Tuesday, December 29, 2015

PLA Digest November 2015

Here is the PLA Digest for November 2015.

US Navy admiral who says Beijing’s South China Sea territorial claims should be challenged starts China visit
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 2, 2015
The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, who previously said Washington should challenge Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, started a three-day visit to China.
U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris’ visit was arranged before the warship USS Lassen, which is under his command, sparked a rebuke from Beijing after sailing within 12-nautical-miles (22km) of two artificial islands, Michief and Subi reefs, built by China in the disputed Spratly Islands on October 27.
China’s navy chief Admiral Wu Shengli warned his US counterpart, Admiral John Richardson, during a video call that even a minor confrontation between their two militaries in the South China Sea could culminate into conflict.

Building a Credible Arsenal: China’s Improved ICBMs
Source: China Brief Volume: 15 Issue: 21
Date: November 2, 2015
On September 3, the PRC displayed DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at the end of the strategic weapons portion of the Victory Day parade. This was the first time the DF-5 missiles have appeared in a public parade since 1984 and were the only liquid-propellant missiles on display, as well as the only non-mobile/silo-based system at the parade. While various reports differ on its exact range, the common agreement is that it the DF-5 series of missiles is capable of hitting most, if not all, of the strategic targets inside continental U.S..
The Chinese Dong Feng-5 (DF, East Wind) family of missiles is undergoing significant modernization, mainly involving an upgrade to an operational Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) system. These missiles are several decades old, have low survivability against Russian and US nuclear weapons, and are few in number, with only approximately 20 in service. Even after upgrading, however, they will still be non-survivable and few in number. This raises the question of why these missiles are being modernized when the missiles could instead be deactivated and the money put toward increasing the number of more survivable DF-31 or DF-41 families.
The DF-5B upgrade (CSS-4 Mod 3) likely acts as a stopgap or diversifying element of China’s arsenal, contributing to its strategic nuclear deterrent. Adding a credible MIRV component to a nuclear arsenal typically multiplies the perceived threat emanating from even a small arsenal, adding to its deterrent value. Modern ballistic missile defense systems have no proven and operational means of targeting missiles in boost phase, they only can intercept reentry vehicles (RVs) in midcourse and terminal phases, and even these intercepts have severe limitations. A MIRV upgrade therefore means that the number of targets in both of these phases is multiplied, turning the DF-5 arsenal of less than 20 launchers into an arsenal with an unknown amount of reentry vehicles.

Ruling the PLA According to Law: An Oxymoron?
Source: China Brief Volume: 15 Issue: 21
Date: November 2, 2015
One of the least transparent and least understood parts of Xi Jinping’s program to “rule the country according to law,” announced in October, 2014, is the creation of a body of military law with Chinese characteristics.
For over ten years, within the confines of academic discourse, Chinese military legal officials—serving and retired—have pointed out weaknesses in Chinese military law. As they describe the current military legal framework, military law and military legal institutions are isolated from their civilian counterparts, legislation underpinning basic military legal institutions is missing, commanders think their word is law, and military courts and prosecutors lack professional autonomy and security. These concerns remained the subject of academic discussion until late 2013.
The high level policy decision to modernize military law was first flagged by the Central Committee of the Communist Party during the Third Plenum in 2013, in the Decision On Several Major Issues Of Deepening Reform.
In the Fourth Plenum Decision, the Party highlighted the importance of creating a complete body of military law with Chinese characteristics and stressing the Communist Party’s absolute leadership over the Army as a core and fundamental requirement for ruling the military according to the law. The Decision additionally called for the overhaul of all aspects of military law, as well as educating officers and soldiers that following the law is part of the new normal in the PLA.

Snapshot of China's five-year plan as details revealed of blueprint for nation's development
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 3, 2015
A communiqué published by the state-run news agency Xinhua follows a meeting last week of senior members of the Communist Party to discuss the next five-year plan.
The proposals include:
* Speeding up reforms of the financial system and improving the way it serves China’s economy.
* Strengthen ideological and cultural initiatives online. Cultivate a positive culture on the internet and ‘cleanse’ its environment.
* Complete reforms for national defence and the armed forces by 2020. Significant progress should also be made on mechanisation and automation in the armed forces and the use of information technology to build a modern Chinese military system.

