Xi Jinping reshuffles, scolds PLA brass amid stand-off with India

Farah Qureshi

Councller (250+ posts)
BEIJING: Chinese president Xi Jinping is believed to have reshuffled the top positions in the People's Liberation Army promoting three generals known to be close to him, according to reports emerging on Monday.

The move came in the midst of a stand-off in the Indian border, which has raised questions about a possible disconnect between the PLA and the country's central authorities.

The president also gave a dressing down to the military brass at a meeting, which took place in the presence of Fang Fenghui, chief of the PLA general staff, convened on Sunday.

"All PLA forces should follow the instructions of President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), and update their operations to meet new goals and missions set by the CMC," an official statement relayed by the Xinhua news agency, said.

READ ALSO: Xi is 'open-minded and realistic', Dalai Lama says

For India, the most important issue is whether repeated border intrusions including the one that took place during Xi's recent India tour, are directly ordered by the presidential team or a section of PLA brass is doing its own bidding. The development in the last two days indicate that the president, though the supreme commander of armed forces, is trying to further reinforce his authority, observers said.


The Indian Army and the PLA are currently locked in a stand-off at Chumar sector (shown by the red pin) in Jammu & Kashmir. (Google Maps)

This is curious because the PLA has publicly expressed vows accepting the authority of the Communist Party, of which Xi in the general secretary, since he came to power early last year. This has been followed by a high-pressure crackdown against corruption, which also covered former military officers.

The crackdown is believed to have made Xi's position unassailable in all sections of the country.

READ ALSO: Chinese military says there are 'differing perceptions' of LAC

South China Morning Post on Monday reported that senior military officers have been target by the anti-corruption drive ordered by the Chinese president. Xi has also ordered a reshuffle of the top positions in the PLA and the Central Military Commission, of which he is the chairman, it said.

The official statement about Xi's meeting with military commanders on Sunday showed that the president is extremely unhappy with the chain of command in the forces. It talked about the need "to improve the efficiency of military command under new circumstances". Xi also emphasized the need for "streamlining the operational headquarters of all PLA forces" with revised protocols.


Soldiers of the PLA stand guard next to a statue of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping at an exhibition commemorating the 110th anniversary of his birth in Hong Kong, on August 21, 2014. (Reuters photo)

"The meeting focused on streamlining the operational headquarters of all PLA forces with information technology and revised several important protocols," the statement said.

But the Chinese foreign ministry insisted on Monday that there was no need to have "unnecessary suspicion" on both sides on the border issue. Leaders of the two countries have "reached an improtant consensus on politically resolving the border issue through friendly mechanism," Hua Chunyin, the ministry's spokeswoman said Monday.

"China and India have sufficient capacity and confidence to maintain peace and tranquillity in the boundary areas," she said.
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Senator (1k+ posts)
Chinese army liked dogs,cats and reptiles. India should continue to supply them with stray dogs which will help contain Chinese army.

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