Today's LA Times Article on the PLA


adeptitus

Captain
VIP Professional
For those who are unfamiliar, the LA Times is a daily newspaper with the largest distribution in Los Angeles area. This is a commentary article on the PLA's slimming down.

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January 10, 2006
China's Vast Military Cuts Fat, Adds Muscle
Downsizing is consistent with a new emphasis on mobility, technology. But personnel policies have added to the ranks of the disgruntled.

By Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writer

BEIJING — China, which has the largest military force in the world, is making important strides toward developing a lean, high-tech fighting machine, the People's Liberation Army said Monday.

A two-year slim-down program has eliminated more than 200,000 jobs, or about 9% of the service, according to the PLA's official newspaper. By year end, that left a total of about 2.3 million members, a 45% reduction since 1987.

"Our military is marching towards the goal of an appropriately sized, structurally balanced, lean, command-responsive fighting force," the official Liberation Army Daily said.

The PLA has made no secret of its effort to craft a slimmer, more mobile force versed in the use of advanced weaponry as a source of national pride and a deterrent to Taiwanese independence. In an environment in which too many officers and poorly educated soldiers undercut efficiency, these staffing reductions are in line with analysts' expectations. But the downsizing has engendered less obvious social changes, the analysts say.

In recent months, China has seen more protests by uniformed and retired military personnel over pay and pensions as the institution's ambitions outpace its resources. It has also faced grumbling from those who have been laid off. Many are less educated and feel let down by an organization that Mao Tse-tung once heralded as virtually indistinguishable from the Chinese people, as "integral to the society around it as fish to water."

"This reaction is natural and normal," said Liu Yongsheng, analyst with the Beijing-based China Arms Control and Disarmament Assn., a government-linked think tank. "Certainly many are not happy with the layoffs. But it's necessary, and the government has considered all this. In Chinese, we say it's better to suffer short-term pain than long-term pain."

At a time when Beijing is grappling with unrest around the nation, the specter of public protests by men and women in uniform has been particularly unsettling. In April, about 2,000 retired troops from around China staged a three-day sit-in in the capital demanding higher pensions, reportedly the most extensive protest by veterans since 1949.

In August, China's Central Military Commission warned PLA members never to take part in street protests or put the interests of the army above those of the Communist Party. Any activities that challenged single-party rule would be severely punished, it added.

"It's a bad sign any time the military protests," said Wendell Minnick, a Taiwan correspondent with Jane's Defense Weekly, a publication that researches military issues. "They really depend on these guys to put down other protests. You can't have these guys running around protesting with guns."

Generals also have more subtle headaches. As they hire better-educated people to fill the ranks, a generation brought up in shopping malls and karaoke halls and used to having much more personal choice than their parents inevitably exerts more pressure for change.

"This is challenging China's highly centralized military system," said Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taiwan. "The bottom-up pressure is rampant."

China is also working overtime to lighten many of the army's ancillary responsibilities, including planting crops, teaching school and running shops. These activities grew out of a tradition dating back to the conflicts with the Japanese and the Nationalists, when fighters were supposed to be self-sufficient.

Given today's emphasis on technology, professionalism, mobility and rapid response, analysts say these duties are not only distracting but demeaning for soldiers.

"That's the old system; it doesn't work anymore," Minnick said. "Now you want to hire [civilians] to plant crops."

China's official military budget in 2005 was about $30 billion, a 12.6% increase from the prior year. The U.S., in comparison, earmarked $420.7 billion for defense in the 2005 fiscal year. Some analysts, though, believe Beijing's actual budget is larger than reported. The U.S. has far fewer military personnel than China: about 1.39 million on active duty worldwide in September, according to the Pentagon.

As part of its restructuring program, the Chinese army has sought to acquire more high-tech equipment and tried to strengthen the effectiveness of how decisions are made and carried out, known in military parlance as command and control.

The infantry now makes up an all-time low proportion of the force, the army newspaper said, whereas the shares of the navy, air force and Second Artillery Corps, which oversees China's nuclear missiles, are rising.

The government has been lobbying the European Union to end its ban on weapon sales, so far without success. Washington has urged the EU not to lift the ban. This has left Russia as Beijing's primary supplier of military hardware.

In August, China and Russia cooperated in the largest joint military exercise in decades, descending on China's Shandong peninsula with 10,000 troops and a range of sophisticated weapons. Russia is expected to hold a similar exercise on its territory this year. Analysts believe the exercises are partly meant to showcase Russian technology for Chinese buyers.

A longer-range objective for China, analysts say, is to build a home-grown arms manufacturing capability. Although Moscow is eager to earn more hard currency from its aging militaryindustrial complex, analysts say it is wary of selling its best technology to a potential rival.
 

MaxTesla

New Member
Nice article

To bad the chinese military didnt choose to make it self bigger and modernize, now that would be nice ;)


And Go Russia for haveing a military traning exercise with the chinese. :china:
 

jwangyue

Junior Member
adeptitus said:
For those who are unfamiliar, the LA Times is a daily newspaper with the largest distribution in Los Angeles area. This is a commentary article on the PLA's slimming down.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

January 10, 2006
China's Vast Military Cuts Fat, Adds Muscle
Downsizing is consistent with a new emphasis on mobility, technology. But personnel policies have added to the ranks of the disgruntled.

By Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writer

BEIJING — China, which has the largest military force in the world, is making important strides toward developing a lean, high-tech fighting machine, the People's Liberation Army said Monday.

A two-year slim-down program has eliminated more than 200,000 jobs, or about 9% of the service, according to the PLA's official newspaper. By year end, that left a total of about 2.3 million members, a 45% reduction since 1987.

"Our military is marching towards the goal of an appropriately sized, structurally balanced, lean, command-responsive fighting force," the official Liberation Army Daily said.

The PLA has made no secret of its effort to craft a slimmer, more mobile force versed in the use of advanced weaponry as a source of national pride and a deterrent to Taiwanese independence. In an environment in which too many officers and poorly educated soldiers undercut efficiency, these staffing reductions are in line with analysts' expectations. But the downsizing has engendered less obvious social changes, the analysts say.

In recent months, China has seen more protests by uniformed and retired military personnel over pay and pensions as the institution's ambitions outpace its resources. It has also faced grumbling from those who have been laid off. Many are less educated and feel let down by an organization that Mao Tse-tung once heralded as virtually indistinguishable from the Chinese people, as "integral to the society around it as fish to water."

"This reaction is natural and normal," said Liu Yongsheng, analyst with the Beijing-based China Arms Control and Disarmament Assn., a government-linked think tank. "Certainly many are not happy with the layoffs. But it's necessary, and the government has considered all this. In Chinese, we say it's better to suffer short-term pain than long-term pain."

At a time when Beijing is grappling with unrest around the nation, the specter of public protests by men and women in uniform has been particularly unsettling. In April, about 2,000 retired troops from around China staged a three-day sit-in in the capital demanding higher pensions, reportedly the most extensive protest by veterans since 1949.

In August, China's Central Military Commission warned PLA members never to take part in street protests or put the interests of the army above those of the Communist Party. Any activities that challenged single-party rule would be severely punished, it added.

"It's a bad sign any time the military protests," said Wendell Minnick, a Taiwan correspondent with Jane's Defense Weekly, a publication that researches military issues. "They really depend on these guys to put down other protests. You can't have these guys running around protesting with guns."

Generals also have more subtle headaches. As they hire better-educated people to fill the ranks, a generation brought up in shopping malls and karaoke halls and used to having much more personal choice than their parents inevitably exerts more pressure for change.

"This is challenging China's highly centralized military system," said Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taiwan. "The bottom-up pressure is rampant."

China is also working overtime to lighten many of the army's ancillary responsibilities, including planting crops, teaching school and running shops. These activities grew out of a tradition dating back to the conflicts with the Japanese and the Nationalists, when fighters were supposed to be self-sufficient.

Given today's emphasis on technology, professionalism, mobility and rapid response, analysts say these duties are not only distracting but demeaning for soldiers.

"That's the old system; it doesn't work anymore," Minnick said. "Now you want to hire [civilians] to plant crops."

China's official military budget in 2005 was about $30 billion, a 12.6% increase from the prior year. The U.S., in comparison, earmarked $420.7 billion for defense in the 2005 fiscal year. Some analysts, though, believe Beijing's actual budget is larger than reported. The U.S. has far fewer military personnel than China: about 1.39 million on active duty worldwide in September, according to the Pentagon.

As part of its restructuring program, the Chinese army has sought to acquire more high-tech equipment and tried to strengthen the effectiveness of how decisions are made and carried out, known in military parlance as command and control.

The infantry now makes up an all-time low proportion of the force, the army newspaper said, whereas the shares of the navy, air force and Second Artillery Corps, which oversees China's nuclear missiles, are rising.

The government has been lobbying the European Union to end its ban on weapon sales, so far without success. Washington has urged the EU not to lift the ban. This has left Russia as Beijing's primary supplier of military hardware.

In August, China and Russia cooperated in the largest joint military exercise in decades, descending on China's Shandong peninsula with 10,000 troops and a range of sophisticated weapons. Russia is expected to hold a similar exercise on its territory this year. Analysts believe the exercises are partly meant to showcase Russian technology for Chinese buyers.

A longer-range objective for China, analysts say, is to build a home-grown arms manufacturing capability. Although Moscow is eager to earn more hard currency from its aging militaryindustrial complex, analysts say it is wary of selling its best technology to a potential rival.
Believe or not, this is actually a very nicely written article with a balanced view. China need to undergo these changes, and they need it sooner than later.
 

silverpike

New Member
2.3 million ground force is still too big!!!:eek: there is still to much 'fats' on PLA's body! a healthy PLA should has less than 2 million personnel.
1.5 million ground force is more than enough.(1 million territory guard, half million elite rapid reaction troops)

50,000 air force personnel and 100,000 navy personnel(still don't understand why PLA needs so many people in the air force and navy?!:confused: )

which make the PLA 1.65 million strong,still the largest army in the world i think.

china should cut the number of arm police as well, half million is quite alright, they should defend the country along with the army during the war time.
(i do not know why china still have 1 million arm police, i have got friends serve in the arm police, they normally have nothing to do except training!)
 