Everything above board here?
Source: Quatz
Date: November 04, 2015
China is responsible for 30% of the world’s secretive defense spending, reports Transparency International (TI), a Berlin-based anti-corruption NGO. Secretive spending, defined by TI as “military expenditure where no meaningful details are released either to the public or parliament,” is leading to corruption at home and mistrust in the Asia-Pacific region that could destabilize the area, the organization says.
“No information is available on acquisition planning, and only broad details are disclosed on actual and planned purchases,” TI wrote about China’s defense spending in its Asia-Pacific Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index, adding: “The Chinese public would gain more knowledge about their nation’s defense capabilities through reading foreign press reporting.”
Furthermore, “additional, off-the-books spending” could be as high as 50% of China’s official defense expenditure—or $65 billion, based on China’s declared defense budget last year (paywall)—making it extremely difficult to form an accurate assessment of what China’s military is spending its money on.

Spectacular scene of S-300 missile launch
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: November 05, 2015
To strengthen the troops’ fighting capacity, a missile brigade of the Jinan MR of the PLA has been focusing on training in real combat environment in recent years. It has accomplished over 20 important missions.

CHINA SECURITY: China Reins In Its Hacker Army
Source: Epoch Times
Date: November 9, 2015
Rumor has it the Chinese regime will move its cyberwarfare units under a single command structure. Unnamed sources told Bloomberg in mid-October that Chinese cyber units from all departments would be moved under a centralized command under the CMC.
Changes were allegedly discussed during the CCP’s Fifth Plenum, attended by more than 350 top CCP officials, where they lay out the new five-year economic plan.
Bloomberg followed with some interesting analysis, but in my opinion, it missed the mark. First of all, the Chinese regime already has a command structure for its cyber departments, which on the surface—and under proposed changes—is headed by the CMC. Second, proposals for the new Chinese military structure give a much more complex picture of how its cyber units will be managed.
As things stand now, the CCP’s cyber units are broken into three tiers. The structure, which is already under the CMC, was detailed in the latest edition of The Science of Military Strategy, published by the top research institute of the PLA. While the document was released in 2013, details on the cyber structure were only reported in the West in March this year.

New soldiers undergo tough training in Xinjiang
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: November 09, 2015
Several new soldiers of the Xinjiang Military Region brave the tough training

China needs focus on military-industrial complex, officer says
Source: Reuters
Date: November 9, 2015
China needs to place greater focus on developing a military-industrial complex, much like the U.S. has done, to ensure a powerful armed forces commensurate with its place in the world, a senior officer wrote in a new book.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has set great store on China's military modernization, including developing an ocean-going ‘blue water’ navy, stealth jets and other advanced technologies to better defend the country's growing global interests.
In a collection of essays released this week by top officials on the 13th five-year plan, which maps out economic targets up to 2020, Xu Qiliang, a vice chairman of the powerful CMC, said China needs security to be able to develop its economy.
Citing ancient Chinese philosopher Shang Yang, who helped create a powerful military force in one of the early Chinese states, Xu said a country cannot get rich without decent armed forces.

Top Chinese General Visits Djibouti Amid Base Speculation
Source: Agence France-Presse
Date: November 10, 2015
A top Chinese military officer visited Djibouti, official media reported, prompting a state-run newspaper to downplay concerns Beijing is planning to establish a base in the strategically vital African entrepot.
The chief of the PLA General Staff, Gen. Fang Fenghui met Djibouti's president at the weekend, the official PLA news source China Military Online reported.
Fang told President Ismail Omar Guelleh that China was willing to "deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two countries and two militaries," the report paraphrased.
Beijing is expanding its military heft and reach as China becomes more powerful, with annual double-digit defense budget increases and its first aircraft carrier entering service.
Chinese officials say the country does not have any overseas military bases.
But Chinese contracts to build or manage Indian Ocean ports have raised concerns it is seeking to establish a so-called ‘string of pearls’ in the region.

Speculation on Djibouti military base meant to hype up China threat: expert
Source: Global Times
Date: November 10, 2015
A senior Chinese military official's visit to the east African country of Djibouti has sparked concerns that China will build its first overseas military base, which experts consider over-politicized.
Fang Fenghui, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, visited the Chinese warship Sanya in Djibouti. Fang inspected the ship's facilities and appraised the performance of fleet officers and soldiers off the Somalia coast and in the Gulf of Aden, according to the website of the Ministry of Defense.
The visit, however, renewed speculation on a military base in the African country. Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh was quoted by AFP as saying in May that discussions were ongoing and Beijing's presence would be ‘welcome’.
Analysts said it is normal for a senior military official to visit PLA soldiers especially at the end of the year, urging not to politicize or over-interpret the visit.

