Joint Staff Department main is 69.

That leaves lone 2 members apt to remain: Political Work Department Director Miao Hua aged 66; and Discipline Inspection Commission Director Zhang Shengmin aged 64.

Xi the president of the CMC is 69 years old.

In 2014, Xi promoted Miao to governmental commissar of the PLA Navy and subsequently appointed him the manager of the Political Work Department successful 2017.

Miao spent 36 years successful the 31st Army stationed successful Fujian Province wherever Xi had a governmental vocation for 17 years.

china PLA China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers march adjacent to the entranceway to the Forbidden City (L) successful Beijing connected May 22, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images)

Commanders From Fujian

An overseas Chinese media controlled by the CCP called Sing Tao Daily said successful September that Miao and General He Weidong are apt to go the caller vice chairs of CMC.

The 65-year-old He was the commandant of the Eastern Theater Command from 2019 to 2022. According to Sing Tao’s report, He grew up successful Fujian and utilized to service arsenic the main of unit and lawman commandant of the 31st Army successful Fujian.

“A large reorganization of the CMC is inevitable,” said Cheng-fung Lu, subordinate prof of National Quemoy University, to the Chinese connection edition of The Epoch Times connected Oct. 3.

In an effort to interruption done the archetypal land chain, promotion of commanders from Fujian and the southeast coastal portion would beryllium expected, said Lu.

Li Cheng-Hsiu, a subject adept and subordinate researcher astatine the National Policy Foundation of the Republic of China (Taiwan), agreed.

“The CCP is astir apt to motorboat its equipped forces activities towards Taiwan oregon successful the South China Sea,” helium said, adding, the PLA needs commanders acquainted with those areas.

‘Loyalty to Xi and His Agenda’

Chi Le-yi, a elder subject expert successful Taiwan, does not judge Xi would person a geographical preference.

“For example, Lin Xiangyang, the incumbent commandant of the Eastern Theater Command, utilized to beryllium the commandant of the Northern Theater Command,” said Chi.

He does not judge Xi would similar immoderate disproportionate geographic statement successful the CMC. He said, “It’s a taboo for Xi. It took him a large effort to destruct the almighty Guo Boxiong and his power successful the northwest.”

Epoch Times Photo Former Central Military Commission vice seat General Guo Boxiong successful Beijing connected March 9, 2012. Guo was sentenced to beingness successful situation by a Chinese subject tribunal connected July 25, 2016. (Ng Han Guan/AP Photo)

Guo, erstwhile a commandant of the Lanzhou Military Region which is present the Western Theater Command, retired arsenic the vice president of CMC successful 2013. He was expelled from the Party successful 2015 and sentenced to beingness successful situation successful 2016 arsenic a effect of Xi’s anti-corruption drive.

Joel Wuthnow, the elder probe chap astatine the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs astatine the National Defense University, successful “Gray Dragons: Assessing China’s Senior Military Leadership” (pdf), argued that “Senior PLA leaders are drawn comparatively arsenic from the 5 theatre commands and 13 group armies. Even though it is liable for Taiwan, the Eastern Theater Command cannot be described arsenic a ‘cradle of the generals.'”

He said, each PLA officers “must person capable governmental acumen to show loyalty to Xi and his agenda.”

Haizhong Ning and Luo Ya contributed to this report.

Mary Hong

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Mary Hong has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2020. She has reported connected Chinese quality rights issues and politics.