Central Military Commission (China)

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Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China
中国共产党中央军事委员会
Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng Zhōngyāng Jūnshì Wěiyuánhuì
Danghui.svg
The emblem of the Communist Party of China
Agency overview
Formed28 September 1954
Preceding agency
Jurisdiction People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police, and China Militia
Headquarters August 1st Building, Beijing
Agency executives
Parent agency CPC Central Committee
Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China
中华人民共和国中央军事委员会
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Zhōngyāng Jūnshì Wěiyuánhuì
People's Republic of China National Emblem.svg
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China
Agency overview
Formed18 June 1983
Jurisdiction People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police and China Militia
HeadquartersAugust 1st Building, Beijing
Agency executives
Parent agency National People's Congress
Website GOV.CN Ministry of National Defense
Central Military Commission
Simplified Chinese 中央军事委员会
Traditional Chinese 中央軍事委員會
Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China
Simplified Chinese 中国共产党中央军事委员会
Traditional Chinese 中國共產黨中央軍事委員會
Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China
Simplified Chinese 中华人民共和国中央军事委员会
Traditional Chinese 中華人民共和國中央軍事委員會
The CMC is cereminally housed in the Ministry of National Defense compound ("August 1st Building") ChinaDOD.jpg
The CMC is cereminally housed in the Ministry of National Defense compound ("August 1st Building")
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg
This article is part of a series on the
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The Central Military Commission (CMC) refers to the parallel national defense organizations of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China: the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, a Party organ under the CPC Central Committee, and the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, a central state organ under the National People's Congress, being the military branch of the national government.

Communist Party of China Political party of the Peoples Republic of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.

Central Committee of the Communist Party of China political body that comprises the top leaders of the Communist Party of China

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is a political body that comprises the top leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It is currently composed of 205 full members and 171 alternate members. Members are nominally elected once every five years by the unicameral National Congress of the Communist Party of China, though, in practice the selection process is done privately, and exclusively by the party's Politburo and its corresponding Standing Committee. The members have no essential decision making power. They ceremonially exercise their voting, to provide evidence to the nation that a decision has been made by the people.

National Peoples Congress highest state body and legislature of the Peoples Republic of China

The National People's Congress is the highest organ of state power and the national legislature of the People's Republic of China. With 2,980 members in 2018, it is the largest parliamentary body in the world. The National People's Congress meets in full session for roughly two weeks each year and votes on important pieces of legislation. Members are considered to be part-time legislators and are not paid to serve in the NPC.

Contents

The command and control of the People's Liberation Army, the People's Armed Police and the Militia is exercised in name by the State CMC, supervised by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The State CMC is nominally considered the supreme military policy-making body and its chairman, elected by the National People's Congress, is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In reality, command and control of the PLA, however, still resides with the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee—the Party CMC.

Command and control military exercise of authority by a commanding officer over assigned forces

Command and control or C2 is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... [that] employs human, physical, and information resources to solve problems and accomplish missions" to achieve the goals of an organization or enterprise, according to a 2015 definition by military scientists Marius Vassiliou, David S. Alberts and Jonathan R. Agre, The term often refers to a military system.

Peoples Liberation Army Combined military forces of the Peoples Republic of China

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and of its founding and ruling political party, the Communist Party of China (CPC). The PLA consists of five professional service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. Units around the country are assigned to one of five theater commands by geographical location. The PLA is the world's largest military force and constitutes the second largest defence budget in the world. It is one of the fastest modernising military powers in the world and has been termed as a potential military superpower, with significant regional defense and rising global power projection capabilities. As per Credit Suisse, the PLA are the world's third-most powerful military.

Peoples Armed Police gendarmerie branch of Chinas military

The Chinese People's Armed Police Force is a Chinese paramilitary police (Gendarmerie) force primarily responsible for internal security, riot control, antiterrorism, law enforcement, and maritime rights protection in China, as well as providing support to the PLA Ground Force during wartime.

Both commissions are identical in membership, thus actually forming one identical institution under two different names (called 一个机构两块牌子; yígè jīgòu liǎngkuài páizi), in order to fit in both state government and party systems. Both commissions are currently chaired by Xi Jinping, who is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China as well as Paramount leader. The 11-man commission issues directives relating to the PLA, including senior appointments, troop deployments and arms spending. Almost all the members are senior generals, but the most important posts have always been held by the party's most senior leaders to ensure absolute loyalty of the armed forces and to ensure the survival of the regime. [1] CMC has control over 6.8 million personnel.