Military base bans cars with data recorders
Source: Global Times
Date: November 10, 2015
An undisclosed military base in China has banned cars with event data recorders from entering its military areas as an anti-espionage precaution, the PLA Daily reported Monday.
According to the report, event data recorders can record sensitive information such as military activities and the lay of the land in and around military areas, which could lead to leaks of important intelligence.
Media outlets have recently reported on a number of anti-espionage cases involving both military personnel and ordinary people.
"Espionage activities have become increasingly active in China in recent years as the nation sees a growing global influence," Li Wei, an expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

To build a modern army, the People's Liberation Army must learn from the US, says Chinese military official
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 11, 2015
China needs to focus more on developing a military-industrial complex much like the U.S. has done, to ensure a powerful army in keeping with its place in the world, according to a top Chinese military official.
"China is walking towards the centre of the world stage as it gains more power. It faces increasing … challenges. National revival could be interrupted if the economy, technology and defence are not enhanced at the same time," CMC vice-chairman Xu Qiliang wrote in a collection of essays released this week.
Military-industrial complex refers to a mutually beneficial relationship between a country's military and defence-minded firms and manufacturers.
Xu's call is part of President Xi Jinping's campaign to transform the PLA into a modern force capable of winning wars.

Arms race in space gathers pace as China and the US test missiles
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 11, 2015
China tested a Dong Neng-3 missile at the Korla Missile Test Complex in Xinjiang on October 30, the Washington Free Beacon said, citing two anonymous US officials.
The officials described the Dong Neng-3 as a “direct-ascent missile” designed to take out satellites. It was designed to target even those satellites with missile defence capabilities, they said.
Two days later, America’s Missile Defence Agency tested its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system on Wake Island in the western Pacific Ocean. The test, which cost US$230 million, demonstrated THAAD destroying a ballistic missile launched by a C-17 transport plane.

China plans maritime, space projects in next five years 
Source: English.news.cn
Date: November 12
China will launch key maritime, space and Internet projects for integration of the country's military and civilian resources in the next five years, a senior officer said.
"China is on its way to building itself into a maritime, space and cyber power," said Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the CMC, in a signed article's People's Daily.
Calling the seas, space and the Internet "strategic fields for military competition" and "commanding grounds for boosting economic and sci-tech development," Xu said concerted efforts from the whole nation and armed forces are needed to achieve major progress.
China has set up several incubators for the aerospace industry to assist growth and technology transfer in Beijing, Shanghai, Shaanxi and Sichuan.
The country's Tianhe supercomputer series and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System have improved the development of national defense, society and economy.

Fall in line: PLA Daily orders Chinese soldiers to obey Communist Party commands
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: 13 November, 2015
The military’s mouthpiece has ordered officers to toe the Communist Party line in a volley of commentaries apparently aimed at countering internal resistance to personnel cuts.
Military analysts said the commentaries indicated President Xi Jinping’s military reform was still meeting some resistance from vested interests.
The PLA Daily has published five commentaries in the past two weeks that call for the entire military to obey the party’s order.

China’s PLA top brass fan out across region in push analysts say aimed at reassuring Asia-Pacific neighbours
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: 13 November, 2015
China is stepping up its military diplomacy within the region amid challenges from the U.S.’ pivot towards the Asia-Pacific and territorial tensions with various neighbours.
Three of the 11 members of the CMC, the supreme military decision-making body, have visited seven nations in the region this month alone, not counting President Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam.
General Fan Changlong, the CMC’s vice-chairman, embarked on a trip to Pakistan and India on Wednesday; Admiral Wu Shengli left for Malaysia, Indonesia and the Maldives; and Defence Minister Chang Wanquan visited Malaysia and Cambodia from November 3 as part of the Asean defence ministers’ summit.
Xi, who is chairman of the CMC, visited Vietnam last week, accompanied by Admiral Sun Jianguo.

China-Pakistan fighter said to have found new buyer
Source: China Daily
Date: November 13, 2015
The FC-1 Fierce Dragon, or JF-17 Thunder, a fourth-generation fighter jet co-developed by China and Pakistan, has found a buyer following several years of speculation and promotion.
The aircraft's developers, Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, signed a contract with an unidentified buyer, AVIC said in a statement sent to China Daily.
It did not elaborate on when the contract was signed or how many FC-1s are to be sold. The Pakistan Air Force is the only user of the lightweight, multi-purpose combat aircraft, with 60 in active service.
"This plane is an ideal replacement for second-and third-generation fighter jets still in service with many militaries. The FC-1 has ... good capabilities in air combat and air-to-ground strikes, and a high cost-performance ratio," said Liu Yu, deputy head of AVIC's military aircraft trade wing.

