The aim of the reforms will be to allow closer coordination of land, naval and air forces. Closer coordination will allow more effective use of the military in the South China Sea, against Taiwan and near the Koreas and Japan.
China’s Communist Party congress that opens next week is supposed to touch on the hottest issues in the giant, growing yet still largely enigmatic country. The twice-per-decade event in Beijing should give Chinese President Xi Jinping another five years as party chief and chairman of the Central Military Commission. That go-ahead would, in turn, let Xi work harder on military reforms described as the farthest reaching since Communist China was formed in 1949. The idea is to reduce the clout of the People’s Liberation Army by bringing it under a central command that would coordinate operations with the navy and air force.
Any clashes involving that level of command would most likely occur off Chinese coasts involving its restive neighbors such as Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. U.S. forces, with bases in Guam and Okinawa, could also jump in, especially if U.S. President Donald Trump finally loses all patience with missile tests in North Korea, which is backed by Beijing. China hopes someday to unify with Taiwan, a nearby self-ruled island that Xi’s leadership calls part of Chinese territory. But most Taiwanese have said in opinion surveys they prefer autonomy. Beijing hasn’t ruled out the use of force, if needed.
“If the reforms are successful, the PLA could field a joint force more capable of undertaking operations along the contingency spectrum, including high-end operations against the U.S. military, allied forces in the Western Pacific, and Taiwan,” China military scholars Joel Wuthnow and Phillip Saunders argue in a 2013 paper published by the Institute of National Strategic Studies under the National Defense University in Washington.
From CIW NEWS Contributor
China (CN) is estimated to have a population of 1,380.0 million with a growth rate during 2010-2015 of 0.5% pa.
At the same rate of change, in five years' time its population will increase by 34.8 million.