News | Feb. 8, 2019

Introduction Appendix: Central Military Commission Reforms

By Joel Wuthnow and Phillip C. Saunders Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA

Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA → Introduction: Appendix

Introduction: Appendix

Central Military Commission Reforms

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Joel Wuthnow is a Research Fellow in the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at National Defense University’s Institute for National for Strategic Studies. He also serves as an adjunct professor in both the Eisenhower School at NDU and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Phillip C. Saunders is Director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs and a Distinguished Research Fellow at National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies. 

This appendix analyzes the organizational logic behind the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) shift from a system centered on a small Central Military Commission (CMC) staff and the four general departments to a much larger post-reform CMC staff that incorporates many of the functions of the former general departments. It also describes the functions of the 15 new CMC departments, commissions, and offices that were announced on January 11, 2016.1

From the General Departments to an Expanded CMC

The pre-reform CMC had 11 members, including a civilian chairman, 2 military vice chairmen, minister of defense, heads of the four general departments, and commanders of the navy, air force, and Second Artillery. The four general departments—the General Staff Department (GSD), General Political Department (GPD), General Logistics Department (GLD), and (from 1998) General Armament Department (GAD)—were led by army officers and collectively served as the ground force headquarters, among other functions. The CMC members supervised the general departments, services, and seven military regions and were supported by a relatively small staff of about 1,000 people in the CMC General Office.2 In this setup, the heads of the general departments and services represented their organizations in CMC debates and were responsible for implementing CMC decisions within their organizations. The CMC chairman (who served concurrently as the Chinese Community Party general-secretary and state president) nominally had the final word on decisions, though during the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao eras, considerable decisionmaking authority and autonomy were delegated to the uniformed vice chairmen.

The post-reform CMC has only seven members, with the GLD, GAD, and service commanders losing their seats, and the director of the CMC Discipline Inspection Commission gaining a seat on the CMC proper (see table 1). (See the chapter by McFadden, Fassler, and Godby in this volume for an analysis of the post-reform CMC leadership.)

Table 1. Pre- and Post-Reform Central Military Commission (CMC) Membership


Pre-Reform CMC Status

Post-Reform Position

CMC Status

CMC Chairman

CMC Chairman

CMC Chairman

CMC Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

CMC Vice Chairman

Minister of Defense

CMC Member

Minister of Defense

CMC Member

GSD Director

CMC Member

CMC Joint Staff Department Director

CMC Member

GPD Director

CMC Member

CMC Political Work Department Director

CMC Member

GLD Director

CMC Member

CMC Logistics Department Director

GAD Director

CMC Member

CMC Equipment Development Department Director

Navy Commander

CMC Member

Navy Commander

Air Force Commander

CMC Member

Air Force Commander

Second Artillery Commander

CMC Member

Rocket Force Commander

Discipline Inspection Commission Director

CMC Discipline Inspection Commission Secretary

CMC Member

Key: GAD: General Armament Department; GLD: General Logistics Department; GPD: General Political Department; GSD: General Staff Department.

The four general departments were abolished, and the post-reform CMC staff grew into a much larger organization that now includes 15 departments, commissions, and offices. The parts of the general departments that focused on managing the ground forces moved into the new army headquarters, while those involved in executing space, cyber, signals intelligence, electronic warfare, and psychological warfare operations mostly moved to the Strategic Support Force. The remaining parts of the general departments were either converted into successor CMC departments (the CMC Joint Staff Department, CMC Political Work Department, CMC Logistics Support Department, and CMC Equipment Development Department) or elevated to the status of independent CMC departments, commissions, or offices (see table 2).