Two generals of China's military investigated
Source: China Military Online
Date: November 13, 2015
Two former major generals have been investigated recently according to China's military authorities.
Wu Ruizhong, former deputy political commissar of the Engineering University of the PLA SAF, was probed on suspicion of serious disciplinary violations by the CMC’s Commission for Discipline Inspection (CDI), and the suspected crime issues and clues have been transferred to the military procuratorates.
Qu Mutian, former deputy commander of the traffic troops of the Chinese PAPF, was probed on suspicion of serious disciplinary violations by the PAPF’s CDI with the approval of the CMC’s CDI, and the suspected crime issues and clues have been transferred to the military procuratorates.

China, Pakistan pledge closer military cooperation
Source: Xinhua
Date: November 13, 2015
Visiting Vice Chairman of China's CMC Fan Changlong met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, pledging closer military cooperation between the two countries.
Fan said the bilateral relations between China and Pakistan has entered a new era after the two countries' ties were lifted to all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Pakistan in April. He said China highly values the efforts of Pakistan in the international war on terrorism and the sound achievements it has made.
China is willing to continue strengthening bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan and safeguarding regional peace and stability together, he added.
Fan said the Chinese military would like to deepen pragmatic cooperation with the Pakistani military in various areas and make contribution to the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the two countries' all-round cooperation.

The Next Big U.S.-China Military Challenge: Beijing's Underwater Nukes
Source: National Interest

Date: November 14, 2015
How vulnerable are China’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs, or boomers), and what does that vulnerability mean for US strategy?
The PLAN has devoted considerable time and expense to developing a maritime nuclear deterrent. The U.S. Navy, on the other hand, has forty years of experience in hunting down Russian boomers. Chinese boomers present no major problem.
But the paradox of nuclear weapons is that one player’s insecurity can make the other player less secure. If the U.S. can credibly threaten the Chinese nuclear deterrent, Beijing’s paranoia might become more risk acceptant, rather than less. This makes the decision to exploit the vulnerability of China’s boomers fraught with danger.
Fortunately, the U.S. faced a similar dilemma in the Cold War, when U.S. attack boats (SSNs) hunted Soviet boomers in the arctic. That experience, and the debates that flowed from it, can help inform U.S. decision-making today.

China Should Consider Establishing Overseas Military Bases
Source: Huanqiu (Global Times)
Date: November 14, 2015
Wang Haiyun, Senior Advisor of the China Institute for International Strategy, published an article proposing that China break through the old restriction on establishing overseas naval bases.
China has become the world's second largest economy and is truly a big country in the world no matter which way you look at it. China's global interests are expanding; its global responsibility is also increasing. China hopes to provide more public engagement with the international community, including more involvement in combating piracy and conducting peacekeeping operations and humanitarian relief. Regardless of which task is performed, they all depend on protection from overseas military bases. The world's major powers all have overseas military bases. The U.S. military bases are all over the globe. Even Japan has opened a logistics base overseas. As a UN Security Council permanent member, why should China tie itself?
China's economy is increasingly integrating with the world economy. China’s enterprises’ "going out" process is accelerating. China's overseas assets are growing in scale. More and more people are working and traveling overseas. The security tasks of maintaining oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure are becoming more arduous. Because it lacks overseas military bases to provide security, China will inevitably encounter more and more problems and security risks. With the advance of “one belt, one road" initiative, this situation will become even more prominent.

