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People's Daily Online

PLA ideology struggles 'acute'

People's Daily Online

(Global Times) 13:56, October 23, 2014

Army called on to remain loyal to Party's leadership

The Central Military Commission (CMC) warned on Wednesday that ideological struggles within the People's Liberation Army (PLA) are 'acute and complicated,' and called for the military to remain loyal to the Party's leadership.

The CMC published an article advocating that the army be run according to rules and regulations on the front page of the PLA Daily on Wednesday.

The article echoes the main theme of the Fourth Plenum of the Central Committee of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which focused on strengthening the nation's governance through the rule of law.

Military reform has entered 'uncharted waters' with concerns growing that reform could be impeded by 'structural problems,' according to the article.

The CMC said that among the problems facing the army, the struggle over ideology has been 'exceptionally acute and complicated.' Different ideologies and new ideas that have emerged in Chinese society have penetrated the military, and will have a disruptive impact, it claimed.

'There have been some public intellectuals advocating the nationalization of the army through disaffiliating it from the Party's leadership,' PLA Major General Luo Yuan told the Global Times.

Luo's comments were echoed by Xu Guangyu, another military expert and senior consultant at the Chinese Military Disarmament Control Council. Xu said 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 called for the army to be 'steadfast in their actions' and submit to the Party's authority and to the CMC.

The CPC announced a series of military reforms at a plenary session of the CPC Central Committee in November 2013 that pushed for the PLA's modernization via major organizational restructuring, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xi Jinping, who is also the chairman of the CMC, outlined plans to build a more combat-ready military at a time of increasing tensions with neighboring countries, such as Japan.

The CMC also vowed in the article that it would deal with disciplinary issues in the army using established rules and regulations.

'With China currently experiencing a relatively peaceful period, it is easy for the army to neglect its regulations and the rule of law. The army has to address the corruption problem,' Xu said on Wednesday.

Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of CMC, was placed under investigation for corruption. He became the highest-ranking military official brought down in the sweeping nationwide anti-corruption campaign. Investigators claim that he took advantage of his post to secure promotions for individuals and accepted bribes.

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