UCSDAE

New Member
the arm police is absorbing some of the demobilize PLA troops. I guess that will contribute to the swelling of the the PAP. Also, there's interesting rumor saying that China might use the PAP to take Taiwan since it is "internal security" issues.
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
if you think of population wise.. china's military is tiny compared to USA or Russia...

china should actually expand navy and airforce since they are currently more important than army.
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
China's official military budget in 2005 was about $30 billion, a 12.6% increase from the prior year. The U.S., in comparison, earmarked $420.7 billion for defense in the 2005 fiscal year. Some analysts, though, believe Beijing's actual budget is larger than reported. The U.S. has far fewer military personnel than China: about 1.39 million on active duty worldwide in September, according to the Pentagon.
Probally the largets expindture of the US military is personell. Salaries and retired pay & medical cost. I'm retired from the USN ad recieve over $1200 a month. And all I do is breath. My son with all his pay and allowances makes almost $4000 a month. Also the US military is one of the largets property holders in the US. It cost big bucks to maintain all those bases. All those cost are in the US military budget.
 

silverpike

New Member
UCSDAE said:
the arm police is absorbing some of the demobilize PLA troops. I guess that will contribute to the swelling of the the PAP. Also, there's interesting rumor saying that China might use the PAP to take Taiwan since it is "internal security" issues.
aww-- demobilize PLA troops are defintely civilians. PAP never recruit from the demobilize soilders. i think what you mean is, some of the demobilize or disarm PLA units(divisions,regiments) transfer to PAP units instead of being disband.
i am not so sure, but i think PAP is also under the command of ministry of defence or at least the central military committee. they are still soilders with miiltary rank !

PAP force is defintely going to be in TaiWan conflict, not only because Taiwan is a internal issue, but also because PAP is responsible for maintain Taiwan's soical order during the war.
but i don't think china will use PAP force in major battle, PAP is lack of armored force and
field combat training.

PiSigma said:
if you think of population wise.. china's military is tiny compared to USA or Russia...

china should actually expand navy and airforce since they are currently more important than army.
well, yes, but not on the size of personnel! navy and airforce need more warships and planes, not people.
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
actually, a lot of soldiers of the PAP are retired PLA soldiers.. especially those in light infantry. there are of course new recruits. but there is also a huge group that came directly from the army.

also having more planes and ships is useless unless you have the people to man them. considering that USN have half a million men and women on active or ready reserve duty, the 100 000 men in PLAN is nothing compared to that. USAF also have 360000 men and women serving. which of course is much bigger than the 50000 men in PLAAF. so expanding the number of people in it is just as important as building ships and planes. after-all, for a single aircraft carrier thousands are needed. a destroyer need over one hundred people. we can't have 4 man per ship. it's just not possible.
 

silverpike

New Member
PiSigma said:
actually, a lot of soldiers of the PAP are retired PLA soldiers.. especially those in light infantry. there are of course new recruits. but there is also a huge group that came directly from the army.

also having more planes and ships is useless unless you have the people to man them. considering that USN have half a million men and women on active or ready reserve duty, the 100 000 men in PLAN is nothing compared to that. USAF also have 360000 men and women serving. which of course is much bigger than the 50000 men in PLAAF. so expanding the number of people in it is just as important as building ships and planes. after-all, for a single aircraft carrier thousands are needed. a destroyer need over one hundred people. we can't have 4 man per ship. it's just not possible.
after 3 years in the army,demobilize PLA soldier would have a chance to cotinue the service for another 2 years as voluntary soldier, which is a option that many people choose, i do not think they retire to PAP. to join PAP is not retiring or demobilize, PAP is china's proper armed force.
PAP has a similiar system, new recruits serve 3 years in the PAP, then retire and find a job, some become cops if they are lucky.

about the personnel, what i am saying is, PLA is still oversized, even navy and air-force,and i think chinese navy and air-force should start hiring professional civilians.

50,000 men is enough for PLAF, how many planes they operate? 5000-6000? consider three pilots per one(fighter only need one), around 20,000 pilots, then another 20,000 to operate PLAF bases, seems not enough, but they should hire civilian technican... then leave 10,000 personnel for commanding system and others, again, hire some civilian.

for navy, how many surface war ships PLAN has, around 100? consider 200 personnel per one, makes it around 20,000 men , and submarine, force 10,000 include commanding officers, then navy need maybe another 50,000 men at the port? then leave 20.000 men to command system and PLANAF, well, hire more undergraduate student!!

anyway, PLA should cut its number and invest on a small group but very professional personnel!
there are thousands of PLA personnels just plain useless! PLA has thousands of companies, factories or even troupes and farms. all those parergon should be hand over to civilian.
 
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