The PLA @ 93; Sino-Indian Tension: No Further Disengagement; SCS: Regional States Balancing, but not Australia; PLA’s Overseas Operations, more

I. The Big Story: The PLA @ 93

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is turning 93 years old today (August 1, 2020). But the celebrations, unlike the past, are without much pomp, pageantry and promotions. President Xi Jinping has only promoted Xu Zhongbo, former political commissar of the PLA’s Joint Logistic Support Force (JLSF) this year. He is promoted to the rank of General and appointed as a political commissar of the PLA Rocket Force (RF). His promotion ceremony was attended by all members of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and some senior commanders of the PLA.

Some publicly available details on Gen Xu’s Career: 

– Xu, 59, a native of Shandong province, joined the PLA Ground Force in 1978 and moved up through the ranks. 

– He spent most of his military career with the 26th Group Army in Shandong, Jinan Military Region and had been political commissar of an artillery brigade and then an armoured division under the same group.

– In 2009, he was appointed as the head of the group’s political department. Four years later, he was promoted as the political commissar of the 20th Group Army. In October 2014, Xu was transferred to the 54th Group Army as the political commissar. The 54th group army is also referred to as the Iron Army for its work in the PLA history. 

– In February 2016, he was appointed political commissar of the newly formed PLA Western Theater Command’s ground force.

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