August 07, 2015

"The promotions additionally point to the attention being given by the Chinese leadership to the Sino-Indian border and to steadily enhancing and consolidating military preparedness in Tibet."

The New Indian Express The recent round of promotions in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by China’s President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) Xi Jinping, on the occasion of PLA Day on August 1, 2015, appears to continue the emphasis on professionalism and preference for either battle-field or other operational experience for elevation to the higher ranks of the PLA. By Jayadeva Ranade

'Included in the list are some officers whose affiliations to Xi Jinping are identified. The promotions are also indicative of Xi Jinping having begun to prepare for the 19th Party Congress in 2017.  The criteria of professionalism and preference for battle-field experience in higher echelon PLA appointments was evident in the composition of the new Central Military Commission (CMC) announced at the 18th Party Congress in 2012.

'The main features of China’s new Military leadership were clearly these: professional background of all the Members and both Vice Chairmen of the Military Commission; the increased number of ‘princelings’, or members of the ‘Red Nobility’ led by the Chairman of the CMC Xi Jinping; and the implicit emphasis on Integrated Joint Operations (IJO), especially an enhanced operational role for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force (PLAAF). It was at this CMC that the PLAAF for the first time ever had two representatives namely, Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang and PLAAF Commander and concurrent Military Commission Member General Ma Xiaotian.'

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