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  India   All India  22 Apr 2017  ‘Xi’s moves indicate toughened position’

‘Xi’s moves indicate toughened position’

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Apr 22, 2017, 1:08 am IST
Updated : Apr 22, 2017, 1:26 am IST

Xi Jinping activated the Phase 2 of China’s military reforms and modernisation effort by setting up or adjusting 84 corps-level units.

Xi Jinping (Photo: AP/File)
 Xi Jinping (Photo: AP/File)

New Delhi: In a giant move to streamline China’s military into the changing global security environment that is being seen to be having significant bearing on the military dynamics of India, President Xi Jinping on Tuesday activated the Phase 2 of China’s military reforms and modernisation effort by setting up or adjusting 84 corps-level units.

On the major military reorganisation, Jayadeva Ranade, former additional secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) who now heads the Delhi-based think-tank Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, said: “President Xi’s target date for completing restructuring and reorganisation is 2020-2021. Implications for India are obvious.”

Fleshing it out, the former member of the National Security Advisory Board, said: “President Xi is streamlining the PLA to meet current exigencies. China has discarded the old policy of ‘lie low’, ‘bide your time’, etc. and has articulated the ‘China Dream’ which includes ‘recovering’ China’s territories by 2021 — the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party.”

“Angry rhetoric on Taiwan has risen. For India, the steady decline in the relationship and the recent elevated rhetoric on Arunachal Pradesh, including Wednesday’s allocation of Chinese names to places in the Indian state, suggests a toughened posture.”

State-run media reported that while receiving the chief military officers from 84 newly-established Army institutions in Beijing on Tuesday, President Xi said that “the 84 units are a vital part of a new Army system, which will shoulder a heavy responsibility in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development.”

“The move is a continuum of larger military modernisations efforts of China. Details available are too sketchy at this stage. There is a need to monitor this continuously in order to assess its strategic implications for India,” said Commodore Abhay Kumar Singh (Retd), a China expert from the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

All these 84 operational level “combat ready” units will be led by officials of the ranks of major-general, rear-admiral and air vice-marshal.

“Given that the Tibet Military Command has been strengthened point out that in addition to the overall military reforms, the Western Theatre Command is emerging as an important area of focus for the PLA and the strategic interests it is protecting very significant. This is partly to protect its interests in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and to manage the long border with India,” said M.S. Prathibha, a IDSA fellow specialising on China military affairs.

Tags: president xi jinping, raw, china-pakistan economic corridor
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi