Can Xi Jinping Bring Change to China’s Military? By Zachary Keck
Over the weekend Chinese President Xi Jinping issued an order requiring PLA and People’s Armed Police generals and senior officers to spend two weeks on front lines as enlisted, low-ranking soliders.
According to South China Morning Post, the order stipulates that, “Leaders of regiment- and brigade-level units have to serve on the front line once every three years. Division- and army-level commanders must serve once every four years. Top leaders from army headquarters and military districts will do so once every five years.”
The move is part of an ongoing effort by Xi to impose greater discipline on a military brass that many argue was allowed to grow intolerably corrupt under Xi’s two immediate predecessors. The fear is that the extravagance the military leadership indulges in is reducing the army’s professionalism and alienating officers from the men they command, ultimately curtailing combat-readiness.