Chinese military leader arrives in India for official visit
Source: China Military Online
Date: November 15, 2015
At the New Delhi International Airport, Gen. Fan Changlong delivered a written statement:
It is with great pleasure for my colleagues and me to come to the beautiful country of India for an official visit at the invitation of the armed forces of the Republic of India. We bring with us the friendly sentiments from the Chinese people and armed forces towards the Indian people and armed forces.
Being two ancient civilizations, China and India are the world’s biggest developing countries and new emerging markets. Sharing a long history of friendly exchanges, the two countries have witnessed a flourishing development of bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields in recent years thanks to the personal attention and joint efforts by the state leaders of the two countries. Such has advanced the relations between the two countries and armed forces into new phase. The Chinese dream is closely connected with the splendid dream of the Indian people. The strengthening of friendly cooperation between China and India will not only benefit the 2.5 billion people of the two countries, but also contribute to the peace and development of the region in particular and the world at large.
My visit mainly aims to implement the consensus reached between our state leaders, to enhance mutual understanding, cooperation and friendship between the two militaries, and to make due contribution towards advancing the common development of the two countries and carrying forward the bilateral friendship.
I look forward to exchanging views in an in-depth way with the state and military leaders of India on bilateral state-to-state and mil-to-mil relations as well as other issues with common interests. I am confident that this visit will be a complete success with the thoughtful arrangement made by the Indian side.

PLA Daily hypes military reform rollout
Source: Global Times
Date: November 16, 2015
Several heavyweight State-run media outlets have recently run articles calling for solidarity in military reform, which experts say signifies that reform is about to be rolled out.
Since October 27, the PLA Daily has published five articles exhorting military staff to follow the leadership of the CPC throughout the course of military reform. The People's Daily has also run articles espousing the necessity of military reform.
"The media outlets' reports show that the reform is about to occur. People may see the release of structural adjustments by the end of the year," Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military commentator, told the Global Times.

China-India border remains stable: official
Source: Global Times
Date: November 17, 2015
The border between China and India is generally stable, visiting Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Fan Changlong said in New Delhi.
During his meeting with Indian Army Chief, General Dalbir Singh, Fan said that the two countries have been holding military exchanges and joint training exercises, which are as an important part of bilateral relations.
Fan called on the two militaries to implement the consensus on boundary issues, properly control their differences, strengthen border cooperation at all levels, enhance communication and safeguard peace and stability at border regions.
During his meeting with Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, Fan said that China opposes all forms of terrorism and vows to join the international community in fighting it, while Parrikar also called for bilateral cooperation on anti-terrorism.

China, Russia reaffirm cooperation on military defense
Source: Xinhua
Date November 18, 2015
China and Russia said the high-level political mutual trust could be used to stimulate the pragmatic cooperation in military defense areas.
Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, stressed that China is willing to work with Russia to promote defense cooperation in protection of mutual interests and regional as well as world stability.
During his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xu hailed the high-level growth of bilateral comprehensive partnership of strategic coordination, which brought along the fruitful cooperation of the two countries' armed forces.
Putin on his part praised the China-Russia all-around cooperation as one crucial factor for world peace and stability.

In Shanxi Province, Corrupt Military Officers Resisted Inspection with Gunshots 
Source: The Trend Magazine
Date: November 18, 2015
According to The Trend Magazine, the General Staff Department and General Political Department of the PLA organized a Joint Military Inspection and Law Enforcement Team that made an unexpected visit to the Shanxi Province Military Region Entertainment Club to do a corruption inspection. When the law enforcement staff ordered those "having-good-time" military officers to present their IDs, the military officers resisted and surrounded the law enforcement staff. The law enforcement team then fired some warning gunshots which failed to scatter the officers who surrounded them. When the law enforcement team tried to take away a leading officer, who was inciting the other officers to reject inspections, the military officers on the scene attacked back with cold gunshots.
Since 1989, former top leader Jiang Zemin has been implementing corruption strategies to win the support and loyalty of the CCP gang members and of army generals. In the over 10 years that Jiang was in power, the corruption in the PLA spread rapidly across the entire nation. The phenomena of making money through smuggling; lust as a form of entertainment; exchanges involving power and sex, as well as power and money; murdering witnesses; and fleeing overseas with huge amounts of money became very rampant. 

New recruits take training in Kashi, Xinjiang
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: November 19, 2015
The 300 new soldiers stationed in Kashi Prefecture, Xinjiang, have finished basic training and exercises, getting one step closer to becoming real warriors who defend the motherland at frontline.

