Leadership: November 25, 2002

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For the first time, China has replaced the entire general staff of the PLA (People's Liberation Army, the Chinese armed forces.) The PLA, like the Communist Party bureaucracy, suffers from the "jobs for life" syndrome. In China, if you get high enough up in an organization, you can hang on to your job until you drop dead or become disabled. Actually, this is a common practice in most totalitarian governments. One thing all the replaced generals probably all have in common is corruption, or tolerance of same. It's a major problem in the PLA, and all previous efforts to eliminate it have failed. The PLA can never become combat ready unless they get generals less interested in getting rich. Therefore, this sweeping change in the high command makes Taiwanese nervous, for if the leadership of the PLA becomes less corrupt and more militarily competent, China becomes better able to carry off a military attack on Taiwan. 

 


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