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Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng Zhōngyāng Jūnshì Wěiyuánhuì
The emblem of the Communist Party of China
|Formed||28 September 1954|
|Jurisdiction||People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police, and China Militia|
|Headquarters||August 1st Building, Beijing|
|Parent agency||CPC Central Committee|
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Zhōngyāng Jūnshì Wěiyuánhuì
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China
|Formed||18 June 1983|
|Jurisdiction||People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police and China Militia|
|Headquarters||August 1st Building, Beijing|
|Parent agency||National People's Congress|
|Website||GOV.CN Ministry of National Defense|
|Central Military Commission|
|Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China|
|Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. CMC has control over 6.8 million personnel.
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 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.
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.
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.
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. 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 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.
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.
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 .
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.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.
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.
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.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."
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.
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.
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:
The Standing Committee of the Central Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, usually known as the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), is a committee consisting of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China. Historically it has been composed of five to eleven members, and currently has seven members. Its officially mandated purpose is to conduct policy discussions and make decisions on major issues when the Politburo, a larger decision-making body, is not in session. According to the party's Constitution, the General Secretary of the Central Committee must also be a member of the Politburo Standing Committee.
The Orders of precedence in China is the ranking of political leaders in China for the purposes of event protocol and to arrange the ordering of names in official news bulletins, both written and televised. It is also sometimes used to assess perceived level of political power. Although there is no formally published ranking, there is usually an established convention and protocol, and the relative positions of Chinese political figures can usually be deduced from the order in meetings and especially by the time and order in which figures are covered by the official media.
The Central Foreign Affairs Commission, formerly known as the Central Foreign Affairs Leading (Small) Group is a commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China that exercises general oversight on matters related to foreign affairs. It is currently chaired by Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping, who is assisted by its office director and Premier Li Keqiang is deputy director. Politburo member Yang Jiechi, and its membership includes officials of minister-rank and above.
The 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing between November 8th and 14th, 2002. It was preceded by the 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. 2,114 delegates and 40 specially invited delegates attended this and elected a 356-member 16th CPC Central Committee, as well as a 121-member Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). The Congress marked the nominal transition of power between Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, who replaced Jiang as General Secretary, and a newly expanded Politburo Standing Committee line-up. The institutional transition would be completed in state organs by the 2003 National People's Congress in March. Jiang, however, remained head of the Central Military Commission, therefore in practice, the power transition was not complete. The Party National Congress examined and adopted the amendment to the Constitution of the Communist Party of China proposed by the 15th CPC Central Committee, and decided to come into force as from the date of its adoption. An amendment to the Constitution was approved the Party National Congress, with Jiang Zemin's signature ideology of "Three Represents" written into it. This congress was succeeded by the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
The Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was the head of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The position was established at the 8th National Congress in 1945 and abolished at the 12th National Congress in 1982, being replaced by that of the General Secretary. Offices with the name chairman of the Central Executive Committee and chairman of the Central Committee existed in 1922–1923 and 1928–1931, respectively.
The 17th Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China was elected by the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on October 22, 2007. Eventually, four members of this Politburo were expelled from the Communist Party for not adhering to the leading party thought. They were, in order of the time of expulsion, Bo Xilai, Xu Caihou, Zhou Yongkang, and Guo Boxiong. This politburo was preceded by the 16th Politburo of the Communist Party of China and succeeded by the 18th Politburo of the Communist Party of China.
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Zhang Youxia is a general in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China and current the second-ranked Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Central Military Commission (CMC). He previously served as Head of the CMC Equipment Development Department, and its predecessor, the PLA General Armaments Department, from 2012 to 2017. He is the son of General Zhang Zongxun. He is a veteran of the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War and one of the few serving generals in China with war experience.
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