Geopolitics

China’s Rocket Forces: Is Something Rotten in the State of Denmark?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 11 Oct , 2023

Introduction

The “core” concern for the ruling Chinese Communist Party –Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng (CCP) leadership is – Taiwan. Without a reunification of Taiwan with the mainland, the CCP leadership is simply illegitimate and underscores the fact that China’s civil war remains unfinished and revolution incomplete. At the 20th Party Congress (ershi da), President, General Secretary & CMC Chairman Xi Jinping stated, “Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is, for the Party, a historic mission and an unshakable commitment”. Although CCP leadership has valued its military as a last resort for this reunification purpose, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA; Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn) remains at the core of Chinese strategies. At the 19th National Congress of the CCP in 2017 it was announced that the ‘great rejuvenation’ (Zhōnghuámínzú Wěidà Fùxīng) of the Chinese nation needs to be achieved by 2049, and that the -reunification – of China is a condition for that[1].It is the PLA that eventually guarantees the success of all the non-military efforts made by the CCP for reunification including the very idea of – “peaceful reunification”. Reunification even under a one country-two system framework necessarily implies the stationing of PLA garrison in Taiwan following a reunification whether peaceful or otherwise[2]. One Country, Two Systems is seen as a“great innovation” of socialism with Chinese characteristics and founded on two conditions – 1) administration by patriots & 2) enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security. Capitalist system and way of life remain unchanged but only in long-term within one country, two system policy[3].

At the 20th Party Congress Xi noted that “peaceful reunification” remained Beijing’s preferred means of handling the island, and will never promise to renounce the use of force. However, he added that the systems for safeguarding national security were “inadequate”, and China’s capacity for responding to various major risks was – “insufficient”[4]. Many shortcomings were affecting the modernization of national defense and the military[5].Establishment of a “strong system of strategic deterrence” is at the core of President Xi vision for safeguarding China’s national defense and security and directly implicates the newly established Rocket Forces. China’s use of force is specifically directed against “foreign interference” and in this regard China’s Rocket Forces (PLARF, Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Huǒjiàn Jūn) have come to become central to China’s military planning after an extended military exercise ruled out the operational possibility of an amphibious assault across the Taiwan Strait[6]. Given the centrality of the rocket forces, multiple events and reports suggest that its top leadership has been compromised and stands infiltrated by foreign powers. The PLARF is directly subordinate to the Central Military Commission (CMC) administratively, while nuclear forces are subordinate to their individual bases, in wartime are placed under direct operational control of the CMC and remains a specialized branch which until 2016 was known as the PLA Second Artillery Force.Following one in decades military reforms based on Xi’s military thought since 2015 an unprecedented expansion from 29 to 39 PLARF brigades represented a more than 33%increase in size in only three years between 2017-19[7]. This was followed by an apparent massive expansion of the PLARF’s silo-based ICBM force in 2021[8]. According to James Martin for Nonproliferation Studies report(June, 2023), “the PLARF is now on track to deploy more than 1,000 ballistic missile launchers by2028, including at least 507 nuclear capable launchers, 342 to 432 conventional launchers, and 252 dual-capable launchers. At least 320 solid-fueled fixed ICBM silos and 30 liquid-fueled fixed ICBM silos are currently under construction in addition to China’s growing arsenal of mobile ICBM launchers”[9].

S/No Name of Weapon Year of Commission Type of Weapon
1 Dongfeng (DF) -5

东风- 5

1981 First continental ballistic missile capable of striking the US. Upgraded to DF-5A (1981) /5B (2015)
2 Dongfeng (DF) -21

东风–21

1991 PLA’s first road-mobile ballistic missile system. Variants include dual nuclear/conventional capable variant (DF-21C) and ASBM DF-21-D
3 Dongfeng (DF) -11

东风 – 11

1992 Short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) – now relaced with DF -11A with extended ranges 600 Km
4 Dongfeng (DF) -15

东风 – 15

1990 Short-range ballistic missile(SRBM)
5 Cháng JiànCJ)-10

长剑-10

2006 (appx) First Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM)
 

6

 

 

Dongfeng (DF) -31/31A/31AG

东风–31/31A/31AG

 

2006/07/18

First Road Mobile ICBM (now retired) – replaced with DF -31 A. Themajority of DF-31A units have upgraded to the DF-31AG system.
7 Dongfeng (DF) -21D

东风–21D

2012 Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM)
8 Dongfeng (DF) -41

东风 – 41

2020 Road Mobile ICBM (Likely replacement for DF-5)
9 Dongfeng (DF) -26

东风 – 26

2016 Dual Nuclear-Conventional IRBM
10 Dongfeng (DF) -17

东风 – 17

2021 Hyper-Sonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) – will partially replace DF-11A
11 DF-21A,DF-21C Retired Older medium and intermediate-range missile force.

