A documentary being aired on Chinese media showcases the achievements of sweeping military reforms carried out by President Xi Jinping in the last five years to build a strong army in order to expand China's global influence.
A documentary being aired on Chinese media showcases the achievements of sweeping military reforms carried out by President Xi Jinping in the last five years to build a strong army in order to expand China’s global influence. The documentary comes ahead of the 19th Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), to begin here from October 18 during which Xi is set to get a second term in office. As per the practice followed by the party, top leaders will get two five-year terms and retire after 68 years of age. The eight-episode series, aired from September 29, highlights how the Chinese military has stepped forward to solve problems and reshape its political ecology, organisational structure, system and work style, since Xi took over during the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.
The documentary titled ‘Qiang Jun’, which means building a strong army, was produced by the Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission and is being aired on both state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) and local television stations. Many Chinese have expressed pride after watching some episodes, the report said and listed the comments of some netizens praising the military. Xi, a strong advocate of a powerful military to back China’s global economic influence and power, carried out massive reforms in the 2.3 million-strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest force.
Besides operational reforms, he has also carried out an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign purging the forces of corrupt elements from top to bottom. In the last five years, at least 13,000 military officers involved in corruption have been punished, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted a report yesterday by the PLA Daily, the official organ of the Chinese military. The punished include Gen Guo Boxiong and Gen Xu Caihou who served as vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the PLA’s high command which is now headed by Xi.
They were accused of selling top posts of the military to the highest bidder. Guo, 75, was sentenced to life imprisonment in July last year and Xu died of cancer at the age of 72 in 2015 while in custody and under investigation for graft. Since he took over, Xi’s focus has remained on revamping the military. In an unprecedented overhaul, he announced that the PLA would shed 300,000 troops, taking the total number down to two million.
He has also vastly increased the role of the navy and air force to assist China’s global push for influence. Xi also scrapped the PLA’s four former headquarters – General Staff, General Political, General Logistics, and General Armaments – and established 15 functional departments to divide their powers. The PLA’s seven military commands were also reshaped into five theatre commands.