New set of directives approved by Xi focuses on joint combat operations
The Central Military Commission, China's top military authority, has published a set of guidelines on joint combat operations for the People's Liberation Army.
The guidelines were approved by President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, and took effect on Nov 7. They have been distributed to PLA units.
The guidelines stem from Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military and the nation's defense strategies for the new era. They establish basic concepts and rules for the PLA's joint combat operations, clarify responsibilities of units at different levels, expound on questions such as how to fight future wars and also stress the importance of combat preparedness.
The publication of the guidelines is significant in efforts to boost the PLA's structural reforms and enhance its joint operational capability, the military commission said.
The commission has ordered all levels of the armed forces to study and implement the guidelines and use them to organize joint combat and training activities to boost the military's overall operational capabilities.
A researcher with the PLA Academy of Military Science, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said such guidelines are badly needed by the armed forces because they will help combat units to better plan, organize and coordinate their joint operations.
"Our forces are giving unprecedented importance to honing their joint combat skills but have found many problems and questions that they have been unable to solve," he explained. "Therefore, the highest military authority made the guidelines to provide methods and solutions and answer questions."
Joint combat operations require sophisticated arrangement and integration of planning, commanding, logistic support, mobilization and political effort, all of which must be based on a set of unified guidelines that are suitable for each service branch, according to the researcher.
Xi has repeatedly urged the armed forces to focus on and improve their joint operational capability.
During a visit to the headquarters of the PLA Navy's Marine Corps in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, last month－his most recent inspection of a military unit－Xi told Marine Corps senior officials to boost their units' joint operational capability.
In response to Xi's attention, exercises organized by the PLA over the past several years have largely focused on verifying and strengthening such capability.