President Xi Jinping’s efforts have centered on marginalizing the four so-called “general departments” of the PLA that functioned as a virtual arm of government and had undermined the authority of the civilian-led Central Military Commission (CMC).
He also transformed China’s military operations from a Russian-style, army-centric system toward what analysts call a “Western-style joint command”; and swiftly promoted “young guards” to top positions in the officer corps.
Judging from the list of military and police delegates to the forthcoming congress where China’s future leaders are to be unveiled, the largest turnover of senior officers in the history of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is set to occur.
90% of the 300 military delegates will be first-time attendees. At most, only 17% (seven of 41) of the military representatives with full membership on the 18th Central Committee will retain their seats. This would constitute the largest-ever turnover of military elite in the history of the PRC.