Monday, March 3, 2014

The People’s Liberation Army: Post Plenum III

CMC's Chairman Xi Jinping visiting troops in Inner Mongolia
My article on the People's Liberation Army after the Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee (held from November 09 to 12, 2013) appeared in the Indian Defense Review (Issue Vol. 29.1 Jan-Mar 2014).
It is also posted on the Review's website.

The new leadership in Beijing had decided to bet on development and reforms…

The Central Committee’s Third Plenum
“China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is striving to maintain its glorious wartime reputation by advancing military reform and putting paid to the ethos of decadence,” said an editorial of The PLA Daily, the day after the Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee (a four day-conclave held from November 09 to 12, 2013). The Party had just delivered two new Leading Groups: one on reforms (it was expected) and more surprisingly, a National Security Committee (NSC).
The new leadership in Beijing had decided to bet on development and reforms, “The general objective of the approved reforms is to improve and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics …development is still the key to solving all problems in China,” affirmed a statement of the Central Committee. Xi Jinping and his colleagues seem to have seen the clouds gathering in the Middle Kingdom’s sky; for the present Emperors, the only way to avoid the fate of former Soviet Union (where the internal security apparatus had become weak, corrupt and ineffective), was to act fast; reforms needed to be introduced at once, or else the Communist Party’s days would be counted.
The Third Plenum admitted that the forthcoming reforms would decide the destiny of modern China. The statement concluded with “the need to deepen reforms in order to build a moderately prosperous society, and a strong and democratic country, as well as realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.”
Xi Jinping’s reforms may remain a dream; Sinocism, an excellent newsletter which analyzes the current events in China, commented: “The decision is impressive and shows that the leadership is both aware of and committed to deep reforms. …the truly hard part is not the drafting but the implementation of changes that will affect interests throughout society. But at least Xi has clearly articulated [his] resolve and vision for reform.”
Is it enough?

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