Overview of Missiles Placed under PLARF Command[10]    

Military Purges: Projecting Instability for Loyalty

A day before the 96th anniversary of the PLA on 31 July China appointed Deputy Commander of the PLA Navy Wang Houbin as its Commander of the Rocket Force and Xu Xisheng as its political commissar replacing General Li Yuchao and Commissar Xu Zhingbo[11]. On 01 August, the official military newspaper ran a commentary calling on military personnel to be loyal to, support, safeguard and defend Xi as the “core” of the Communist Party. It further added,“We must enhance military governance … persist in efforts to rectify conduct, instill discipline and fight corruption,”. The leadership changes in the Rocket Force are “rumored” to be closely linked with the month-long disappearance of China’s Foreign Minister and former Ambassador to the US Qin Gang and his replacement with former Foreign Minister and Director of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Foreign Affairs Commission Office Wang Yi. It is reported that a total of 8-17 senior level officers have been removed from their position within the Rocket Forces as the result of a thorough investigation being conducted by the CMC. Officers from outside the Rocket Forces now hold commanding positions such as the PLA Army’s Deputy Commander Bi Yi and the Deputy Commander of the Central Military Theater (2017-21) Zhu Xiao-Song. According to a former PLAN officer -Lt. Col. Yao Cheng –[12] the arrest and investigation of Wei Feng He – the first Commander of the Rocket Force (October 2012 – September 2017) – was central to the success of the investigation and that these investigations have less to do with corruption and more with loyalty[13]. General (Shang Jian) Wei Feng He was the first commander of the Rocket Forces coming from the PLA General Staff Department and predecessor of the China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu who is also rumored to have disappeared at the time of writing this essay when he did not show up at meetings with the Vietnamese delegation and Singapore’s Defense Minister. On 15 September a report in The Washington Post confirmed this rumor while citing US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel who suggested that “Li had been placed under house arrest” and will be removed from his current position as China’s Defense Minister[14]. Defense Minister Li was last seen at the Moscow Conference on International Security (15 August) wherein he stated, “attempts to “use Taiwan to contain China,” would “surely end in failure”[15] and delivered a keynote speech to the plenary session of the Third China-Africa Peace and Security Forum in Beijing on 29 August[16].On June 04, Li while speaking at the Shangri la Dialogue stated that, “conflict with the United States would be an “unbearable disaster” but that his country sought dialogue over confrontation and the world was big enough for China and the U.S. to grow together”[17]. General Li was due to attend an annual gathering on defense cooperation hosted by Vietnam on its border with China on Sept 7 to 8 but the meeting was postponed after Beijing told Hanoi days before the event that the minister had a “health condition”[18]. This won’t be the first instance of purge against a member of CMC, previously Fang Fenghui former chief of the Central Military Commission’s Joint Staff Department was removed from the party and sentenced to life in prison for corruption in 2019[19] and Zhang Yang, former head of the Central Military Commission’s Political Work Department, who committed suicide, had been punished posthumously by the military for acts of corruption[20].

Also under investigation is the leadership (General Zhang Youxia, Li Shangfu and Xu Xueqiang) of the Equipment Development Department (since 2016) of the CMC – formerly known as People’s Liberation Army General Armaments Department (GAD) founded in April 1998 to oversee induction of military technology in PLA. This PLA top brass are also under sanction from the US as per the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for procurement of aircrafts (SU-35) and missile equipment (S-400) from Russia’s Rosoboronexport. On 31 August, China’s Ministry of Defense stated that it will, “crack down on every corrupt official …. we will investigate every case and crack down on every corrupt official[21].” Also, in late August CMC Vice Chairman General Zhang Youxia – also under investigation – admitted the deeply rooted equipment quality problems in PLA and stated that, “the PLA needs supplies that can meet our needs in any real battles and struggles.” He further stated the necessity of mobilizing the civilian and military apparatus to enhance equipment quality[22]. A notice to the public in July by its military procurement unit to inform the Chinese government of any information regarding corruption in military procurement dating back to 2017 when the now missing Defense Minister Li Shangfu took charge of this unit underscores the fact that – something is seriously rotten in the state of Denmark [Shakespear’s Hamlet][23]. Given the requirement of absolute command of the Party, inter-service personnel changes at the top echelon of the PLA have implicated officers from the Strategic Support Force (SSF)&Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). The now missing Defense Minister Li served as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Strategic Support Force. In late September, Zhang Shengmin – Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection&member of CMC – did not show up for an important meeting as well. There are at the least three plausible theories explaining the disappearances and eventual sacking of top military leaders in PLA;

