China’s Five Military Commands To Have Own Army, Air Force

  • Our Bureau
  • 09:29 AM, February 4, 2016
  • 4399
China’s Five Military Commands To Have Own Army, Air Force
China's President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi Jinping

China’s newly formed five military commands are expected to have their own army and air force, while naval forces are not likely to be deployed by all five commands.

China has established five military theatre commands and have disclosed the location of their army headquarters, Global Times reported citing an unnamed insider as saying.

The new theatre commands are identified by their strategic locations in east, south, west, north and central China and will base their army headquarters in Fuzhou, Fujian Province; Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Lanzhou, Gansu Province; Jinan, Shandong Province and Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, the source said.

The joint command centers will be located in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Shenyang, Liaoning Province and Beijing.

The new People's Liberation Army's (PLA) battle zone commands or theatre commands will replace the former seven military area commands which were based in Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Ji'nan, Shenyang, Lanzhou and Guangzhou.

The locations of the headquarters are based on earlier infrastructure that includes communication facilities. The work on military reform could start soon, the source said.

Under this system, the Central Military Commission (CMC) is the top command, the theater commands will be able to deploy forces in the region in combat, and each branch of the military will focus on training their respective troops.

The new system separates the combat and construction or logistic missions. The theater commands will focus on engagement, while the PLA army, navy and air force will focus on developing their respective forces, said the source.

There's no need to build a temporary command system when war erupts, as the joint operations of each theater command will suffice, which is also helpful for troops to successfully fulfil their training and mission, said the source.

The five commands will only deploy their own force against security threats, and they need to report to the CMC for additional support, the source said.

Global Times reported earlier this month that, China has unveiled 15 new organs of the CMC as seven departments, three commissions and five offices. The organs include a joint staff department, a discipline inspection commission and an audit office. They were reorganized from the People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s four headquarters - General Staff Headquarters, General Political Department, General Logistics Department and General Armament Department. 

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