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Thursday, December 31, 2015, 12:43

Army reform after wide consultation: PLA Daily

By Agencies

Army reform after wide consultation: PLA Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an inspection of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily headquarters in Beijing, capital of China, Dec 25, 2015. (Photo / Xinhua)
BEIJING - China's military consulted widely on its sweeping reform programme, with President Xi Jinping closely involved by speaking with soldiers on the frontlines and hand-writing suggestions, the People's Liberation Army Daily reported Thursday.

Xi unveiled a broad-brush outline of the reforms last month, seeking further streamlining of the command structure of the world's largest armed forces to better enable it to win a modern war.

China's navy is investing in submarines and aircraft carriers and the air force is developing stealth fighters.

The reforms were kicked off in September with Xi's announcement he would cut service personnel by 300,000.

The military's newspaper has published almost daily commentaries stressing reforms are needed to win wars.

In a lengthy front page commentary, the People's Liberation Army Daily outlined the steps taken to listen to everyone's opinions on the reforms, including Xi's involvement.

"Chairman Xi went into offices and visited colleges, went to the plateaus, visited the borders, sat in driving seats and cockpits, taking the pulse of reform with soldiers," the commentary reads.

The reform commission took opinions from more than 900 current and former senior officers and experts, issued questionnaires and received thousands of online suggestions, the report said.

There were more than 800 meetings about reform from March to October this year covering almost 700 military bases and units, the newspaper said. The article was also carried in People's Daily.

Xi "found time" to attend meetings on the feedback, saying he wanted to "listen to everyone's opinion".

"Every line, every word and every character - Chairman Xi earnestly reviewed every draft, putting forward many guiding suggestions, making many important changes with this own hand," the report reads.

The enthusiasm for reform and willingness to listen to all sides meant the process was "ardently participated in" by soldiers throughout the ranks, it said.

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