Theory 1:The corruption cases among the top officials of the PLARF was triggered by General Wei Feng He’s exit audits[24]. Many of the senior positions now held under Xi are protégées of General Wei including Defense Minister Li Shangfu who had their career development during Jiang and Hu era. The case of Guo Boxiong, the alleged leader of the “Northwest faction” in the PLA[25] who was central to military appointments under Jiang as the Vice Chairman of CMC before retiring in 2012 and later prosecuted in 2016 along with his key aid Xu Caihou is central to this theory[26].

Theory 2: Unearthing of a spy case involving PLARF General’s son studying in the US leaking some sensitive information pertaining to PLARF to US intelligence community. An open spy war has been declared between the US & its allies and China following secret visit of the US CIA Chief William Burns to China when he stressed on the importance of maintaining open lines of communication in intelligence channels between Washington and Beijing[27]. Following this secret visit while speaking at the Aspen Security Conference on 20 July at Colorado he disclosed that the CIA was rebuilding its human intelligence network in China after a major counter-intelligence efforts by China aided by the betrayal of a CIA agent led to the loss of its recruited-agent networks[28]. The PLARF General Lt. Gen. Wu Guohua died on 04 July & according to his former boss Zhang Xiaoyang this was a suicide[29]. It is rumoured that Wu Guohua is known to Qin Gang’s alleged mistress Fu Xiaotian.

Theory 3: A general political cleansing of remnants of Jiang and Hu loyalists. Upon taking over office, President Xi held the view that the Jiang & Hu era ruling class“either eat and drink themselves to grave or die between the sheets”.Much of the senior leadership of PLA today represent the choices made during Jiang & Hu era. This general approach towards corruption is not limited to the party & PLA, but the leadership from all walks of Chinese society. Theory 1 & 2 can be seen as subsets of this general anti-graft approach. In 2015, China’s ruling Communist Party said it punished nearly 300,000 officials for corruption[30].

2027: Xi’s Vision for the PLA

Along with achieving the goals for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army in 2027, a key strategic task put forward by President Xi while delivering his report to the 20th NPC in October, 2022 was – “quickly elevating our people’s armed forces to world-class standards”. The term “world-class standards” is open to interpretation and put simply it means in Xi’s self-perception the PLA is yet not an Army capable of taking on and defeating the western militaries (NATO) and such a standard must be achieved by 2049. Yet another crucial effort being made in pursuit of Xi’s vision for the PLA is – “political loyalty in the military”. This vision envisages – Party building across the board in the people’s armed forces to ensure that they always obey the Party’s command and improvement in the institutions and mechanisms for implementing the “system of ultimate responsibility” resting with the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (Zhōngyāng jūnshì wěiyuánhuì). The vision for the PLA is a sub-set of Xi’s overall plan to strengthen the overall leadership of the Party and the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee[31].

Enhance political loyalty in the military
Strengthen the military through reform
Science and technology
Personnel training
Run the military in accordance with the law

Goals for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army in 2027

Xi’s military thought links the achievement of goals for the centenary of the PLA and its elevation to world-class standards (strategic tasks) with “building a modern socialist country in all respects”. To this end, Xi’s military thought seeks to strengthen military and its strategy for a “new era” while maintaining the Party’s “absolute leadership” over the people’s armed forces.Xi’s military thought further seeks to employ PLA’s strategic capabilities for defending China’s “development interests” along with traditional domains – sovereignty&security and integrate national strategies with strategic capabilities.Integrated development of the military through mechanization, informatization, and the application of smart technologies and work faster to modernize military theory, organizational forms, personnel, and weaponry and equipment is at the core of Xi’s military thinking along with special emphasis on “combat preparedness” and “combat readiness”. On 07 November, 2020 a set of guidelines on “joint combat operations” for the PLA was signed by Xi and brought into effect – how to fight future wars and also stress the importance of combat preparedness[32]. The key objective behind intensified troop training and combat preparedness is for – “people’s armed forces can fight and win”. However, the emphasis in Xi’s military thought is on being adept at deploying PLA on a “regular basis” and in “diversified ways” and by bringing“steadfastness and flexibility”in military operations Xi’s military thought seeks to shape China’s security posture, deter and manage crises and conflicts, and win local wars[33]. In order to achieve these objectives as guided by Xi’s military thought the following tasks are being undertaken;

