What and Why of the PLA Promotions: Who got promoted, which positions are due, WTC problem: India or anti-corruption; Hypersonic Missiles; ACE, Bhutan
I. The Big Story: What and Why of the PLA Promotions
President Xi Jinping promoted five military officers to the rank of General on September 6, 2021. Earlier in July, he had promoted four officers as Generals.
After the latest round of promotions, Wang Haijiang will command the Western Theatre Command, Lin Xiangyang will command the Central Theatre Command, Dong Jun will command the PLA Navy, Chang Dingqiu will command the PLA Air Force and Xu Xueqiang will head the National Defense University.
Wang Haijiang replaces Xu Qiling, who was promoted as a General and appointed as the WTC Commander in July 2021. Xu was only 59 years old, six years less than the current retirement age for the Generals in the PLA. Dong Jun replaces Shen Jinlong as the Commander of the PLA Navy. Shen is the senior-most of all outgoing Generals as he will be 65 next month. Chang Dingqiu replaced Ding Laihang as the Commander of the PLA AF. Ding was 64 years old. Similarly, Lin Xiangyang and Xu Xueqiang replace Yi Xiaoguang (CTC) and Zheng He (NDU). Yi was only 63 years old.
Meanwhile, only Gen Zheng He attended the recent promotions ceremony among all the reshuffled/outgoing officers. It is rumoured that he might be appointed as the NDU Commissar. The age profiles of the outgoing commanders indicate that most of them were below the retirement age. However, the new appointees are younger.
Profiles of the new appointees:
Wang Haijiang, the Commander of WTC, is a native of Sichuan. He commanded the PLA’s 61st Division and was also the deputy commander of the South Xinjiang Military Region.