I. The Big Story: CMC Decrees and Measures
China has tightened the confidentiality rules for overseas cooperation and arms fairs as the PLA steps up exchanges with foreign counterparts. President Xi Jinping signed a decree last week to improve confidentiality for important military events, exchanges and arms fairs abroad. Increased confidentiality was a part of revised law that would come into effect from March 1, 2020.
Since the Xi Jinping military reforms in late 2015, the PLA’s engagement with the foreign armies has spiked. Xi in 2015 promised the UN that China would deploy 8,000 peacekeeping troops. That same year, NPC passed a revised national security law that expanded the PLA’s peacekeeping responsibilities, international rescue operations and escort missions. One reason for more bilateral and multilateral exercises and training is to overcome the so-called PLA’s “Peace disease” which “the PLA is suffering from 1979” and make it more combat-ready for the future.