Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Fate of PLA Generals

General Li Zuocheng, new Chief of the Land Force Command
Fate is strange.
It is especially true in Communist China.
Two years ago, Lt Gen Yang Jinshan, a former Commander of the Tibet Military District of the Chengdu Military Region (MR) was a rising star in the PLA and the CPC.
He had been promoted as a member of the Party's Central Committee, which was not the case of his direct boss, General Li Zuocheng, the commander of the Chengdu Military Region.
Yang was therefore 'senior' to his boss, Li Zuocheng, in the Party hierarchy.
Today, Yang Jinshan is languishing jail, being 'investigated' and his boss Gen Li Zuocheng is tipped to become the first chief of a newly-formed land force command.
What a reversal of fate!
Li was born in Anhua, Hunan province. He joined the PLA in 1970. Li was named a 'War Hero' for his actions during the Sino-Vietnamese War as a company commander in 1979. He was also the Commander of the 41st Army in the relief effort in the 1998 great Yangtze flood. Li was promoted to deputy Chief of Staff of the Guangzhou Military Region in 2002, and moved to Chengdu in 2007 as deputy Commander. In 2013, he took the Command of the Chengdu MR and became full general in July 2015.

Lt Gen Yang Jinshan
That was a year ago...
I reproduce here what I wrote about Lt Gen Yang Jinshan  a year ago

It is the end of the road for Lt Gen Yang Jinshan, a former Commander of the Tibet Military District of the Chengdu Military Region (MR).
He lost his membership of the Central Committee of the CCP.
Lt Gen Yang Jinshan (Han nationality) is born in August 1954. He joined the Communist Party of China in May 1972. In December 2005, he was promoted to the rank of major general and in July 2011, he became a lieutenant general.
From 2007 to 2009, he served as the Head of Armament Department of Chengdu MR.
In 2009, he became Commander of Tibet Military District.
In November 2012, he was elected as Member of 18th CPC's powerful Central Committee.
Lt Gen Yang Jinshan had an Air Force background; this may explain the repeated 'air exercises' in the Tibet District, facing Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim  during the last few years.
In June 2013, General Yang was transferred to Chengdu as a Deputy Commander of the Chengdu MR.
Yesterday, he was formally expelled from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China 'for serious disciplinary violations'.

Lt Gen Yang, as one of 41 members of the PLA in the Central Committee, was 'senior' in the Party to his direct boss, Lt Gen Li Zuocheng, the Commander of Chengdu MR.
In July 2014, The South China Morning Post (SCMP) had reported "One of the top PLA officers leading the Chengdu military area command has been detained amid graft allegations making him the latest high-ranking officer to fall in a sweeping effort to clean up the image of the world's largest fighting force."
The Hong Kong newspaper quoting four different sources said: "Investigators took Yang Jinshan, a lieutenant general, to Beijing last week as part of a corruption investigation. His family members and secretary were also detained."
Apparently, the arrest of General Yang, 59 was part of the wider inquiry into Xu Caihou, the former Central Military Commission (CMC) vice-chairman.
Xu has been accused of accepting very large bribes.
In June, Xu was himself expelled from the Communist Party. Yang has now walked into his mentor's steps.
Further, Yang was probably connected with the disgraced Politburo leader, Bo Xilai, as Yang served in the 14th Group Army, based in Kunming, Yunnan province (under the Chengdu MR). One of the founders of the Group Army was Bo Yibo , Bo Xilai's father.
The SCMP suspects: "Bo Xilai visited Yunnan not long after his right-hand man Wang Lijun sought refuge in the US consulate in Chengdu in February 2012. Since that visit, some of the senior officers of the corps have been replaced, prompting speculation about whether the reshuffle was linked to Bo."
Again according to the SCMP: "Two PLA major generals with backgrounds that overlap Yang's were detained previously". It names Ye Wanyong , retired commissar of the Sichuan provincial military area, and Wei Jin, a deputy commissar of the Tibet military area."
Ye would have offered large amount of gold to Xu Caihou.

Acute Ideological Struggle
In the meantime, the Central Military Commission (CMC) warned that ideological struggles within the PLA were 'acute and complicated', and called for the military to remain loyal to the Party's leadership.
According to The Global Times, the CMC published an article in The PLA Daily which says that the PLA should be run according to rules and regulations of the Party.
It was the main theme of the Fourth Plenum of the Central Committee of the 18th National Congress, which focused on strengthening the nation's governance through the rule of law.
The Global Times asserts: "Military reform has entered 'uncharted waters' with concerns growing that reform could be impeded by 'structural problems'."
The CMC admits that among the problems facing the army, "the struggle over ideology has been exceptionally acute and complicated."
Apparently, "different ideologies and new ideas that have emerged in Chinese society have penetrated the military, and will have a disruptive impact", says the CMC.
It quotes Maj. Gen. Luo Yuan: "There have been some public intellectuals advocating the nationalization of the army through disaffiliating it from the Party's leadership."
Xu Guangyu, another military expert and senior consultant at the Chinese Military Disarmament Control Council explained that "some young military leaders may have been influenced by these ideas, and warned that they could cause a split within the army."
The CMC asked the PLA to be 'steadfast in their actions' and submit to the Party's authority and to the CMC.
It clearly means that they not always do.
Quite worrying!
Probably new Chumar episodes in the pipeline!

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