Days after his visit to India, China’s President Xi Jinping has asked the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be combat ready to win a “regional war” and ensure that all decisions stemming from the central leadership in Beijing are strictly followed.
“Headquarters of PLA forces must have absolute loyalty and firm faith in the Communist Party of China, guarantee a smooth chain of command and make sure all decisions from the central leadership are fully implemented,” said Xi, chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
“Headquarters of all PLA forces should improve their combat readiness and sharpen their ability to win a regional war in the age of information technology,” he added
On September 22, it was also reported that Xi had reshuffled certain key positions in the PLA’s leadership. The president was reportedly upset by a growing disconnect between the party’s central leadership and the PLA.
Reports of an apparent disconnect surfaced last week. Even as Xi was engaged in wide-ranging discussion with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, the PLA and the Indian army were in a stand-off after Chinese soldiers intruded into the Indian territory in Ladakh.
An official statement by General Fang Fenghui, PLA chief, after his meeting with Xi emphasised that all PLA forces should follow President Xi’s instructions and update their operations to meet new goals and missions set by the Central Military Commission.
The troops of China and India are currently embroiled in a face-off in the Chumar area in Ladakh region along the LAC.
India has accused the PLA of overstepping the LAC and pitching seven tents inside Indian territory; this year alone there have reportedly been 335 transgressions by the PLA.
On September 22, Xi also demanded “absolute loyalty” from PLA’s top brass, to guarantee a smooth chain of command and make sure all decisions are implemented. The president has also called for improved ‘efficiency of military command under new circumstances” and “streamlining the operational headquarters of all PLA forces” with revised protocol.
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