Table 2. CMC Departments, Commissions, and Offices



Initial Director

Current Director

General Office [办公厅]

General Office

GEN Qin Shengxiang

MG Zhong Shaojun

Joint Staff Department

General Staff Department (GSD)

GEN Fang Fenghui

GEN Li Zuocheng

Political Work Department

General Political Department (GPD)

GEN Zhang Yang

ADM Miao Hua

Logistics Support Department

General Logistics Department (GLD)

GEN Zhao Keshi

GEN Song Puxuan

Equipment Development Department [装备发展部]

General Armaments Department (GAD)

GEN Zhang Youxia

LTG Li Shangfu

Training and Administration Department [训练管理部]

GSD Military Training Department

LTG Zheng He [郑和]

LTG Li Huohui

National Defense Mobilization Department [国防动员部]

GSD Mobilization Department

MG Sheng Bin [盛斌]

LTG Sheng Bin

Discipline Inspection Commission [纪律检查委员会]

GPD Discipline Inspection

GEN Du Jincai

GEN Zhang
Shengmin [张升民]

Political and Legal Affairs Commission [政法委员会]

GPD Military Procuratorate

LTG Li Xiaofeng

LTG Song Dan

Science and Technology Commission

GAD Science and Technology

LTG Liu Guozhi

LTG Liu Guozhi

Strategic Planning Office

GSD Strategic Planning Department

MG Wang Huiqing

MG Wang Huiqing

Reform and Organization Office

GSD Military Affairs Department

MG Wang Chengzhi

MG Zhang Yu

Office of International Military Cooperation

MND/CMC Foreign Affairs Office

RADM Guan Youfei

MG Hu Changming

Audit Bureau [审计署]

GLD Audit Bureau

MG Guo Chunfu

MG Guo Chunfu

Organ Affairs General Management Bureau [机关事务管理总部]

GSD Management Support Department

MG Liu Zhiming

MG Liu Zhiming

Key: GAD: General Armament Department; GLD: General Logistics Department; GPD: General Political Department; GSD: General Staff Department.

This shift from a PLA centered on the general department system to one managed by the CMC and CMC staff reflects the three broad drivers of PLA reforms described in the introduction:

  • strengthening the PLA’s ability to plan and conduct joint operations in order to fight and win informationized wars
  • revitalizing party control and discipline within the PLA
  • improving “civil-military integration” so that the PLA can tap civilian resources and leverage breakthroughs in the civilian science and technology sector.

Strengthening the PLA’s Ability to Plan and Conduct Joint Operations

One way the reorganization strengthened the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations is by reducing CMC responsibilities to allow greater focus on jointness and managing operations. Freed from the need to serve as army headquarters and operate technical intelligence collection and space operations, the expanded CMC staff can concentrate on building a joint force and supervising joint operations. The removal of service commanders from CMC membership weakens the services relative to the CMC, although ground force dominance and the service-centric organizational culture within the PLA remain obstacles to building a joint force. Key functions such as joint training (including military education), national defense mobilization, and strategic planning were elevated from second-level departments within the GSD to the status of independent departments and offices within the CMC staff, allowing the CMC chairman and vice chairmen direct oversight over these functions and improving their ability to push forward a joint agenda without obstruction from a GSD or Joint Staff Department director concerned about ground force equities. Some new CMC organs, such as the reform and organization office, were created to help implement leadership priorities.

Revitalizing Party Control and Discipline within the PLA

Bringing the general departments and most of their functions inside the CMC strengthens the ability of the CMC chairman and vice chairmen to monitor those personnel and activities. The CMC General Office is the key CMC staff organization responsible for ensuring compliance with CMC directives and gathering information on what the larger CMC bureaucracy is doing. That office’s critical role is reinforced by the fact that Zhong Shaojun, a longtime civilian aide [秘书] to Xi Jinping, was installed as a key General Office official to serve as Xi’s trusted eyes and ears within the military.3 Zhong followed Xi to Beijing, was appointed deputy director with a military rank of senior colonel, and was subsequently promoted to major general before being named as General Office director in 2018.4 The reorganization also seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of monitoring and control mechanisms by giving the Discipline Inspection Commission, Political and Legal Affairs Commission, and Audit Bureau independent status and the ability to report directly to CMC leaders without interference from their superiors.

Elevation of the CMC Discipline Inspection Commission director to CMC member status increases the authority of that organization within the PLA (and likely the effectiveness of its subsidiary discipline inspection commissions throughout major parts of the PLA). According to interviews, the discipline inspection system now functions as a parallel chain of information that reaches directly up to Xi and provides an independent assessment of the performance of commanders, political commissars, and party committees.5 This arrangement should reduce opportunities for commanders and political commissars to engage in corrupt practices and provide an independent source of information for Xi to use when making promotion decisions.

