Chinese President Xi Jinping has hit the panic button, asking the Chinese military to enroll new talent and turn paper pushers into soldiers overnight. This is a part of Xi Jinping’s ambitious dream to invade Taiwan and take on India at the same time. On the other hand, PLA is looking to battle its resource crunch by throwing non-combatants into frontline positions.
Xi stresses the need for new talent:
Alarmed by the lack of talent in the Chinese army, Chinese President has reportedly pushed for the recruitment of fresh talent in a bid to support the rapid modernisation of Chinese armed forces and win future wars.
Xi Jinping who virtually heads everything in China including the Chinese military told a conference on military talent-related work that talent holds the key to high-quality development of the Chinese armed forces, achieving victory in the military competition, and gaining the upper hand in the future wars. He also exhorted that fresh talent is needed to support the realisation of the goals set for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that falls in 2027.
Xi said, “Strengthening the capabilities to fight and win should be the starting point and ultimate goal of military talent cultivation.”
PLA turning paper-pushers into soldiers overnight:
Xi’s latest remarks have hinted that the PLA is suffering from a real lack of talent and therefore there is a real sense of urgency to recruit new talent. So, the PLA is looking at some rather desperate measures to battle its resource crunch. Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese military has allocated 3,00,000 troops for frontline roles in order to encourage younger professionals into joining the PLA.
Earlier, Xi had overseen a massive retrenchment in the PLA, when the size of the armed force was reduced from 2.3 million to 2 million. The 300,000 personnel were retrenched from the now-defunct general political, general logistics and general armaments departments, the five army groups as well as staff in veterans’ homes.
In a book of commentaries published in November by the State-owned People’s Daily, Zhong Xin said, “The military’s command system is not systematic, the army’s structure is not sound enough, and the policy system lags, seriously limiting the PLA’s defensive operations.” Zhong added, “If these problems are not resolved, plans to build a world-class modern military are just empty talk.”
Liu Yantong, another military commentator said, “Right now, we are facing the threat of war. The army needs to be urgently aware that a war may happen overnight … We should be fully prepared and combat-ready at all times.”
Serious manpower crunch in the Chinese PLA
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been facing a severe manpower shortage for quite some time now. The manpower shortage and trust deficit in the Chinese PLA are so severe that Xi himself has started relying on Pakistan Army officials as makeshift substitutes. As per recent Indian intelligence reports, Pakistani army officers are being stationed in the formation headquarters of China’s People Liberation Army (PLA). Pakistan Liaison Officers have been posted in the headquarters of China’s Western Theatre Command and Southern Theatre Command.
According to a report by News18, Colonel-rank officers of the Pakistan Army were posted at the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission — which is responsible for combat planning, training and strategy of China’s armed forces — and at the Ministry of State Security.
Last year, SCMP reported that the PLA is struggling to attract young and well-educated recruits. Earlier, the PLA used to recruit Chinese youth with miserable working conditions and abandon them after their retirement without any lucrative pensions. But the present-day Chinese youngsters have more career options than their predecessors, and therefore the PLA is facing serious recruitment issues.
The PLA is thus missing the most fundamental element of military firepower- capable soldiers and it is ready to even promote paper pushers into soldiers for battling its manpower crunch.
Leave a Reply