China 'agrees to buy' 24 advanced fighter jets from Russia in US$2b deal
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 20, 2015
China has agreed to pay Russia US$2 billion for 24 Sukhoi-35 fighter jets, the most advanced combat plane the country exports, following nearly half a decade of negotiations, Russian media reported.
The agreement was reached following a closed-door meeting attended by representatives from each side in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, which lies northeast of the Heilongjiang border, news wire Tass said, citing an unnamed Russian official.
Beijing has yet to confirm the report.
National newspaper Izvestia reported the details of the contract, which will see China become the first foreign buyer of the Su-35.
Russia first signalled its intention to sell the fourth-generation jet in 2010, reportedly wanting China to buy 48. But Beijing grew less interested in the purchase after it successfully tested the J-15 jet, which it developed for its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

China’s top admiral says navy has shown ‘enormous restraint’ in face of US’ South China Sea provocations
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 20, 2015
China’s top admiral says his forces have shown “enormous restraint” in the face of U.S. provocations in the South China Sea, while warning that they stand ready to respond to repeated breaches of mainland sovereignty.
Beijing, which claims almost the entire energy-rich South China Sea through which US$5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes yearly, has stepped up a programme of land reclamation and construction in disputed islands and reefs in the area, which has sparked concern in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Chinese navy has closely monitored the provocative actions of the U.S. and issued several warnings, while exercising enormous restraint in the interests of safeguarding the overall situation in bilateral relations

Chinese Naval Admiral Warned U.S. Admiral to His Face
Source: Global Times
Date: November 20, 2015
Global Times recently reported that Chinese Naval Commander Admiral Wu Shengli met with U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift, who was visiting Beijing on November 19. Wu said in the meeting that China is strongly against the recent U.S.' “serious provocation” against China’s sovereignty by approaching Chinese islands too closely under the name of freedom of navigation. Wu asked the U.S. Navy to cherish the valuable U.S.-China relationship, stop threatening Chinese national security in the South China Sea, and carefully control the U.S.' maritime military activities. Swift replied that the U.S. Navy does not want to cast a shadow over the relationship of the two navies only because of the South China Sea situation. He called for more joint exercises to avoid potential misjudgments and accidents based on The Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

China makes breakthrough in electromagnetic missile launching technology
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: November 20, 2015
A research project on high-powered electromagnetic launching technology, conducted by the #206 research institute of the Second Academy’s China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC), has made major breakthroughs, according to a report on the CASIC website.
Li Yan, leader of the research team, explained that chemical energy launching technology is still widely used in modern warfare because of its great explosive power. However, it has many weaknesses: the launching process is irreversible and the emergency control is troublesome. Meanwhile, the traditional launching methods have already neared its speed limit. Applying electric energy to launching technology is an inevitable choice.
Focusing on common electromagnetic missile launching technology and electromagnetic launching technology for short-range barrage air defense, the technology developed by the research team has significantly improved the launching performance of the missiles as well as their exit velocity; it has also reduced the weight of the missile carrier mechanism and the operation and maintenance cost of the launcher. The electromagnetic launching technology is an indicator of the military's technical improvement, and will be applied to weapon equipment systems across different fields.

Over 20,000 candidates take PLA civilian personnel exam
Source: Xinhua
Date: November 22, 2015
Over 20,000 candidates took the 2016 national exam for the PLA civilian personnel recruitment, competing for some 2400 vacancies.
The competition for each position varies, with 234 applicants vying for one spot the most fierce competition.
According to the person in charge of the exam with the PLA General Political Department, this year has seen an improvement in the overall quality of applicants.
Official data shows 26 percent of the examinees have graduated from national key universities and colleges, 42 percent were with graduate diplomas or above and 29 percent had rich work experience.
Besides, 16 percent of all candidates have applied for the exam on more than one year.

Veterans receive secrecy inspection to target leaks
Source: Global Times
Date: November 24, 2015
An undisclosed military regiment in Hubei Province required its veterans to undergo a secrecy inspection and hand over any photos that may involve military secrets.
According to a report by the PLA Daily, a veteran's album filled with photos of training exercises has drawn officials' attention. A piece of late-model military equipment is faintly visible in three of his photos. The veteran, Zhao Jun, was later ordered to hand over or destroy the relevant pictures.
The regiment later found out that many veterans have kept documents related to military secrets. Secrecy education and tightened regulations were subsequently introduced by the regiment as anti-leak precautions, the PLA Daily reported.

China hits the launch button for massive PLA shake-up to create a modern, nimble force
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 25, 2015
Top leaders of the People’s Liberation Army were told the long-awaited overhaul of the armed forces had been launched, with the existing seven military commands to be regrouped into four strategic zones, sources close to the PLA said.
The restructure was formally announced at a plenary session of the leading group for national defence and military reform under the CMC.
The session was attended by President Xi Jinping and top leaders from the PLA’s four headquarters, seven key military commands, navy, air force, missile corps and armed police.
One of the sources told the South China Morning Post that Xi, who is also CMC chairman, urged the leaders to comply with what is expected to be a long and extensive restructuring.