Studying and gaining a good grasp of the characteristics of informatized and intelligent warfare and the laws that govern it. Improve the command system for joint operations and enhance our systems and capacity for reconnaissance and early warning, joint strikes, battlefield support, and integrated logistics support.
Establishment of a “strong system of strategic deterrence”. Military training under combat conditions, laying emphasis on joint training, force-on-force training, and high-tech training.
Increase the proportion of new-domain forces with new combat capabilities. Development of modern logistics, implement major projects to develop defense-related science and technology, weaponry, and equipment, and move faster to translate scientific and technological advances into combat capabilities.
Development of unmanned, intelligent combat capabilities, and promote coordinated development and application of the network information system. 1)         Build a strong system for training new types of military personnel, and develop new ways to manage military human resources.

Overview of PLA Modernization 2022-23

Conclusion: The Contradiction

Xi’s military thought on strengthening military[34]makes unremitting efforts to improve conduct, enforce discipline, and combat corruption in the military. The Gutian Conference on Military Political Work (2014) initiated the process to promote “Party’s full and rigorous self-governance and govern the military with strict discipline”[35]. While advocating abandoning outdated practices in the military, this conference called for “fighting corruption & punishing vice” & “party self – governance with stricter, harsher, and more punitive discipline”. There is an in-built contradiction in myriad of events taking place in China’s effort to modernize its armed forces. The corruption cases leading to dismissal of senior leaders in CMC, PLARF, etc. is but an ongoing process and there is a rich history of senior party leaders in key positions being sentenced to life or execution not just with respect to cases of economic offense but also spying for foreign powers. What’s now unravelling in power corridors of CPC and PLA is just the tip of the iceberg and is systemic in nature. Dismissal of individuals has no impact on the systemic nature of corruption in China given the political structure that centralizes power at specific points at all levels. According to Xi, “Privilege-seeking mindsets and practices posed a serious problem, and some deeply shocking cases of corruption had been uncovered”[36]. He further blames this situation on a lack of clear understanding and effective action as well as a slide toward weak, hollow, and watered-down Party leadership in practice and wavering in their political conviction. Xi’s political-military thought seeks to use the “cause” of the problem as its “solution” and thus operating with an intense contradiction. For example, during a CMC conference in 2018 Xi stated, “we must strengthen the confinement of power, leaving no back doors for abuse of power”[37]. By intensifying party leadership over military affairs,the possibility of corruption increases as it reinforces a centralized power structure that’s prone to corruption – contradiction (mao dun)[38]. Furthermore, China is walking away from its age-old philosophy by building a “strong army”. According China’s traditional military thought – An army will be shattered when it becomes strong; trees will snap when they grow strong (bing qiang ze mie, mu qiang ze she)[39]. It is more likely that the China will succumb under the weight of its own contradiction, or else the world will see the first Marxist-Leninist ideology run party armed with a world class military – a less likely but possible outcome.A world – class military by definition does not tolerate political interference and has come into being given the evolutionary relationship between military and society[40].The present situation when viewed from China’s socio-political context is but normal[41] – “offend a few thousand rather than fail 1.4 billion”[42].Emphasis on PLA’s loyalty & political guarantee to the CCP spells a lack of legitimacy of the party and fear more than anything else. Fear is the result of hatred for anything non-aligned with party ideology – a new form of corruption[43].

In conclusion, while it is true that something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark, symbolic meaning of this phrase from Shakespeare’s play[44] does not apply to China’s situation given that unlike in the play, Chinese leadership guided by Xi’s military thought is well aware of the problem and is making an unremitting struggle (Bùxiè fèndòu) to resolve the problem.Will it succeed remains a question to be answered by – time – alone. In the meanwhile, dismissal of commanders as part of an ongoing campaign against corruption not limited to the fast-expanding PLARF engaged in the pursuit of “strategic deterrence” is political and not operational in nature[45].

——————————

[1]Cui Lei (2021), “Mainland China is in no position to take Taiwan by force” East Asia Forum, 26 February.

[2]Article 8 of the Anti-Secession Law stipulates that the mainland may take non-peaceful measures if Taiwan were to ‘secede from China in any name or by any means, or if a major event occurs that will cause Taiwan to secede from China, or if the possibility of peaceful reunification is completely lost’.

