V. Armed Forces Building
In compliance with the general requirements of being qualified politi-cally and competent militarily and having a fine style of work, strict discipline and adequate logistical support, and focusing on the two historic tasks of being capable of winning and never degenerating, the PLA strives to strengthen its overall development and form a revolu-tionary, modernized and regularized people’s army.
The PLA strives to adapt itself to the characteristics of modern war-fare, takes enhancement of the capability of defensive operations under high-tech conditions as the main objective, and continuously strengthens and improves military training.
Over the past two years, the PLA has quickened its steps in trans-forming the training — from the conventional training to one featuring new technology. It has made full use of modern science and technol-ogy to organize and implement military training. In October 2000, the General Staff Headquarters organized a large-scale high-tech military exercise in the vicinity of Beijing and used such new and high tech-nologies as computer networking, reconnaissance sensing, ECM and simulation to drill and test the new operational concepts, weaponry and training methods. The latest achievements gained in military training featuring new technologies were exchanged among the troops.
In line with the new generation of operational doctrines, the PLA fo-cuses on the studies and training of joint operations. The annual regular exercises organized by the military area commands and ser-vices and arms all concentrate on joint operations. In the spring and summer of 2001, both Nanjing and Guangzhou military area com-mands organized field exercises with joint landing operations as the backdrop, focusing on the coordination of joint and combined arms landing operation, and drew useful lessons on how to organize, support and manage joint training, ground force amphibious landing training, and training of rapid reserve mobilization. In addition, the general headquarters/departments organized successive studies and exercises of communications and command at the joint operational level, train-ing of landing and mountain operations, and research on methods of joint penetration operations, and explored the features and patterns of integrated network and electronic warfare.
The PLA has enforced new military training regulations and strength-ened regularized training. On the basis of extensively absorbing the achievements of the armed forces’ training reform and the experience gained in troop training featuring new technologies, the General Staff Headquarters revised and adjusted the system of content of the PLA’s military training, promulgated the Outline of Military Training and Evaluation in July 2001, and organized a training course of the Out-line in a combined corps in northern China in September 2001. In September 2002, the CMC promulgated the new Regulations on Mili-tary Training of the PLA comprehensively and systematically standardizing the organization, leadership and administration of mili-tary training.
The PLA has continued to deepen the reform of institutional education. In line with the general concept of “running schools in large scale, modernizing teaching, regularizing administration and outsourcing lo-gistic support,” the PLA has further improved its new system of institutional education and established a teaching system consonant with military, sci-tech and educational developments. In recent years, on the basis of fulfilling the major construction tasks of 18 colleges and schools, 60 disciplines and 31 laboratories, the PLA has launched the Key Construction Project of Military Colleges and Schools, whereby efforts are being focused on 67 domains of disciplines and specialties, and 178 research centers. So far 58 have been qualified as state-level key disciplines and specialties. The general headquar-ters/departments have promulgated the first catalogue of disciplines and specialties of the PLA’s colleges and schools, thus setting up a new system of disciplines and specialties. Deepening teaching reform with teaching content as the focal point, colleges and schools of the PLA have formulated a new teaching program, implemented a key teaching material development project, and perfected the teaching ap-praisal system. At the same time, informationization and networking of teaching have been promoted, and an information network platform for the armed forces’ teaching and scientific research has been initially put in place, giving shape to a training information network linking PLA’s colleges and schools and having nearly 100,000 websites and centers.
The political work of the PLA is the ideological and organizational work of the CPC in the armed forces. It is the fundamental guarantee for the absolute leadership of the Party over the armed forces, and the assurance on maintaining and improving combat effectiveness of the troops. It is the lifeline of the PLA.
