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President Hu’s Dominance over the Military

Posted July. 11, 2007 03:13,   


Three years after Chinese President Hu Jintao seized control of the armed forces, he now has complete dominance over it.

Since President Hu was inaugurated as the president of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China in September 2004, he has replaced most of the major posts such as the commanders of the six major military districts out of all seven in China.

The air force commander who was appointed by former President Jiang Zemin will also be replaced right after the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China of the Communist Party which will take place in the autumn.

The media in Hong Kong has analyzed that, “the recent promotion of the three generals and the replacement of the commanders of the four military districts show that President Hu’s dominance over the military has become complete.”

The Trap of Former President Jiang-

As if to prove the words of Mao Zedong that “power grows from the muzzle of a gun,” it took more than two years for former President Jiang to pass down the position of president of the Central Military Commission even after President Hu was positioned as the general secretary of the party in November 2002.

Especially, in June 2004 when the resignation of Jiang as the president of the Central Military Commission was imminent, he appointed as many as 15 persons as generals, which is the highest rank in the military, and positioned them in the major posts. This spread casting doubts on President Hu’s dominance over the military.

President Hu Completely Reshuffles the Major Posts-

In the first two years of his term, President Hu did not carry out any replacements in particular. All he did was to promote lieutenant general Zhang Dingfa who passed away last year and lieutenant general Jing Zhiyuan as generals and appointed them as the marine commander of the second artillery, and to replace the commanders of the military districts of Jinan and Shenyang among the seven districts.

But in June last year, President Hu promoted 10 high ranking military officials as generals. Such a rapid change is unprecedented, leaving aside the times of rapid change.

The recent reshuffle is smaller in scale than the one last year but has a greater and deeper implication. Last month President Hu replaced the commanders of the four major military districts, Beijing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and Lanzhou, who are in charge of the security of the capital region.

As a result, out of the commanders of all seven military districts, six, excluding the commander of Chengdu, have been replaced with people appointed by President Hu. In addition, President Hu, on July 6, promoted marine commander Wu Shengli, the vice commander of the general headquarter, Hui Chiliang, and the commissioner of the General Logistics Department Zhun Dafa from lieutenant generals to generals. Now all the commanders of the land, marine, and air forces, are under direct control of Hu.

The Central Military Commission of China Shifts from the Jiang Stream to Hu Stream-

Though the first-line commanders have been replaced, the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, the most important military body of China, still is filled with the personnel of Jiang. Among the nine commissioners (excluding one dead) besides President Hu, only two, Vice President Xu Chaihou and Commissioner Jing Zhiyuan, entered the Central Military Commission after the inauguration of President Hu.

President Hu therefore plans to reshuffle most of the members of the Central Military Commission. It has been known that among the seven members of the commission, most of them, excluding Vice President Kuo Boshung and Commissioner Chen Ping-der, will be replaced.

President Hu’s Way of Seizing the Military-

Many point to President Hu’s own way of pouring effort into this as the main reason he was able to dominate the force.

“On the surface of President Hu’s desk, a table sheet containing the photographs of the 32 generals is spread,” says a source of news in Beijing. “This shows the great importance President Hu puts on the military.”

Not only that, President Hu doubled the salary of soldiers immediately last year in order to raise the spirits of the force and to seduce their minds. This year he spent 800 billion won to change the uniforms of 2.255 million soldiers with a modern, fashionable style.