Improving Civil-Military Integration

The reorganization also strengthens parts of the PLA that collaborate with civilian counterparts in the state and party apparatus. The Science and Technology Commission, previously under the GAD, is now an independent CMC organ.6 The commission will promote civil-military cooperation in defense research and development and strengthen high-level guidance for the research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) system. The National Defense Mobilization Department, which manages the military districts and garrisons that interface with the party and civilian government organs that run China’s provinces and cities, is now an independent department that reports directly to top CMC leaders. The CMC’s Office of International Military Cooperation helps ensure that military diplomacy is coordinated with China’s broader foreign policy objectives.

Assessing Effectiveness of CMC Reforms

While the shift from the general department system to an expanded CMC staff system has a clear organizational logic that corresponds to the goals that PLA reforms are intended to advance, this does not necessarily mean that the organizational reforms will achieve their intended results. The reforms should increase effectiveness and improve monitoring by creating a clearer division of responsibilities and improving the flow of information from the agents (CMC staff organs) to the principal (CMC chairman and vice chairmen). Our assessment is that the PLA has adopted a CMC organizational structure that can support development of a more effective joint force, but that result is by no means guaranteed.

Challenges include the fact that the expanded CMC staff is a larger, more complex organization to run than its smaller predecessor, which delegated more responsibilities to the general departments. As in other aspects of current Chinese government reforms, this reflects an impulse to centralize power and Xi’s reluctance to delegate responsibilities to others. The “CMC Chairman Responsibility System” calls for Xi to make all the important military decisions. Given that the scarcest resource in government is high-level attention, how much time can Xi actually devote to these responsibilities?7 Does he trust the CMC vice chairmen enough to delegate some decisions to them?

This challenge is aggravated by the fact that the PLA’s organizational culture does not encourage independent decisionmaking and taking responsibility, which suggests that greater centralization may slow down decisionmaking. According to one PLA source, many of the senior officers Xi has appointed are relatively inexperienced and reluctant to make decisions. Instead, they pass the buck to their superiors.8 Xi’s promulgation of his own thought on military matters—now required study within the PLA—may also make senior officers more reluctant to challenge suboptimal decisions from the top. The result may be slower decisionmaking and difficulty in correcting mistakes.

Finally, most key CMC and CMC staff positions are held by army officers, and all of them are staffed by officers whose careers have been spent in a military dominated by the ground forces and with rigid promotion and assignment systems. Will their decisions reflect their personal experiences in a PLA with limited jointness or the leadership’s goal of building a military capable of conducting integrated joint operations? Can the PLA move from a service-centric mentality to a joint mentality? Even if the structure of the reorganized CMC supports efforts to build an effective joint military force, the individuals in key leadership positions may frustrate that objective. Building a joint force with capable joint commanders and staff officers may ultimately require generational change.

Overview of CMC Departments, Commissions, and Offices

The rest of this appendix describes the composition of the post-reform CMC and functions of the new CMC departments, commissions, and offices that were announced on January 11, 2016. These departments, commissions, and offices are presented in the protocol order provided by authoritative People’s Republic of China media accounts.9

CMC Departments [bu, /ting, ]

General Office [bangongting, 办公厅]

The CMC retained a General Office whose key responsibilities include managing information flows between CMC members and subsidiary departments, providing advice, and conducting policy research.10 Under Xi, a key mission of the General Office has been implementing the CMC Chairman Responsibility System, which refers to the principle that all important decisions ultimately rest with Xi.11 Authoritative Chinese sources list the General Office ahead of all other CMC departments, including those led by former general department directors (that is, Joint Staff, Political Work, Logistics Support, and Equipment Development), underscoring its importance in ensuring that CMC orders are being implemented across the PLA. The office’s director from 2012 through 2017 was Lieutenant General Qin Shengxiang, who previously served as director of the General Political Department Organization Department.12 In late 2017, Qin departed to serve as the PLA Navy’s political commissar but a successor was not immediately announced. Major General Zhong Shaojun, one of Xi’s longtime civilian aides, was promoted from his position as deputy director to CMC General Office director in 2018.13

Joint Staff Department [lianhe canmou bu, 联合参谋部]

