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    Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China arrive on their armoured vehicles at Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015

    China's Army Reform Will Result in a 'Capable, Always Combat Ready' Force

    © REUTERS / Damir Sagolj
    Asia & Pacific
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    Chinese President Xi Jinping has called to improve the strategic planning and combat service support in the country’s armed forces, the People’s Liberation Army.

    The statement was made during a recent session of the Central Military Council for military logistics in Beijing.

    Russian military expert Vasily Kashin underscored that modernization of military support and logistics is an important part of the ongoing armed forces reform in China.

    A large-scale reform of the People’s Liberation Army started in late-2015 and has already resulted in dramatic changes in the structure of the Chinese military.

    "However, it’s clear that such a reform can generate no immediate results," Kashin said in an interview with Sputnik China. "Xi Jinping’s speech called for time-consuming and hard work to implement the reform. The Chinese military reform should be viewed as a several-year-long process. The first results may be visible only by 2020."

    The current Chinese military reform, like the 2008 military reform in Russia, is an attempt to radically modernize a military organization formed back in the middle of the 20th century.

    Both reforms are aimed to create a more mobile and capable always combat ready military structure, capable of joint force operations. Another important goal of the reform is fighting corruption in the military and increasing the R&D capacities of the defense industry.

    "In fact, both reforms result in a clash between politicians and old military commanders. Anticorruption efforts are an inherent part of such a standoff," Kashin explained.

    The expert noted that such a large-scale reform usually takes several years, because a decision made at the early stages of the reform could be re-assessed and then fixed or even cancelled, like it has happened in the course of the Russian military modernization program.

    "Launched in 2008, the Russian reform produced the first visible results only several years later, by 2013-2014," the expert said.

    According to him, currently the Chinese military reform is in the same stage the Russian reform was in 2009-2010, including organizational arrangements and personnel reshuffle.

    "An important difference is that in China, the president is in charge of the reform. This allows for overcoming the resistance of the old military bureaucracy. We should a renewed Chinese military by 2020. Finally, the reform will turn the People’s Liberation Army into a force capable to successfully achieve its goals," Kashin concluded.

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    military reforms, People's Liberation Army, Xi Jinping, China
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