In December 2015, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) established its Army, part of the sweeping military reforms President Xi Jinping has hinted since taking office but revealed only over the past several months. The chart below is my prediction of what this organization will look like.
An Army Establishing an Army?
The PLA encompasses the whole of China’s armed forces on land, sea, air, and beyond. It is now establishing a dedicated staff, called the “Army Leading Organ,” to field its ground force component. Of course the PLA has always had a ground force. It began as such, although the Chinese word for “Army” in PLA is perfectly appropriate for a joint force. The ground force offices were scattered throughout the PLA’s high command, most obviously within the former General Staff Department. These offices have now been moved to the Army staff, including the Army Aviation Department and the offices responsible for armor, artillery, engineering, and chemical defense (See: The PLA as Organization).
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Image courtesy of Global Risk Insights