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PLA determines to improve its work style

(China Military Online)

13:19, December 28, 2012

To echo China's new central leadership's call to improve work style, the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the General Staff Headquarters (GSH) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) issued regulations and notices successively, which shows the CMC's determination to set an example in improving the PLA's work style.

The regulations and notices were reduced by the public to prohibition on alcoholic drinks, control on vehicles and anti-corruption, etc. In the wake of which, the share price of Maotai fell accordingly. It seems that the public opinions have reached a common judgement that the CMC's determination was real and serious this time. The regulations and notices show that improper practices indeed existed inside the PLA and the PLA was not a pure land free from corruption. Usually, the PLA was seldom supervised by China's public opinion and always presented a positive image in the public, and all its problems were solved internally.

The CMC and the GSH of the PLA publicly required that the PLA's work style should be improved and the PLA's unhealthy tendencies should be exposed to the people of the whole country, which is another important progress of China's political transparency and is widely greeted with sincere applause from the public.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the PLA has not only fought dauntlessly for China and its people, but also shared weal and woe with China's reform and opening-up. As an organic component of the Chinese society, the PLA has shared China's progress and honor. And in turn, the PLA has been inevitably influenced by numerous complicated factors of the society.

The PLA is competent on the whole, as evidenced by having shouldered its due responsibilities for the country and its people. So far, the PLA has never been defeated, for which it is very dignified strategically.

In the past 20-odd years, China has been in a state of relative peace, both the equipment and the comprehensive combat effectiveness of the PLA have been promoted rapidly. And with increasing deterrent force, the PLA has been supporting China's international status as a great power and also China's peaceful rise, in the form of remaining quietly dignified. How the PLA plays its role in China's daily social life has been constantly adjusted since China's reform and opening-up. The most typical example is that the PLA could conduct business, but afterwards got out of the business completely.

It is very difficult to build up the military in peacetime. The PLA should not only maintain fish-and-water relations with the people, but also keep special distance from the people and do what is incompatible with our daily life. Even in the future, the PLA will probably have its own style, including not being so highly reactive with public opinion as other industries.

However, the PLA should not be completely out of the social supervision. As to how to supervise the military, China needs to establish an innovative system which can not only protect the military's independence as a special force but also ensure that the military will not become a "blind zone" of country's supervision. In terms of code of ethics, the PLA should live up to the people's expectations and stand high in the Chinese society.

  Strict management is the only road for the development of the Chinese PLA. The requirements for the PLA will inevitably keep rising with increasing openness of the whole society of China. The combat effectiveness of the PLA also depends on the social understanding and support.

The PLA has over two million servicemen, and its overall image will be heavily influenced as long as an individual soldier has malpractice or a scandal is exposed to the society. With its comprehensive national strength ranking second worldwide, China has stood in the teeth of the storm, and its future strategic security environment will be probably complicated and confusing. The Chinese PLA has been playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding the interests of China and its people, and it is one of China's most urgent issues to strengthen and better the military through strict management.

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