[3]Xi Jinping (October,2022), Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

[4]Xi Jinping (October,2022),Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

[5]Xi Jinping (2022), “Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects” Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China October 16.

[6]Ben Werner (2019), “Report: China Can’t Execute Major Amphibious Operations, Direct Assault on Taiwan” USNI News, 03 May.

[7]Ma Xiu (2022), “PLA Rocket Force Organization” China Aerospace Studies Institute, Blue Path Labs (United States).

[8]Ma Xiu, PW Singer, “China’s missile force is growing at an unprecedentedrate,” Popular Science, 25 February 2020. https://www.popsci.com/story/blog-eastern-arsenal/china-missile-force-growing/ [Accessed on 27 September, 2023].

[9]Decker Eveleth (2023), “People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force Order of Battle 2023” Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, June, 2023. Available at https://nonproliferation.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/web_peoples_liberation_army_rocket_force_order_of_battle_07102023.pdf [Accessed on 27 September, 2023].

[10]Adapted from Ma Xiu (2022), “PLA Rocket Force Organization”,China Aerospace Studies Institute, Blue Path Labs (United States)&Hans M. Kristensen, Matt Korda and Eliana Reynolds (2023), “Chinese nuclear weapons, 2023” Nuclear Notebook, BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS               2023, VOL. 79, NO. 2, 108–13&Hans M. Kristensen, Matt Korda & Eliana Reynolds (2023) Chinese nuclear weapons, 2023, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 79:2, 108-133.

[11]Brad Lendon, Simone Mc Carthy, Wayne Chang (2023), “China Replaces Elite Leadership in Surprise Military Shake-Up” CNN, 02 August.http://www.qstheory dot cn/yaowen/2023-07/25/c_1129766661.htm, http://www.qstheory dot cn/dukan/hqwg/2023-07/27/c_1129770940.htm. “’The purge’: Why is Xi shaking up China’s elite nuclear arsenal unit?” TRT World, Available at https://www.trtworld.com/asia/the-purge-why-is-xi-shaking-up-chinas-elite-nuclear-arsenal-unit-14314511 [Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

[12]Lt Col Yao Cheng served with PLA Naval Command.

[13]According to Lt Col Cheng, “”This isn’t about Xi Jinping rectifying them [due to corruption], Xi Jinping wants them to fight a war, and they didn’t want to, so now he’s coming for them” cited in Wang Yun and Fong Tak Ho (2023), “China’s Xi replaces commander of the country’s nuclear arsenal” Radio Free Asia, 31 July. Available at https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/nuclear-commander-07312023132031.html [Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

[14]Ellen Nakashima & Cate Cadell (2023), “China’s Defense Minister under Investigation for Corruption” The Washington Post, 15 September. Available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/09/15/china-defense-minister-missing-li-shangfu/ [Accessed on 16 September, 2023].

[15]Simone McCarthy (2023), “China’s defense minister warns against ‘playing with fire’ on Taiwan during Russia meeting” CNN, 16 August, 2023.

[16]Chinese Defense Minister Urges Enhanced China-Africa Cooperation to Safeguard Global Security, Xinhua, 30 August, 2023. Available at http://english.www.gov.cn/news/202308/30/content_WS64ee76a0c6d0868f4e8deed6.html [Accessed on 17 September, 2023].

[17]Chen Lin & Kanupriya Kapoor (2023), “China says clash with US would be ‘unbearable disaster’” Reuters, 04 June. Available at https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-seeks-dialogue-over-confrontation-defence-minister-tells-security-meet-2023-06-04/ [Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

[18]“China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu, not seen in weeks, skipped Vietnam meeting” The Strait Times, 15 September, 2023.

[19]Ellen Ioanes (2023), “What’s up with China’s disappearing senior military officers?” Vox, 16 September. https://www.vox.com/2023/9/16/23876562/china-disappearing-senior-military-officers-li-shangfu-xi-jinping-peoples-liberation-army [Accessed on 19 September, 2023].

[20]Zhao Lei (2018), “Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang expelled from the CPC” China Daily, 16 October, 2018. Available at https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201810/16/WS5bc5bc5aa310eff303282b3f.html [Accessed on 19 September, 2023].

[21]“China Defense Ministry: We will crack down on every corrupt official” Reuters, 31 August, 2023.

