Beijing: China’s peaceful development will be more serious and gain more respect from the outside due to the changes in the military, said a state-run daily which noted: “It has been decades since the PLA was involved in a war”.
An editorial “Military reshuffle carries deep significance” in the Global Times said that China on Monday inaugurated the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) five new theater commands.
The northern, southern, eastern, western and central theater commands replace the seven previous military area commands.
“The change from ‘military area command’ to ‘theater command’ carries more weight than the change from ‘seven’ to ‘five’,” said the daily.
“The essence of the theater commands is clear. The commands are prepared for combat and winning wars, about which the military and the public share a deep understanding. With such a military system, China’s peaceful development will be more serious and gain more respect from the outside.”
“It has been decades since the PLA was involved in a war. The outside world focuses more on the Dongfeng ballistic missile and the construction of aircraft carriers than about the military itself. The Chinese army has not made much impression on the world.”
The daily noted that perhaps some would prefer the Chinese military to keep a low profile, and it is even better that they advocate peace.
“The establishment of the five theater commands heralds a revolutionary change, highlighting the fundamentals of the military and the troops.
“From now on, the strength of the Chinese military not only exists in historical documents or rests upon newly developed weapons, but also in its determination for victory and in its preparations,” it said.
It went on to say that the “more powerful the PLA grows and the more capable it is of engaging in a war, the country will embrace a peaceful rise all the more. This will contribute to the nation’s peaceful rise, otherwise the outside world will only consider that peace is only our compulsory choice. If this happens, the peace of China and the world will face a dangerous future”.
The editorial said that a major power will attract all kinds of opportunities for the world’s development and can share in global wealth distribution.
“But without corresponding military might, instability may brew. The security of a big power relates to the security of the whole world. That a big power is capable of fighting in a war but not obsessed in launching wars fits the common interests of all mankind.”
The daily noted that the strength of the Chinese military can ensure the country is not intruded on by foreign troops, but it is not enough to promote fair competition and the evolution of order in a globalized era.
“Some external forces do not accept China’s rise. If such sentiments spread with military aid without restraint, it will hurt China’s security and world peace. There needs to be a tipping point where China is more secure, but how to find the tipping point is a subtle issue.”
First Published | 2 February 2016 2:30 PM