June 25, 2023

Chinese military launches new rules to control social lives of top generals

Chinese military launches new rules to control social lives of top generals

China’s top military body has come out with a code of conduct for the serving and retired professionals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that seemingly controls their social lives.

This set of rules was passed by Central Military Commission chaired by President Xi Jinping in an effort to further tighten control, the state-run PLA Daily newspaper reported on Monday.

Though little is known about these guidelines, the newspaper reports that the rules included “specific requirements and concrete demands in eight areas”.

“Political and disciplinary bodies will carry out their supervisory responsibilities, look out for and correct any problems that are in violation of the rules or the law,” the PLA Daily report said.

These rules will deal with Communist Party officials, government bodies and state-owned enterprises, social organisations, the media, academic and research bodies, ethnic minority and religious groups, foreign institutions, and family members, as well as people they meet online.

“[They will] hold any of the leading cadres who have been found responsible for dereliction of duty and instil a strong sense of party spirit among them and encourage them to practice self-discipline so that [the leading cadres] will live a clean social life publicly, and among their families and friends,” it said.

“[The goal] is that their social life is principled, has boundaries and is based upon rules.”

Experts noted that these codes were “unprecedented” which was not even done during the “Mao Zedong’s times”.

“This is an unprecedented move [for the PLA] to have a set of codes on social life for the senior cadres,” said Ni Lexiong, a professor of political science at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law told South China Morning Post (SCMP).

“But it has become necessary now [for the PLA] to keep up with changing times. Corruption has remained a problem for the military,” he was quoted as saying.

He said that these rules were necessitated due to the growing influence of PLA generals and retired officers on the local party and government leaders, businesses, and social bodies.

“For example, the consumption of heavy liquor was a tradition among some senior officers although it was banned after Xi became the head of the Central Military Commission in 2012,” he said.

“I believe it will be spelt out in the new rules again that this is not allowed.”

A professor from Guangzhou College of Commerce, Zeng Zhiping, told SCMP newspaper that the PLA has to implement the rules transparently or else it could face resistance from the generals.