China embarked on a long march of deepening military reform

Two arresting gear officers watch as a J-15 fighter jet prepares to land on the flight deck of the Chinese PLA Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning on Nov. 8, 2016.
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Nov. 24, 2015 marked a fresh start in the history of the Chinese Armed Forces, as thenation embarked on a long march of deepening military reform.

One year on, the blueprint of the reform are clearer, and the commitment to building astrong military has become stronger.

Amid profound and complicated changes in the international situation and the country’songoing efforts in revitalizing the Chinese nation, China has entered a key stage oftransforming itself from a big country to a strong power, which calls for greater courage inadvancing military reform.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, the centralauthority has championed improving combat capabilities as the ultimate goal of building astrong army.

Hence, a new round of reforms focusing on removing systematic barriers that hindermilitary development have been rolled out.

In December 2015, military flags were conferred on the general command for the PLAArmy, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force; Days later, Chinareshuffled its military headquarters under the Central Military Commission, the country’stop military organ; In February, the military was regrouped into five PLA theatercommands.

However. Reform does not end here. China has also been working hard to build up itsmilitary capacity through civilian-military integration and innovation-drivendevelopment.

Over the past years, the country has strived to develop its national defense technology byharnessing the “Made in China 2025” and “Internet Plus” programs as well as cutting-edgeinformation technology, such as big data.

Meanwhile, anti-graft efforts have been enhanced, contributing to the building of a cleanmilitary.

Despite of the remarkable achievements, arduous tasks remain.

Following the optimization of the military administration and command structure, thescale and structure of troops is set to be reviewed next.

China has announced a cut of 300,000 standing troops to be finished by the end of 2017, aiming to build a more elite and efficient military.

The country is resolved to advance the reform, to lay a solid foundation for nationaldefense and military development in next decades.

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