China Continues PLAGF Purge; Re-deploys 84 Army Corps
The Communist Party of China (CPC) continues its ongoing purge of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF), this time reshuffling what it described as "84 corps-level units."
The purge was ordered by Chinese president Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) that controls the PLAGF and its mother unit, the People's Liberation Army or PLA.
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Chinese state-owned media said Xi said the "reshuffle" was another major step in strengthening the PLA. It said the reshuffle was decided upon by the CPC Central Committee and the CMC.
In the PLA concept of war, ground combat operations are conducted by PLAGF corps-level units under unified command. Two or more corps-level units comprise a PLAGF Group Army.
In late March, the PLAGF said it will disband five of its 18 Group Armies in a wide-ranging reorganization intended to transform the cumbersome force into a more agile combat organization able to respond rapidly to military crises involving the United States and Japan. Chinese state-owned media says this purge was begun by Xi.
To be disbanded will be the 20th and 27th Group Armies in the Central Theater Command responsible for the defense of Beijing; the 14th Group Army in the Western Theater Command in the southwest; the 16th Group Army in the Northern Theater Command in the north bordering North Korea and the 47th Group Army in the Western Theater Command in the west bordering India.
As for the current reshuffling of the 84 corps-level units, Xi said the unit rotation will also have a profound influence on meeting the targets of building a world-class armed force. He said the 84 corps level units as crucial parts of a new system, and called on them to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests.
Xi ordered the newly reshuffled units to adhere to the CPC's absolute leadership and obey the command of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, which he heads.
He required the PLA to firm up its communist beliefs; abide by political discipline and stick to the correct political direction as set by the CPC. The military units should also ensure combat readiness and conduct more research to achieve that end.
Xi said the goal of the PLA is to build "an indestructible combat force."