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The Impact of Reform on the PLA’s Political Work System

By October 1, 2020April 29th, 2023No Comments

China analysts Morgan Clemens and Ben Rosen authored a chapter in conference volume The People in the PLA 2.0 regarding reforms to the PLA’s political work system:

A key feature of the Xi Jinping era has been a focus on strengthening and revitalizing political work in the PLA, with the dual objectives of both enabling the PLA to “fight and win” under modern conditions as well as strengthening political control over the armed forces. A key factor driving this effort is a broader concern over the deleterious effect rampant corruption has upon the PLA’s operational effectiveness, political loyalty, and general reputation in society. In practical terms, the attempt to curb this corruption has meant downsizing, reorganizing, and consolidating the former General Political Department (GPD) and distributing its functional responsibilities across multiple new and preexisting organizational structures. This effort has also entailed renewed emphasis on assuring the operational command and decision-making role of party committees and on developing the professional military skills of political cadres.

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