The Joint Staff Department is responsible for command and control (C2), “combat command support” [zuozhan zhihui baozhang, 作战指挥保障], campaign planning, formulating military strategy, organizing joint training, performing combat capability assessments, and working to ensure combat readiness [zhanbei jianshe, 战备建设].14 Thus, the department performs many of the functions of the former General Staff Department Operations Department [zongcan zuozhan bu, 总参作战部].15 The Joint Staff Department also likely absorbed some of the GSD’s role in intelligence collection and analysis (former 2PLA) and, as documented in the chapter in this volume by Costello and McReynolds, plays a role in cyber and electronic warfare management through its Network-Electronic Bureau (former 4PLA). Other former GSD functions were transferred to the Strategic Support Force and service headquarters. The organization plays a significant role in the evolving joint C2 structure by serving as the institutional link between the CMC and five joint theater commands, though the nature of that role remains unclear.16 Its initial director was former Chief of the General Staff General Fang Fenghui. In August 2017, Fang, who had become embroiled in an anti-corruption investigation, was replaced by former PLA ground force commander Li Zuocheng. Li serves concurrently as a CMC member.

Political Work Department [zhengzhi gongzuo bu, 政治工作部]

The Political Work Department performs the duties of the previous GPD, including overseeing political education, “human resources management,” and party organizations within the military, in addition to managing the PLA’s internal and external propaganda arms. Some have speculated that the Political Work Department might have assumed the former GSD Military Affairs Department’s role in enlisted personnel management.17 This department is instrumental in strengthening the party’s “absolute leadership” over the military, which has been a consistent theme of the reforms.18 However, unlike the former GPD, the Political Work Department does not oversee party discipline inspection or the military prosecutorial system; those functions migrated to independent Discipline Inspection and Political and Legal Affairs commissions under the CMC. It was initially led by former GPD Director General Zhang Yang. Zhang, who like Fang Fenghui was caught up in an anti-corruption investigation, was replaced in September 2017 by Admiral Miao Hua, former PLA Navy political commissar. Miao serves concurrently as a CMC member.

Logistics Support Department [houqin baozhang bu, 后勤保障部]

The Logistics Support Department is responsible for overseeing logistics support, setting standards, performing inspections, and carrying out other duties previously entrusted to the General Logistics Department.19 As Luce and Richter note in their chapter in this volume, the Logistics Support Department also plays a role in facilities management, contracting, budget management and funds disbursement, international military engagement, and overall administration of PLA hospitals and medical programs.” A key focus of the department is managing the logistics system, though combat support appears to be carried out by the Joint Logistics Support Force and its subordinate units.20 Its first director was former GLD Director General Zhao Keshi, who retired in October 2017, and was replaced by former Northern Theater commander General Song Puxuan.

Equipment Development Department [zhuangbei fazhan bu, 装备发展部]

Like its predecessor, the General Armaments Department, the Equipment Development Department performs RDT&E functions and oversees procurement management and information systems building [xinxi xitong jianshe, 信息系统建设]. However, the GAD’s Science and Technology Commission did not migrate to this department and was instead placed directly under the CMC (see below). In addition, the GAD’s role in overseeing equipment development for the ground forces was sent to the new army headquarters. According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the PLA aims for a division of labor in RDT&E between the new CMC department, services, and theaters, but how this will work in practice is unclear.21 The initial director was former GAD Director General Zhang Youxia. Following Zhang’s elevation to CMC vice chairman in October 2017, the department was directed by Lieutenant General Li Shangfu, a previous deputy commander of the Strategic Support Force.

Training and Administration Department [xunlian guanli bu, 训练管理部]

The Training and Administration Department is responsible for overseeing training and professional military education, and likely coordinates with the Joint Staff Department, theater commands, and services to develop joint training requirements and assess training programs. It replaced the former GSD Military Training Department [zongcan junxun bu, 总参军训部], which had been stood up in 2011.22 Establishing a training department under direct CMC supervision underscores the importance of strengthening “realistic” joint training across the PLA.23 The first director was Lieutenant General Zheng He, who went on to serve as president of the PLA Academy of Military Sciences and later the PLA National Defense University. He was replaced by Lieutenant General Li Huohui, who was previously commander of the 31st Group Army, one of the PLA’s elite units.

