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UPDATED: September 7, 2015
China's Military Committed to Reform

The overhaul of the military has reached a point of no return as measures to shake up structure, revise attitudes and adjust interests are already set in motion, according to an article responding to an announcement that the armed forces will be downsized.

By the end of 2017, China will have reduced its military personnel by 300,000. This will be the 11th time the military has been reduced in size since the founding of New China in 1949, and the fourth time since the 1980s.

The cuts are part of a wider slew of measures to reform the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which will have about 2 million members after the reduction, compared with 6.27 million in October 1949.

As a country grows stronger, national defense and military strategies become more important, according the article run in Friday's edition of the PLA Daily.

President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, has, on many occasions, stressed that "a prosperous nation and a strong army" are the foundations upon which national rejuvenation will be built, it said.

Many major countries are accelerating military reform and international competition for military predominance is fierce, the article said, adding that state security will be threatened if China's military falls behind.

Xi has identified the PLA's shortcomings and he firmly believes reform will target these problems, the article said.

However, the reforms will be difficult and risky as they require a change in mentality and could affect special interest groups, it said, adding that the old ways of thinking were firmly implanted and "it will be very hard to clear them away."

Despite challenges, the article calls for determination to carry out the reforms.

(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2015)

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