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Editor: Tariq Sumair
 
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  Xi orders new PLA units to be combat ready; China reshuffles 84 corps-level military units
   
 
BEIJING, Apr 19 (INP) Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked People's Liberation Army commanders to focus on strengthening their unit's combat capability following the establishment of 84 large units. Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, met commanders of these new units at the commission's headquarters in Beijing. President told commanders to hone their skills and focus on joint operations and technology.Setting the goal of building "an indestructible combat force," Xi said major improvements should be made in fighting capability to adapt to integrative joint operations and the new military system.The new units must prepare themselves for combat and study wars. They should concentrate on improving their joint operation capabilities and technology level, Xi said.The president also told the new forces to conduct more combat exercises and give priority to building "new-type" fighting capabilities.In PLA terminology, new-type fighting capabilities generally refers to capabilities of engaging in electronic, information and space operations.All 84 of the new units are at combined corps level, which means their commanders have or soon will be promoted to a rank of either major general in the Ground Force, Air Force and Rocket Force or rear admiral in the Navy. Though the PLA has not disclosed how these units were set up, it is likely that they were created through the regrouping of existing forces rather than recruiting new personnel, because the Chinese military is still engaged in cutting its troops by 300,000.The units' emergence also indicates the PLA's structural shake-up has taken effect. At a Central Military Commission conference in December, Xi ordered the military's structure to be adjusted and optimized, calling for a smaller but capable and flexible military.INP/AH
 
 
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