National Defense Mobilization Department [guofang dongyuan bu, 国防动员部]

The National Defense Mobilization Department oversees the reserve forces and the provincial military districts [sheng junqu, 省军区] and below, other than the Tibet and Xinjiang Military Districts and the Beijing Garrison (which were placed under the army headquarters in part due to their higher bureaucratic grade).24 This department succeeds the former GSD Mobilization Department [canmou dongyuan bu, 总参动员部]. Elevating mobilization to a separate CMC department highlights the importance of civil-military integration, given the office’s oversight over reserve force and mobilization planning.25 The first director was Lieutenant General Sheng Bin, who was previously deputy commander of the Shenyang Military Region.

CMC Commissions [weiyuanhui, 委员会]

Discipline Inspection Commission [jilu jiancha weiyuanhui, 纪律检查委员会]

The CMC Discipline Inspection Commission is responsible for enforcing party discipline within the PLA, including conducting investigations of suspected corrupt personnel. Its mission parallels that of the civilian Central Discipline Inspection Commission, which has played a prominent role in China’s anti-corruption campaign since late 2012. Although Chinese sources describe this as a new organization,26 the CMC has had a discipline inspection commission since November 1980.27 However, the work of that commission was reportedly carried out by the GPD. Its inaugural secretary was General Du Jincai, a previous GPD deputy director. In March 2017, Du was replaced by General Zhang Shengmin, who had been political commissar of the CMC Logistics Support Department. Zhang was appointed a CMC member at the 19th Party Congress.

Political and Legal Affairs Commission [zhengfa weiyuanhui, 政法委员会]

This organization establishes regulations and legal norms to improve the administration of the PLA—what the Chinese armed forces call “regularization” [zhengguihua, 正规化].28 It also helps to “prevent, investigate, and deal with” criminal activities in the military.29 Centralizing the military’s legal system reduces the potential for interference with the enforcement of laws and regulations at lower levels. Previously, the military court system and Military Procuratorate (which conducted police investigations) were under the GPD. The organization parallels the civilian Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, formerly under Zhou Yongkang, which supervises the legal and police systems. The first secretary of the CMC Politics and Law Commission was Lieutenant General Li Xiaofeng, who previously served as the PLA’s chief procurator. In March 2017, he was replaced by Lieutenant General Song Dan, previously the commission’s deputy secretary.

Science and Technology Commission [kexue jishu weiyuanhui, 科学技术委员会]

As part of the CMC reshuffling, the PLA’s Science and Technology Commission was transferred from the GAD to direct CMC oversight.30 It continues to be responsible for advising PLA leadership on weapons development and serving as a nexus for collaboration between the armed forces and defense industry.31 Moving the commission to the CMC highlights the importance of civil-military integration to the PLA, a theme of the larger reforms. The commission’s director remained Lieutenant General Liu Guozhi, who was appointed to his position in 2014.32

CMC Offices [bangongshi, 办公室/shu, /zongju, 总局]

Strategic Planning Office [zhanlüe guihua bangongshi, 战略规划办公室]

The Strategic Planning Office is responsible for centralizing authority over “military strategic planning.”33 It replaced the GSD Strategic Planning Department, which was established in 2011 and carried out functions such as long-term strategic analysis, resource allocation analysis, and organizational reform analysis.34 The new department continues to perform some of these roles, including managing military budgets and project evaluation and accountability systems.35 Organizational reform issues, however, appear more likely to be addressed within the CMC Reform and Organization Office (see below). Major General Wang Huiqing remained as the office’s director after its transfer from the GSD.

Reform and Organization Office [gaige he bianzhi bangongshi, 改革和编制办公室]

The Reform and Organization Office is responsible for coordinating military reforms and managing the PLA’s organizational structure.36 The organization likely coordinates closely with the CMC’s military reform leading small group [zhongyang junwei zhenhua guofang he jundui gaige liangdao xiaozu, 中央军委深化国防和军队改革领导小组], which was established in 2014 to provide guidance for the entire reform process under Xi’s leadership.37 It appears to replace some functions of the former GSD Military Affairs Department [zongcan junwu bu, 总参军务部] and may also have acquired some responsibilities from the former GSD Strategic Planning Department related to organizational reform.38 The office’s first director was Major General Wang Chengzhi, who formerly led the GPD’s Direct Work Department [zong zheng zhishu gongzuo bu, 总政直属工作部]. In 2017, he was replaced by Major General Zhang Yu, who previously served as the office’s deputy director.