Chairman of the Central Military Commission leader of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China

The Chairman of the Central Military Commission is the head of the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) and thereby the commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army. The officeholder is usually General Secretary of the Communist Party of China or Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

Xi Jinping General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and paramount leader of China

Xi Jinping is a Chinese politician serving as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC). Often described as China's "paramount leader" since 2012, he officially received the title of "core leader" from the CPC in 2016. As general secretary, Xi holds an ex-officio seat on the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, China's top decision-making body.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China The head of the Communist Party of China and the de facto Leader of China

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is head of the Communist Party of China and the highest-ranking official within the People's Republic of China. The General Secretary is a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat. The officeholder is usually considered the "paramount leader" of China.

The CMC is housed in the Ministry of National Defense compound ("August 1st Building") in western Beijing.

Ministry of National Defense of the Peoples Republic of China Chinese government ministry responsible for military and national defense matters

The Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China or for short the "National Defense Ministry" is the 2nd-ranked ministry under the State Council. It is headed by the Minister of National Defense.

History

The Party military committee dates back to October 1925, and while operating under various degrees of authority and responsibility, was consistently named the CPC Central Military Commission (Chinese :中共中央軍事委員會; pinyin :Zhōnggòng Zhōngyāng Jūnshì Wěiyuánhuì). Among Western commentators, “Affairs” is frequently dropped from the title. [2] As a commission, it ranks higher in the party hierarchy than departments such as the Organization or United Front Departments. In 1937 the CPC Central Revolutionary Military Commission (Chinese :中共中央革命軍事委員會; pinyin :Zhōnggòng Zhōngyāng Gémìng Jūnshì Wěiyuánhuì) was created after the Chinese Soviet Republic's Chinese Red Army were integrated into the Kuomintang's army for the anti-Japanese war, and it later evolved into the Central Military Commission after the Party's 7th Congress in 1945. In this period, the Committee was always chaired by Mao Zedong.

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Pinyin Chinese romanization scheme for Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Chinese Soviet Republic former country

The Chinese Soviet Republic (CSR), also known as the Soviet Republic of China or the China Soviet Republic, is often referred to in historical sources as the Jiangxi Soviet. It was established in November 1931 by future Communist Party of China leader Mao Zedong, General Zhu De and others, and it lasted until 1937. Discontiguous territories included the Northeastern Jiangxi, Hunan-Jiangxi, Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi, Hunan-Western Hubei, Hunan-Hubei-Sichuan-Guizhou, Shaanxi-Gansu, Szechuan-Shensi, Hubei-Henan-Anhui and Haifeng-Lufeng Soviets. Mao Zedong was both CSR state chairman and prime minister; he led the state and its government. Mao's tenure as head of a "small state within a state" gave him experience in mobile warfare and peasant organization; this experience helped him accomplish the Communist reunification of China during the late 1940s. The CSR was eventually destroyed by the Kuomintang (KMT)'s National Revolutionary Army in a series of 1934 encirclement campaigns. Following the Xi'an Incident of December 1936, the Communists and Kuomintang formed an uneasy "United Front" to resist Japanese pressure, which led to the Communists recognizing at least for the moment Chiang Kai-shek as China's leader and the official dissolution of the Soviet Republic on 22 September 1937.

In the September 1949 reorganization, military leadership was transferred to a government body, the People's Revolutionary Military Commission of the Central People's Government (traditional Chinese: 中央人民政府人民革命軍事委員會, Zhōngyāng Rénmín Zhèngfǔ Rénmín Gémìng Jūnshì Wěiyuánhuì). The final coexistence of two military committees was set in 1954, as the CPC Central Military Commission was re-established, while state military authority rested into a National Defense Council of the People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国国防委员会, Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guófáng Wěiyuánhuì) chaired by the President in keeping with the 1954 Constitution.

In the first five years of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China was the supreme organ for exercising state power when the National People's Congress was not in session, according to Article 12 of the Common Program of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference .

President of the Peoples Republic of China Ceremonial office and nominal de jure Head of State of China

The President of the People's Republic of China is the head of state of the People's Republic of China. Under the country's constitution, the presidency is a largely ceremonial office with limited power. However, since 1993, as a matter of convention, the presidency has been held simultaneously by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the top leader in the one party system. The presidency is officially regarded as an institution of the state rather than an administrative post; theoretically, the President serves at the pleasure of the National People's Congress, the legislature, and is not legally vested to take executive action on its own prerogative. The current President is Xi Jinping, who took presidency in March 2013.

As Mao Zedong was also the Chairman of the Communist Party of China and led military affairs as a whole, the CMC and NDC's day-to-day work was carried out by its first-ranking vice-chairman, a post which was occupied by Lin Biao until his death in 1971, then by Ye Jianying. As a consequence of the Cultural Revolution, the Party CMC became the sole military overseeing body, and the National Defence Council was abolished in 1975.

