Wed, Jan 08, 2014 - Page 6 News List

PRC rejects report it is centralizing military command

Reuters, BEIJING

China yesterday denied a state media report that said its military will establish a joint operational command structure for its forces to improve coordination between different parts of the defense system.

The English-language China Daily newspaper reported last week that the government would implement a joint command system “in due course” and it had already launched pilot programs to that effect.

“With regards to this, the defense ministry has clarified that the relevant report is groundless,” the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement on its Web site.

The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, and its sister tabloid, the Global Times, carried the denials on Monday, citing unidentified ministry sources. The ministry posted the People’s Daily report on its Web site yesterday.

China has been moving rapidly to upgrade its military hardware.

In the past, regional-level military commanders have enjoyed major latitude over their forces and branches of the military have remained highly independent of each other, making it difficult to exercise the centralized control necessary to use new weapons systems effectively in concert.

The ministry reiterated a statement made in November last year by its spokesman, Yang Yujun (楊宇軍), saying that establishing a joint operational command system was a “necessary requirement.”

“In this regard, our army has actively explored this,” Yang said, adding that it would form a “joint operational command system with Chinese characteristics.”

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