Office of International Military Cooperation [guoji junshi hezuo bangongshi, 国际军事合作办公室]

The CMC Office of International Military Cooperation is responsible for managing foreign military exchanges and cooperation and supervising foreign affairs work throughout the PLA.39 It replaced the previous MND Foreign Affairs Office [guofang bu waishi bangongshi, 国防部外事办公室], which had doubled as the CMC General Office Foreign Affairs Office (FAO). However, the MND Information Affairs Bureau [guofang bu xinwen shiwu ju, 国防部新闻事务局], part of the former FAO that conducts news briefings, remained within the MND. Clarifying the office’s status within the CMC underscores the importance of military diplomacy, which has been an emphasis of Xi.40 The first director of the office was Rear Admiral Guan Youfei, who previously headed the MND Foreign Affairs Office.41 In May 2017, Guan was replaced by Major General Hu Changming, who had previously served as the office’s deputy director.

Audit Bureau [shenji shu, 审计署]

The Audit Bureau is responsible for inspecting PLA finances and supervising the military’s audit system.42 This office was previously located within the GLD but moved to the CMC in November 2014.43 Like the Discipline Inspection Commission, the Audit Bureau sends inspection teams to units throughout the PLA to ensure compliance with rules and root out corruption.44 Major General Guo Chunfu was appointed to lead the office in December 2015.45

Organ Affairs General Management Bureau [jiguan shiwu guanli zongbu, 机关事务管理总部]

This is a new organization responsible for providing administrative support to CMC departments and subsidiary organs.46 The office was apparently the result of a merger between the former GSD Management Support Department [canmou guanli baozhang bu, 总参管理保障部], which served a logistics function (for example, facilities management), and similar offices from the other general departments.47 The new bureau appears to continue to play a role in provisioning supplies as well as in managing military wages.48 One role of the office is “cutting support units and personnel,” which suggests that it has played a role in implementing the PLA’s planned 300,000-person force reduction.49 The bureau’s first director was Major General Liu Zhiming, former head of the Shenyang Military Region Joint Logistics Department.


1 “China Reshuffles Military Headquarters,” Xinhua, January 11, 2016, available at <>; “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle,” China Military Online, January 12, 2016, available at <>. This appendix is adapted from Joel Wuthnow and Phillip C. Saunders, Chinese Military Reforms in the Age of Xi Jinping: Drivers, Challenges, and Implications, China Strategic Perspectives 10 (Washington, DC: NDU Press, 2017), 61–65.

2 Tai Ming Cheung, “The Riddle in the Middle: China’s Central Military Commission in the Twenty-First Century,” in PLA Influence on China’s National Security Policymaking, ed. Phillip C. Saunders and Andrew Scobell (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015), 90–92.

3 Edward Wong, “The ‘Gatekeeper’ in Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle,” New York Times, September 30, 2015, available at <>.

4 “Zhong Shaojun Takes Up the Post of CMC General Office Director” [钟绍军出任军委办公厅主任], Sina News [新浪网], September 18, 2018, available at <>.

5 Authors’ interviews, December 2017.

6 For details on the pre-reform General Armament Department, see Kevin Pollpeter and Amy Chang, “General Armament Department,” in The PLA as Organization v2.0, ed. Kevin Pollpeter and Kenneth W. Allen (Vienna, VA: DGI, Inc., 2015), 228–231.

7 This rule is also known as the Saunders Theorem.

8 Authors’ interviews, December 2017.

9 “China Reshuffles Military Headquarters”; “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

10 Cheung, “The Riddle in the Middle,” 90–92.

11 Tian Yixiang, “Faithfully Implement the Duties and Responsibilities of the CMC General Office” [忠实履行军委办公厅职责使命], PLA Daily [解放军报], April 28, 2016, available at <>.

