A lot of news has been coming out concerning the Chinese military structure lately. New information may bring added concern as it has been reported that China is working hard and fast toward modernization of its various military branches in an effort to bring itself more in line with what US military capabilities are at this current time.
Under a 5-year plan, Chinese armed forces will undergo a massive reorganization effort that has the goal of creating one central control system over the country’s nearly autonomous military branches in hopes of bringing about a more effective and lethal fighting force that will be able to face US capabilities.
Nothing on this scale has taken place in China since the 50’s during the Cold War when Russia was instrumental in assisting China’s military to get up to speed. These new efforts are likely to force the Pentagon to change many of its current policies according to the director of the China Studies division of can, David M. Finkelstein.
These new efforts began Jan. 1 and experts suggest that they will fundamentally change and redefine the missions, roles, and authorities of the current Chinese military structure with particular emphasis being directed toward the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), as well as toward the Central Military Command.
Among the many changes is the disbanding of China’s seven military regions, replaced by a new command that will be in charge of specific “war zones.” There is also a new PLA Rocket Force planned; this force is to be responsible for both China’s nuclear weapons as well as its conventional missiles.
According to a recent status report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “Should the proposed reforms be successfully implemented, the PLA will emerge as a much more capable, lethal and externally oriented fighting force.”
To understand how substantial these changes are, one must first understand that the current Chinese military structure is unlike that of the US. China’s military is all but independently run by local military authorities, who feel little, if any, pressure to obey the central government. There has long been concern that this type of independent set-up could lead to accidental conflicts that the central government in Beijing would not be able to control. This concern has surfaced recently because of the many confrontations that have taken place over disputed islands in both the South and East China seas.
It is also important to understand that both military leaders and civilians have been complaining that the current military structure is too far behind that of the US for comfort. The PLA has been especially vocal in its criticism against the current military structure.
The US went through something similar when, in 1986, President Reagan moved central military advice from the various service chiefs over to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The changes are currently slated to be finished by around 2020. Even so, the actual implementation of the changes into real-world structures could take years longer.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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