The PLA’s political work implements the aim of serving the people wholeheartedly; guarantees the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces; adheres to the principle of seeking unity between offi-cers and men and between the military and the people, and demoralizing and disintegrating the enemy, with ideological-political education as the central link; operates a system featuring political de-mocracy, economic democracy and military democracy; and enforces the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention. The PLA’s political work implements the Party committee (Party branch) system, political leader system and political organ system. The Party committee (Party branch) system stipulates that a Party committee shall be set up in a unit at or above the regiment level, a grass-roots Party committee in a unit at the battalion or corresponding level, and a Party branch in a unit at the company or corresponding level. Party committees (Party branches) at various levels are the core of the centralized leadership and unity of the unit concerned. The sys-tem of leading cadres assuming separate responsibilities under the unified collective leadership of the Party committee (Party branch) is the fundamental system for Party leadership over the armed forces. The political leader system stipulates that a political commissar shall be appointed to a unit at or above the regiment level, a political direc-tor to a battalion, and a political instructor to a company. The political commissar, political director and political instructor, together with the chief military officers at the same level, are the chief leaders of their units, assuming joint responsibility for all work in their units under the leadership of the Party committees (Party branches) at the same level. The political commissar, political director and political instructor are organizers of the day-to-day work of the Party committees (Party branches) and leaders of political work. The political organ system stipulates that a political department (section) shall be set up in a unit at or above the regiment level, and a general political department for the PLA; and that the political organs are the leading body of the po-litical work in a unit, responsible for administering Party work and organizing the implementation of the political work.
The political work of the PLA persists in advancing with the times, breaking new ground and making innovations, keeping pace with profound changes in the international situation and the military field, adapting itself to the rapid development of the socialist market econ-omy, striving to provide strong spiritual motivation for winning future high-tech wars, and furnishing a reliable political guarantee for main-taining the nature, character and work style of the people’s army. In recent years, the CPC Central Committee has promulgated the new Regulations on the Political Work of the PLA, the CMC has promul-gated the Outline for Armed Forces Construction at the Grass-Roots Level, and the General Political Department has released Decisions on Some Issues Concerning the PLA Ideological-Political Work Under the Conditions of the Reform and Opening-up and the Development of a Socialist Market Economy and Opinions on Strengthening and Improving Ideological-Political Education of the Army in the New Situation. The PLA has actively studied and implemented the impor-tant thought of the “Three Represents,” organized the rank and file to study the Constitution and other state laws, the Party’s basic theories, and scientific and cultural knowledge, and conducted education in pa-triotism, collectivism and revolutionary heroism by establishing military history museums in units at and above the regiment level, and honor exhibition in companies. The PLA has issued an ethical code for ser-vicemen, organized the composition of moral songs, set up a PLA-wide publicity, cultural and information network, improved cultural facilities in barracks, set up cultural clubs in companies, and established cultural centers in units at and above the regiment level. The PLA has carried out psychological education and legal consulta-tion, and has established psychological education and legal consultation mechanisms that rely mainly on brigade or regiment po-litical organs and grass-roots political officers and integrate the political work system with the related specialty system.
The PLA strives actively to reform its logistical structure and system, construct a modern logistical support system and constantly enhance its logistical support capabilities.
The introduction of the joint logistics system is a major reform of the logistical support system of the PLA. The joint logistics system is based on military area commands. It combines regional support with organic system support and general supply support with special supply support. Unified general-purpose material supply and service support are provided by military area commands, and special material supply and service support are provided by the services and arms through their organic channels. The General Logistics Department is in charge of the PLA’s joint logistics work. The military area command’s joint logistics department is in charge of the joint logistics work within a theater of war. And the joint logistics sub-department is mainly re-sponsible for organizing and implementing the general-purpose support of the services and arms within its support area. After more than two years’ practice of reform, the joint logistics system has been standard-ized gradually with notably improved efficiency. The system will be further developed into one that integrates the three armed services, unites the army with the people, and combines peacetime and wartime footing.
In order to streamline the logistical support organizations and improve the cost-effectiveness of defense expenditures, the PLA has carried out a reform featuring the socialization of logistical support in non-combat units at and above the corps level, and in military colleges and schools and hospitals in large and medium-sized cities. After nearly three years of effort, substantial progress has been achieved in this regard, including reform in food and commercial services, bar-racks, and the administration of civilian employees. Reform has also been carried out, on a trial basis, in non-military transportation, fuel supply and the monetized supply of clothing. So far, the PLA has al-ready had more than 1,500 messes run by civilian services, more than 1,000 post exchanges integrated into civilian service systems, more than 1,800 barracks managed by real estate companies, approximately 300 support enterprises and farms transferred to central and local au-thorities, reducing a total number of more than 300,000 institutional and business employees. In order to promote the reform of socializa-tion of military logistical support and to ensure the development of the reform, in September 2002, the State Council and the CMC issued an Announcement Concerning the Issues of Advancing the Reform of Military Logistical Support, and in October, the CMC approved and transmitted the General Logistics Department’s Opinions on Some Is-sues Concerning the Socialization of Military Logistical Support.