12 “Which Generals Will Be on the CMC after the Reform?” [哪些将军这次会后调进中央军委?], China Youth Online [中国青年网], January 12, 2016, available at <>. For biographical details on Lieutenant General Qin, see “CMC General Office Director Qin Shengxiang Promoted to Lieutenant General” [中央军委办公厅主任秦生祥晋升中将], Caixin Wang [财新王], July 21, 2015, available at <>.

13 “Zhong Shaojun Takes Up the Post of CMC General Office Director.”

14 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

15 The Operations Department was sometimes known as the 1st Department
[总参一部], a second-level (corps leader grade) department within General Services Department. See Mark A. Stokes and Ian Easton, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department: Evolving Organizations and Missions,” in The PLA as Organization v2.0, 142–145.

16 Alice Miller, “The Central Military Commission,” in The PLA as Organization v2.0, 97.

17 Kenneth W. Allen, Dennis J. Blasko, and John F. Corbett, Jr., “The PLA’s New Organizational Structure: What Is Known, Unknown, Or Speculation (Part 1),” China Brief 16, no. 3 (February 4, 2016), available at <>.

18 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

19 Ibid.

20 See chapter in this volume by Luce and Richter.

21 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

22 Stokes and Easton, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department,” 154–157.

23 See “Reform Efforts Should Be Focused on the ‘Strategic Hubs’” [改革要向战略枢纽聚焦用力], PLA Daily [解放军报], April 22, 2014, available at <>.

24 Allen, Blasko, and Corbett, “The PLA’s New Organizational Structure.”

25 This theme was highlighted in a Chinese report about the initial activities of the department. See “Demystifying the Newly Established CMC National Defense Mobilization Department” [揭秘新成立的中央军委国防动员部], China Youth Daily [中国青年报], January 29, 2016, available at <>.

26 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

27 Roy Kamphausen, “The General Political Department,” in The PLA as Organization v2.0, 173.

28 For a discussion, see Thomas A. Bickford, “Regularization and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” Asian Survey 40, no. 3 (May–June 2000), 456–474.

29 Strengthening the “socialist rule of law” [社会主义法制] is a theme of the broader national reforms, highlighted in particular at the 4th Plenum of the 18th Central Committee held in October 2014. See “Highlights of Communique of 4th Plenary Session of CPC Central Committee,” Xinhua, October 23, 2014, available at <>.

30 Kevin Pollpeter and Amy Chang, “General Armament Department,” in The PLA as Organization v2.0, 223–224.

31 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

32 “Which Generals Will Be on the CMC After the Reform?”

33 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

34 Stokes and Easton, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department,” 153–154.

35 Li Guang, “Promote the Innovative Development of Military Strategic Planning” [推进军队战略规划工作创新发展], PLA Daily [解放军报], April 28, 2016, available at <>.

36 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

37 See “Xi Leads China’s Military Reform, Stresses Strong Army,” Xinhua, March 15, 2014, available at <>.

38 The GSD Military Affairs Department was also responsible for welfare and benefits and served as the personnel center for enlisted servicemen. It is unclear if the new CMC office will assume these duties. See Stokes and Easton, 159–160.

39 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

40 “Xi Jinping: Further Innovate a New Situation in Military Diplomacy” [习近平:进一步开创军事外交新局面], Xinhua, January 29, 2015, available at <>.

41 “Which Generals Will Be on the CMC After the Reform?”

42 This organization has also been translated as “Audit Office.” However, “Audit Bureau” may be a better translation of shu [] and distinguish it from bangongshi [办公室] (“office”).

43 “China Military Reaches Key Decision to Strengthen Auditing,” Xinhua, November 4, 2014, available at <>.

44 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”

45 “Guo Chunfu Becomes Director of PLA Audit Office, in a New Role Twice In a Year” [郭春富任解放军审计署审计长 年内两度履新], Caixin Online [财新网], December 30, 2015, available at <>.

46 Jiguan [机关] may also be translated as “office” or “organization.”

47 Allen, Blasko, and Corbett, “The PLA’s New Organizational Structure.”

48 Li Tongzhu, “Focus On Building a New-Type Service Support System” [着力构建新型服务保障体系], PLA Daily [解放军报], January 25, 2016, available at <>.

49 “MND Holds Press Conference on CMC Organ Reshuffle.”