[22]http:// www.81 dot cn/szb_223187/szbxq/index.html?paperName=jfjb&paperDate=2023-08-30&paperNumber=01&articleid=914168, http:// politics dot people dot com.cn/n1/2023/0830/c1001-40066490.html

[23]Nike Ching (2023), “State Department Clarifies: Not Lifting Sanctions on China’s Defense Chief” VOANews, 22 May, 2023.

[24]邓聿文 (2023) “聿文视界:李尚福传涉腐,中共“存量腐败”让习防不胜防” Voice of America, 24 September, 2023. Available at https://www.voachinese.com/author/%E9%82%93%E8%81%BF%E6%96%87/it_vy [Accessed on 27 September, 2023].

[25]Minnie Chan (2015), “’He made Xi Jinping very angry’: the rise and fall of once-powerful Chinese general Guo Boxiong” South China Morning Post, 31 July. Available at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1845440/rise-and-fall-top-chinese-general-guo-boxiang [Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

[26]Cao Yin (2016), “Ex-military leader to be prosecuted on corruption charge” China Daily, 06 June, 2016. Available at https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-04/06/content_24302384.htm [Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

[27]Igor Patrick (2023), “CIA Director William Burns made secret visit to China, reports say” SCMP, 03 June, 2023. Laura Kelly (2023), “CIA Director Burns made secret trip to China: report”

[28]Bill Gertz (2023), “CIA rebuilding spy networks in China a decade after losing agents, director reveals:” Washington Times, 20 July.

[29]Jeremy Goldkorn & Nodya Yeh (2023), “A purge at the highest ranks of China’s missile force” The China Project, 01 August. Available at https://thechinaproject.com/2023/08/01/a-purge-at-the-highest-ranks-of-chinas-missile-forces/[Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

[30]“China corruption crackdown ‘netted 300,000 in 2015’” Reuters, 07 March, 2016. Available at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35741357 [Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

[31]Xi Jinping (2022).

[32]Wang Xijuan (2020). “Top military organ issues guidelines” Chinamil, 14 November. Available at http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/CMC/Departments/GeneralOffice/10055538.html [Accessed on 29 September, 2023].

[33]Xi Jinping (October,2022), Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

[34]Wang Xijuan (2022), “Xi’s thought guides reform of armed forces” Chinamil, 21 September. Available at http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/CHINA_209163/TopStories_209189/10186195.html [Accessed on 29 September, 2023].

[35]Xi Jinping (2018), “Strengthen the Party’s Leadership and Organization in the Military” Meeting of the Central Military Commission on Strengthening the Party, 17 August.

[36]Xi Jinping (Oct, 2022)

[37]Xi Jinping (2018), “Strengthen the Party’s Leadership and Organization in the Military” Meeting of the Central Military Commission on Strengthening the Party, 17 August.

[38]Refer Chairman Mao, “On Contradiction” August 1937 for in depth understanding of Mao’s thought founded on the theory of contradiction. Available at https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_17.htm [Accessed on 29 September, 2023].

[39]Wise Men Talking Series: Laozi Says” Sinolingua, p..4

[40]David C Logan (2018), “The Military in Politics” Naval History Magazine, Volume 32, Number 2 (April).

[41]Adras Hugyik (2022), “Leadership Theories and Defense Reform in the People’s Republic of China” Connections, QJ 21, no. 1 (2022): 25-44.

[42]“CPC achieves overwhelming victory, fully consolidates gains in fight against corruption: Xi” Chinamil, 16 October, 2022. Available at http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/SpecialReports/2022/The20thNationalCongressoftheCPC/LatestNews_242862/16195329.html [Accessed on 30 October, 2023].

[43]Jacob Fromer (2022), “Xi Jinping’s iron grip on power brings new form of corruption, China experts tell US congressional advisory panel” South China Morning Post, 28 January. Available at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3165022/xi-jinpings-iron-grip-power-brings-new-form-corruption-china-experts

[44]This line is spoken by Marcellus in Act I, scene iv (67), as he and Horatio debate whether or not to follow Hamlet and the ghost into the dark night.

[45]90% of corruption cases involve ““personnel and finance management, construction, oil management, material and armament procurement, health care, real estate, and reception services.”http://www.xinhuanet.com//english/china/2014-12/01/c_133825336.htm [Accessed on 30 September, 2023].

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Dr Rajasimman Sundaram

teaches history, politics, and culture and a member of the Institute of BRICS Studies and College of Multi-Languages at Sichuan International Studies University [四川外国语大学] (The People’s Republic of China)". 

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