China's Central Military Commission (CMC) on Saturday conferred the rank of general on 10 senior military officers in Beijing, bringing the total number of generals to 164.
CMC Chairman Hu Jintao awarded the officers certificates of command at the ceremony. An order for the promotion was announced by CMC Vic Chairman Guo Boxiong.
The senior officers are Liu Yongzhi, Sun Zhongtong, Chi Wanchun, Deng Changyou, Peng Xiaofeng, Pei Huailiang, Fu Tinggui, Yu Linxiang, Zhu Wenquan and Wang Jianmin.
They are political or military chiefs from the General Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the PLA's General Armament Department, the PLA Air Force and Second Artillery Force, the University of National Defense, Military Area Commands in Beijing, Lanzhou, Nanjing, and Chengdu.
China began to confer military ranks to military and police officers in 1955, when Chairman Mao Zedong promoted 10 senior officers, including Zhu De who assisted him to win over power, to the rank of marshal, the highest rank which was later abolished.
Premier Zhou Enlai then issued a degree to confer on 55 officers the rank of general and two more in 1956 and 1958.
Of the generals who participated in the revolutionary cause of establishing the People's Republic of China, three are still alive, including 101-year-old Lu Zhengcao, former vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the oldest.
In 1988, the CMC resumed the system after the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976 and since then, 108 senior military and police officers have been promoted to full general.
Hong Xuezhi, a CMC member in 1988, was the only officer to receive the honor twice in 1955 and 1988.
Under PLA regulations, military ranks for officers in active service are divided into 10 grades in three categories: general, lieutenant general and major general; senior colonel, colonel, lieutenant colonel and major; captain, first lieutenant and second lieutenant.
(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2006)