In March 2001, the PLA began to reform the budgetary planning sys-tem. Drawing on the internationally adopted budgeting method, the PLA reformed its budgeting form, method and content extensively, with emphasis placed on implementation of the zero-base budget method, so as to give full play to the budget’s macro-control role and gradually establish a new budgeting pattern featuring the concentra-tion of financial power and resources, scientific distribution of military expenditures, concrete and transparent itemization, and tight supervi-sion and control.
In January 2002, the PLA carried out an across-the-board reform of the procurement system, focusing mainly on concentrated procure-ment and procurement through public bidding, and set up a mechanism for sectional management, which features cooperation with proper di-vision of labor and mutual restriction. High-value, large-quantity, general-purpose materials are procured in a concentrated way by relying mainly on the material procurement departments. Bulk materi-als with one-time procurement value exceeding RMB 500,000 yuan, and projects newly built, expanded, or revamped each involving an investment of over RMB 2 million yuan are undertaken through public bidding.
Currently, the method of combining military support with social sup-port, government house with self-owned house, and supply in kind with supply in money is adopted for PLA officers’ housing system. Officers of all ranks and all military branches are provided with ap-propriate housing support. Active-service officers live mainly in government houses. Retired officers are entitled mainly to purchase the houses they are living in or other affordable houses. Demobilized officers and noncommissioned officers transferred to civilian posts should be ensured of housing benefits mainly by subsidies and incor-poration into the social security system.
The PLA constantly strengthens the development of its logistical equipment and upgrades its logistical support means. In 2001, it carried out coordinative experiments in the overall support capability of logistical equipment organically and systematically; developed logistical equipment in seven aspects — rapid maritime rescue and treatment of the wounded, shore party support, air field support, mo-bility support for missile units, air-dropped material support, individual support and field logistics command; and completed the demonstra-tion, R&D and testing of 86 kinds of new equipment. In order to obtain and process information on the resources, requirements and conditions of logistical support real-time and in a precise and trans-parent way, the PLA is doing research on a video logistics system. In July 2002, the CMC promulgated the Regulations on the Logistical Equipment of the PLA to promote the regularized development of lo-gistical equipment.
In line with the needs of high-tech military developments and defense operations, the PLA conscientiously implements the principle of building a strong military through science and technology and giving first place to quality, so as to upgrade and accelerate the development of military equipment.
The weaponry and equipment management system and mechanism have further improved. Following the founding of the General Arma-ments Department in April 1998, the services and arms, military area commands and combat units at the corps, division and regiment levels have all set up their armaments departments (sections), and further strengthened unified leadership over weaponry and equipment devel-opment, and the across-the-board and life-cycle management of military equipment, thus effectively improving the overall efficiency. In December 2000, the CMC promulgated the first Regulations on Armaments of the PLA, which standardizes the organization and lead-ership, division of responsibilities and management procedures of the PLA’s armament-related work. The CMC promulgated the Regula-tions on the Armament Maintenance Work of the PLA in June 2002, and the Outline of Operational Equipment Support of the PLA in Oc-tober 2002. These rules and regulations concerning armament-related work have promoted the development of the work along scientific, regularized and legal lines.
The modernization level of weaponry and equipment has undergone constant improvement. The PLA persists in stressing self-reliance and independent innovation, and actively develops military equipment with advanced foreign technology. In compliance with the needs of future defense operations in high-tech conditions, the PLA mainly de-velops weaponry and equipment featuring new and high technology, while upgrading and modernizing current weaponry and equipment selectively, so as to accomplish the historical tasks of mechanization and IT-application of military equipment. A Chinese-style weaponry and equipment system, with a relatively complete variety and a good structure, has thus come into shape.
Weaponry and equipment management capability has been notably enhanced. The PLA manages and uses existing weaponry and equip-ment conscientiously and in a proper way, and constantly enhances its ability to manage new-type weapons. The forces at and below the corps level have universally established and improved rules and regu-lations for weaponry management, exercised standardized management of equipment-related finance, and carried out examina-tion and appraisal relating to the scientific, institutional and regular management of weaponry and equipment. At the same time, they have organized training courses in the use and management of new-type equipment, trained personnel in equipment management and techno-logical support, improved the management of support facilities, and succeeded in developing the combat and support capabilities of mili-tary equipment organically and systematically.
