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    Soldiers of People's Liberation Army (PLA) Lanzhou Military Region jump through a burning obstacle during a training session at a military base in Tianshui, Gansu province, China, January 6, 2016

    Wind of Change: China Kicks Off 'Unprecedented' Military Reform

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    A large-scale reform of the Chinese People's Liberation Army is an unprecedented event in the country's history, according to Russian defense expert Vasily Kashin.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Vaily Kashin of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, described the ongoing large-scale reform of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) as an unprecedented event in the country's history.

    "If successful, the military reform will help modernize the PLA's management system and overcome the existing organizational problems still in place in the army," Kashin said.

    Chinese People's Liberation Army cadets shout as they take part in a bayonet drills at the PLA's Armoured Forces Engineering Academy Base, on the outskirt of Beijing, China Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
    © AP Photo / Andy Wong
    Chinese People's Liberation Army cadets shout as they take part in a bayonet drills at the PLA's Armoured Forces Engineering Academy Base, on the outskirt of Beijing, China Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

    To understand the scale of the changes, it should be recalled that the military structures, which are currently being liquidated, were established back in 1930, almost two decades before Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China, according to Kashin.

    He said that even though such a military transformation is almost certain to prompt a negative reaction from an array of political and military figures in China, Beijing should redouble its efforts to implement the reform.

    "In the past few years, China has faced many challenges, including the growing US activity in the South China Sea, which is why Beijing should respond in kind to all this. Judging by the full-fledged military reform proposed by President Xi Jinping, the response will be very serious," Kashin concluded.

    Earlier, Xi Jinping announced the creation of the three new services for PLA, which are due to join the PLA Navy and PLA Air Force.

    The goal is to reshape the PLA's General Staff Department, General Political Department and General Logistics Department, with ground forces set to be remade into a separate service.

    As for the new military establishment, it will comprise an army leadership institution, a rocket force  and strategic support troops.

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