Military announces a major reshuffling

Updated: 2015-01-05 07:50

By China Daily(China Daily)

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The People's Liberation Army has announced a host of key appointments in a major reshuffle, with many commanders from frontline units being promoted to senior posts in Beijing.

Lieutenant General Wang Jiasheng has been named political commissar of the PLA second artillery force, the army's strategic missile arm, moving from his previous post of deputy political commissar at the PLA General Armaments Department. His predecessor, General Zhang Haiyang, has retired from active service.

A former commander of the Beijing Military Command, Lieutenant General Zhang Shibo, was appointed president of the PLA National Defense University, the top institute of the military.

Lieutenant General Gao Jin, former assistant to the chief of staff, is now president of the PLA Academy of Military Science. He served with the second artillery force for 36 years before being assigned to the PLA General Staff Headquarters in July.

The largest change in personnel took place in the PLA navy, where a number of fleet commanders were selected to move to Beijing posts.

Miao Hua, former political commissar of the Lanzhou Military Command, has become political commissar of the navy. His rank was changed to a naval vice-admiral from lieutenant general.

Vice-Admiral Jiang Weilie, former commander of the PLA South Sea Fleet, and Vice-Admiral Wang Dengping, former political commissar of the same fleet, have both been transferred to the PLA navy headquarters in Beijing to replace officers who have retired. Jiang is now the navy's deputy commander and Wang its deputy political commissar.

In response to speculation that the appointments were related to an ongoing anti-corruption campaign within the military, Yang Yujun, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, told an earlier news conference that the PLA reshuffles its high-ranking officers each year, so the moves should not be misinterpreted.

During 2014, a long list of former powerful figures in the PLA came under investigation.

The most astonishing, and unexpected to many, probe during the year was that of Xu Caihou, a retired general and former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.

As one of the most powerful officials in the PLA, Xu was found to have taken advantage of his position to assist the promotion of others, accepting huge bribes both personally and through his family, and to have sought profits for others in exchange for bribes, according to military investigators.

PLA prosecutors wrapped up the investigation of Xu and began the filing of charges in late October. Xu is the highest PLA officer to be investigated and charged in more than 30 years.