The weapon and equipment procurement system is being gradually reformed. The PLA seeks actively to meet the requirements of the so-cialist market economy and improvement of weapons and equipment, and vigorously promotes the reform. The armament departments per-form the functions of the principal responsible party in weapon and equipment ordering, and institutes contractual management in the re-search, procurement and maintenance of weapons and equipment in accordance with state and PLA regulations. In recent years, the PLA has persisted in introducing the mechanism of competition into its procurement process, gradually instituted a public bidding and ten-dering system, introduced and improved mechanisms of competition, appraisal, supervision and motivation, further strengthened the foster-ing of factory-based military representatives, and perfected the quality certification system, thereby improving the efficiency of the weapon and equipment expenditures, and the cost-effectiveness of weaponry research and production.
The PLA persists in taking the training of high-quality military per-sonnel of a new type as a fundamental measure for promoting a leapfrog development of the armed forces’ modernization.
Cadres of the PLA include officers and non-ranking cadres. In recent years, the PLA has constantly raised the training level of officer can-didates, adjusted the sources of officer candidates, and established a scientific and justified system for training such candidates, resulting in a marked improvement in the training level, quality and efficiency of military personnel. At present, more than 80% of the PLA’s cadres have received junior college or higher education. More than 30,000 have doctor’s or master’s degrees, and many of them hold leading posts at the division or regiment level. At the same time, in order to draw on the useful armed forces building experiences of other coun-tries, particularly developed countries, the PLA has since 1996 sent nearly 1,000 servicemen to study in over 20 countries, a considerable number of them being commanding or technical officers at the divi-sion or regiment level.
Both the Law of the PRC on Officers in Active Service passed by the Standing Committee of the NPC in December 2000 and the Regula-tions on Non-Ranking Officers of the PLA issued by the CMC in June 1999 explicitly stipulate that commanding officers and non-ranking officers without technical specialty, as well as ranking officers with technical specialty and non-ranking officers with technical specialty should receive training at relevant colleges and schools or other train-ing institutions before their promotion; and that cadres in leading organs should have undergone training at appropriate colleges or schools. Cadre’s on-the-job training is gradually undergoing a change from academic credentials education to all-round continuing education. Except for a small number of cadres who have to take academic cre-dentials education, the overwhelming majority of cadres would update their knowledge mainly through short-term training.
In May 2000, the State Council and the CMC promulgated the Deci-sion on Establishing a System for Training Military Cadres by Reliance on Regular Institutions of Higher Learning, clearly stressing the role of regular higher education in the modernization of national defense and the armed forces, so as to widen the channel for the selec-tion and training of high-caliber personnel for the military. So far, more than 50 institutions of higher learning, including Peking Univer-sity and Tsinghua University, have undertaken the task of training personnel for the armed forces, providing a large batch of outstanding personnel for the PLA each year.
To meet the requirement of building a strong military through science and technology, the PLA pays great attention to the training of high-level personnel. In the past two years, the PLA’s mobile post-doctoral stations and doctor’s or master’s degree authorization centers have increased by large margins, the academic degree authori-zation system has been improved gradually, and the training scale has been enlarged substantially. In May 2002, the Academic Degree Commission under the State Council examined and approved the Plan of Setting Up Specialties for the Master Degree of Military Science, and decided on the setting up of specialties for the master degree of military science as an experiment, marking a new stage in the training of high-level professionals for the armed forces.
The PLA regards the exchange of cadres as an important channel for training and tempering them and raising their quality. The Law of the PRC on Officers in Active Service further clarifies and standardizes the exchange of officers. The Regulations on the Appointment and Re-moval of the PLA Officers in Active Service promulgated by the CMC in January 2002 lays down concrete stipulations on the condition, scope, organization and implementation of officer exchange. In ac-cordance with the Interim Provisions on the Rotation of Cadres of the PLA Garrison in Hong Kong promulgated in December 1998, a regu-lar rotation system has been instituted for all cadres of the garrison force in Hong Kong, and three batches of cadres have so far been ro-tated. A rotation system of this kind has also been instituted for the PLA Garrison in Macao.