Deng Xiaoping's efforts to institutionally separate the Party and the state led to the establishment of today’s State CMC, which was created in 1982 by the Constitution of China in order to formalize the role of the military within the government structure. Both the National Defense Commission and State CMC have been described as 'consultative' bodies. [2] Contrarily to the National Defense Commission, however, the Party and state CMCs are almost identical in leadership, composition, and powers.

The Commission included the post of secretary-general until 1992. This post was held by Yang Shangkun (1945–1954), Huang Kecheng (1954–1959), Luo Ruiqing (1959–1966), Ye Jianying (1966–1977), Luo Ruiqing (1977–1979), Geng Biao (1979–1981), Yang Shangkun (1981–1989), Yang Baibing (1989–1992).

In 2016, the 4 traditional general departments were dissolved by order of Chairman Xi Jinping, and in their place 15 new departments were created as part of the ongoing modernization of the PLA.

Command structure

Unlike in most countries, the Central Military Commission is not considered as just another ministry. Although China does have a Ministry of National Defense, headed by a Minister of National Defense, it exists solely for liaison with foreign militaries and does not have command authority.

The most important chain of command runs from the CMC to the four General Headquarters (Joint Staff Department, Political Work Department, Logistic Support Department, Equipments Development Department) and, in turn, to each of the service branches (ground, navy and air forces). In addition, the CMC also has direct control over the Rocket Forces, Strategic Support Forces, the National Defense University, and the Academy of Military Sciences. As stipulated in the 1997 National Defense Law, the CMC also controls the paramilitary People’s Armed Police (PAP), who have the politically sensitive role of guarding key government buildings (including the main leadership compound of Zhongnanhai in Beijing) and enforcing the law all around China. The CMC shared command authority over the PAP with of the State Council mostly via the Ministry of Public Security; from 2018 the PAP is under the sole control of the CMC.

Although in theory the CMC has the highest military command authority, in reality the ultimate decision making power concerning war, armed forces, and national defense resides with the Communist Party’s Politburo. The CMC is usually chaired by the General Secretary of the Communist Party, who is supported by two to three Vice-Chairmen, sometimes, but not currently, including the Defense Minister. Members of the CMC used to include the heads of the PLA’s four general departments and the Commanders of the Ground Force, Air Force, Navy and Rocket Force; but after the recent reform only Minister of National Defense, Chief of Joint Staff, Director of Political Work, and Secretary of Discipline Inspection are included.

Political structure

The armed forces of China also have Joint Staff Department, the Political Work Department, the Logistics Support Department and the Equipment Development Department , which implements the directives of the Central Military Commission. Along with the General Secretary of the Communist Party and Premier of the State Council, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission have consistently been one of the most powerful political leaders in China.

The Chairman of the CMC was twice in its history held by a senior official who had given up his other posts: by Deng in the late 1980s, and by Jiang in the early 2000s. In the case of Deng Xiaoping, because of his prestige, he was able to exercise considerable power after his retirement, in part due to his holding the position of CMC Chairman. There was speculation that Jiang Zemin would have been able to retain similar authority after his retirement from the positions of General Secretary and President, but ultimately Jiang was unable to do so. One major factor is that, in contrast to Deng Xiaoping, who always had close relations with the People's Liberation Army, Jiang had no military background. In addition, with the promotion of the fourth generation of Chinese leaders to lead the civilian party, there was also a corresponding promotion of military leaders. All the military members of the CMC come from Hu Jintao's generation rather than from Jiang's, and at the time of the leadership transition, there appeared some very sharp editorials from military officers suggesting that the military would have strong objections to Jiang attempting to exercise power behind the scenes.

Jiang Zemin relinquished his post as Chairman of the party's Central Military Commission in September 2004 to Hu Jintao, and from the state commission in March 2005, which appeared to solidify Hu's position as paramount leader. However, Jiang had appointed two generals who maintained good relations with him, Xu Caihou, and Guo Boxiong, to the Vice-Chairman positions, and continued to wield influence through them at the expense of Hu. [3] Unlike Deng and Jiang, Hu relinquished his CMC post along with his remaining leadership offices in favour of his successor Xi Jinping.

In China's state-party-military tripartite political system, the CMC itself is a decision-making body whose day-to-day affairs are not nearly as transparent as that of the Central Committee or the State Council. As one of China's three main decision making bodies the relative influence of the CMC can vary depending on the time period and the leaders. In the event of war or political crisis, for example, the CMC may well function as a de facto executive for the country's daily affairs.

