The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is China’s armed forces of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to Shi Zangshan, Chinese affairs expert, Xi Jinping is quite worried about his control within the military sector. It’s not about how many officers he can command; it’s about how many of his loyalists are eligible for advancement. 

Shi said that Xi Jinping is filling the seats with trustworthy people and has promoted 67 military commanders to the rank of general since 2012. 

Xi promoted seven military and armed police personnel to the rank of general on Jan. 21.

According to Shi Zangshan, Xi is more concerned with bolstering his followers than recruiting high-caliber military professionals. The generals recently promoted were all born in the 1960s.

Shi Zangshan said that, First and foremost, Xi himself has no military history. Therefore, there are probably only a few people he can trust. The frequent replacement of officers at various ranks in recent years demonstrates this. The question is whether Xi can trust them. 

Secondly, he added that Xi could not select a leader capable of contemporary warfare. Military modernization, according to Shi, entails the PLA becoming more information-based. 

That implies a general should be knowledgeable about a modern battle, including satellites, rockets, information-based operations, electronic operations, army mechanization, and missiles. 

He explained that military personnel equipped with new skills are around 40 years old, while those eligible for advancement to CMC are in their 60s. 

On the other hand, the CMC has no room for those young officers. So even if those elderly cadres don’t know anything about all-out modern combat, members of the same set of old individuals will continue to fill the positions at the CMC.

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