World’s strongest ‘death beam’ from China still can’t fry an egg, but it could blind an enemy drone
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 25, 2015
Chinese scientists set a new record with powerful laser, which has potentially strong military applications but hampered by fact it only lasts for the blink of an eye.
Researchers from Shanghai have created the most powerful laser beam ever made with potentially wide-ranging applications in fields from nuclear physics to high-tech weaponry, according to their paper published in the latest issue of the Journal Optics Letters.
The beam reached a peak power of 5.13 petawatts (1 petawatt is equal to 1 billion millions watts), dwarfing the record set recently by Japanese scientists.
But the latest breakthrough appears to be grounded at present by an Achilles’ heel: It cannot sustain its peak power output for long, and lasted for less than 30 femtoseconds (30 quadrillionths of a second), according the to the team.
The new record was generated at the State Key laboratory of High Field Laser Physics under the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics.

Xi urges breakthroughs in military structural reform
Source: Xinhua
Date: November 26, 2015
Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged breakthroughs in reform of the country's armed forces by 2020, vowing to reorganize the current military administration structure and military command system.
Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the CMC, made the remarks at a meeting on reforming the armed forces which was held from Nov. 24 to 26.
A new structure will be established, in which the CMC takes charge of the overall administration of the PLA, the Chinese PAPF and the militia and reserve forces; battle zone commands focus on combats; and different military services pursue their own construction, Xi said.

PLA reforms put command efficiency first
Source: Global Times
Date: November 28, 2015
The establishment of a leadership body for the Chinese ground forces and joint operational command system will be highlighted in the upcoming military reform to boost the efficiency and modernization of the military, analysts said, a day after the country unveiled a major reform plan for its military.
The reform plan will focus on the improvement of the leadership and management system, restructuring of CMC’s departments and function reallocation, a joint operatioanl command organization and system to coordinate battle zone commands, Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the National Defense Ministry, said at a press briefing.
A leadership body will be founded to lead the ground forces of the PLA, which are currently supervised by four headquarters - the General Staff Headquarters, the General Political Department, the General Logistics Department and the General Armament Department. This is a major measure to improve the leadership and command system, Yang said.

China's peace commitment unchanged after military overhaul
Source: Xinhua
Date: November 27, 2015
China's plan to reorganize the current military administration structure and command system, will not affect the country's defense policy, which is "defensive in nature," a spokesman for the National Defense Ministry said on Friday.
Yang Yujun told a press conference that "Chinese armed forces will always be a staunch force to safeguard world peace and regional stability," after President Xi Jinping announced that all China's armed forces will be supervised and controlled by the top military organ, the CMC.

China unveils military revamp
Source: Global Times
Date: November 27
China has unveiled an outline of the highly-anticipated military reform plan, including a redrawing of the regional military command system and streamlining the leadership of the Communist Party of China, to develop a modern military system "capable of winning information-age warfare."
Analysts said the latest military reform marks a landmark adaption to the increasingly complicated global situation faced by the world's largest rising power.

China's President Xi Jinping wants ‘PLA Inc’ to stop its song and dance, plans end for profit-making activities
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 28, 2015
For decades, the PLA has profited from accepting civilian patients at military hospitals, leasing military warehouses to commercial firms, hiring PLA song and dance troupes for public events, outsourcing military construction companies, and opening military academies and institutions to public students.
The reforms were outlined on Thursday after a three-day military conference chaired by Xi.
When China opened up in 1978 to concentrate on economic development, leader Deng Xiaoping allowed PLA officers to profit from services to achieve greater self-sufficiency and cut the nation’s defence burden.

China's PLA reforms slash political posts as part of a 300,000 cut in non-combat personnel by 2017
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: November 29, 2015
Many rank-and-file political officers are expected to lose their jobs in the reform of the PLA.
However, the CPC's grip on the military's political ideology will be tightened with the setting up of a discipline commission that will take over the responsibilities for military discipline from political officers and their deputies in lower level military units.
A unique feature of the PLA means political officers - the most senior of whom are commissars - hold military rank equalling that of unit commanders to ensure the party's absolutely control over combat forces. Political officers, who exist at all levels, oversee discipline and manage non-combat units, including medical, communications, academies, promotion of personnel, as well as army entertainment troupes.

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