Production and Construction Corps
Before the Cultural Revolution, the Production and Construction Corps was a paramilitary organization of 3 to 4 million people under joint government, party, and PLA control. The Production and Construction Corps was used in remote and unproductive areas to build roads, reclaim land, construct defense and water works, and operate mines, state farms, and industrial plants. A secondary role was border defense, and some units were armed with light infantry weapons. All received basic military training. Unlike the militia, Production and Construction Corps personnel were full time and uniformed.
The PLA took over the Production and Construction Corps during the Cultural Revolution, then civilianized it in the 1970s. In the 1980s the corps appeared to have been abolished except in Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region. There it operated under regional party and government organizations, the Xinjiang Military District, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Fishery.
On 31 July 2018Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, stressed resolute efforts to terminate all paid services provided by the armed forces. Xi made the call while presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on this issue. Military's paid services generally refer to those provided by the armed forces such as kindergarten education, publishing services, and real estate rentals to the civilian sector.
The implementation allows no exception, discount or makeshift compromise, Xi said, noting that such work is a major decision made by the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission aiming to strengthen and revitalize the armed forces as well as an important part in reforming national defense and the armed forces. He also stressed that ending military paid services would create a sound environment for building a strong military in the new era.
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