The Tiananmen Protests of 1989 illustrates how the Central Military Commission functions. CMC Chairman Deng Xiaoping proposed the imposition martial law and the use of armed soldiers to suppress unarmed demonstrations in Beijing.

The Library of Congress says of the two CMCs: "The state Central Military Commission was the state's decision-making body in military affairs and directed and commanded the armed forces. The state Central Military Commission consisted of the chairman, who was commander in chief of the armed forces, an executive vice chairman, two vice chairmen, and four other members. Because the PLA has been under party control since its inception, the leadership of the party over the military did not change with the establishment of the state Central Military Commission. Although parallel leadership blurred the distinction between the two groups, the party Central Military Commission retained its traditional, preeminent position in charge of military affairs."

Election of members

Theoretically, the CPC (Party) CMC is elected by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and is subordinate to the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC). In practice, membership is very closely controlled by the PBSC.

Similarly, the State CMC is nominally elected by the National People's Congress and theoretically reports to the Congress, but is in practice indistinguishable from the CPC CMC. This difference in elections also results in the only difference in membership between the two bodies, as party organs, such as the party congress and the Central Committee assemble at different times than the National People's Congress. For example, some were elected into the party CMC in the Sixteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November 2002, but they entered the State CMC in March 2003, when the 10th National People's Congress convened.

The members are generally uniformed military commanders, except for the chairman and first vice-chairman, who have both been drawn from the Politburo in recent years. The military members are generally members of neither the Politburo Standing Committee nor the State Council outside of the Minister of National Defense, although they all tend to be members of the Communist Party and are members of the Central Committee. The military members are apparently chosen with regular promotion procedures from within the PLA.

Members

The make-up of the current Central Military Commission of the Communist Party was determined at the 19th Party Congress held in October 2017; the state commission awaits confirmation at the 2018 National People's Congress. [4]

Chairman
Vice Chairmen (2)
  1. Air Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Air Force General Xu Qiliang, Member of the 19th Politburo, Executive Deputy Leader of the CMC Leading Group for National Defence and Military Reform
  2. Ground Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg General Zhang Youxia, [5] Member of the 19th Politburo, Deputy Leader of the CMC Leading Group for National Defence and Military Reform
Members (4)
  1. Rocket Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg General Wei Fenghe, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense
  2. Ground Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg General Li Zuocheng, Chief of Joint Staff
  3. Naval Ensign of China.svg Admiral Miao Hua, Director of the CMC Political Work Department
  4. Rocket Force Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg General Zhang Shengmin, Secretary of the CMC Commission for Discipline Inspection, also a Deputy Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection

Organization

The exact internal organisation of the CMC is highly secretive. However, until 2015 it is known that the CMC contained least five key departments. The Joint Staff Department is the nerve center of the entire Chinese military command and control system, responsible for daily administrative duties of the CMC. The General Office processes all CMC communications and documents, coordinate meetings, and convey orders and directives to other subordinate organs.

During the 2015 military reform, by order of Chairman Xi Jinping, 15 departments were created to replace the 5 organs, which were disbanded. The new 15 departments are: [6]

  1. General Office (办公厅)
  2. Joint Staff Department (联合参谋部)
  3. Political Work Department (政治工作部)
  4. Logistic Support Department (后勤保障部)
  5. Equipment Development Department (装备发展部)
  6. Training and Administration Department (训练管理部)
  7. National Defense Mobilization Department (国防动员部)
  8. Discipline Inspection Commission (纪律检查委员会)
  9. Politics and Legal Affairs Commission (政法委员会)
  10. Science and Technology Commission (科学技术委员会)
  11. Office for Strategic Planning (战略规划办公室)
  12. Office for Reform and Organizational Structure (改革和编制办公室)
  13. Office for International Military Cooperation (国际军事合作办公室)
  14. Audit Office (审计署)
  15. Agency for Offices Administration (机关事务管理总局)

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References

Citations

  1. BBC, "How China is Ruled: Military Affairs Commission", accessed 05-6-2010
  2. 1 2 The Pinnacle of the Pyramid: The Central Military Commission, Chapter 3, p. 97 archive
  3. "少将踢爆徐才厚郭伯雄卖官 大军区司令二千万元". Boxun. 2015-03-10.
  4. "新一届中央军委委员中3位是从战火中走出的将军". Sina. 2017-10-27.
  5. Chan, Minnie (2017-10-25). "General Zhang Youxia: Xi Jinping's 'sworn brother' now his deputy on China's top military body". South China Morning Post . Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  6. "国防部新闻事务局官微发布中央军委机关英文译名". People's Daily Online. Retrieved 2016-01-15.

Sources

See also