Well, not quite yet–at Defense One’s “D-Brief”:
China is reportedly on the verge of restructuring its military—a “sweeping overhaul,” Bloomberg calls it—“moving it closer to a U.S.-style joint command structure” so that, as President Xi Jinping said, it can “fight and win a modern war” by “shift[ing] from a land-based military to one able to project force far from its coastline.” China’s inability to fight a joint battle—or, meaning with more than one military service—has long been the Pentagon’s “don’t worry about China” card. The People’s Liberation Army still would lack one key component: experience.
What’s new? China’s army, navy, air force and missile corps would fall under one command, according to Bloomberg’s unnamed sources, while also “thinning the ranks of officers and traditional ground forces, helping elevate the role of the navy and air force.” China’s seven military regions would also be collapsed into just four, according to a blueprint Xi will reportedly unveil after Thursday’s WWII victory parade in Beijing [see last link at quote below].
What’s not new? The broad strokes of the plan were initially laid out nearly two years ago, but the effort has been “delayed for months as anti-graft investigators swept up dozens of current and retired generals.”
A consolidation of this magnitude “would be the most significant changes to the PLA’s command organization since 1949,” according to the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress, submitted in May…
Big Week for China Watchers