February 10, 2013

Has China's PLA Gone Rogue?

Linda Jakobson, The Diplomat

AP Photo

Is the People's Liberation Army (PLA) acting independently of the Communist Party (CPC) leadership? The only honest answer to the question is that we simply do not know. Decision-making processes in China are opaque. We know that major political decisions are made by the all-powerful seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, headed by Xi Jinping, who is also the chair of the Central Military Commission. As the only civilian on the Central Military commission, Xi is the crucial link between senior civilian and military leaders, but nothing is known about the precise nature of interaction between Xi and PLA leaders when pivotal decisions are made. Not even the timing and agenda of either the Politburo Standing Committee or Central Military Commission meetings are made public.

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TAGGED: PLA, Xi Jinping, Senkaku islands, Diaoyu Islands

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