China: New defense law increases military control of war powers, makes it easier to deploy against U.S.
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – China has amended a defense law to give increased control for its military to the Central Military Commission (CMC) which oversees the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and is chaired by President Xi Jinping, Anti-War reports. The Chinese military can now deploy much more quickly if it wants to challenge US warships that frequently patrol near the Chinese coast.
Having come into effect on January 1, the amendment reduces the role of the Chinese State Council (the country’s cabinet) in determining military policy. As the CMC is led by senior military figures, the new law gives the PLA more control of war powers.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, military law expert and former PLA colonel Zeng Zhiping explained: “The CMC is now formally in charge of making national defense policy and principles, while the State Council becomes a mere implementing agency to provide support to the military.”
Comparing China’s new policy with countries where civilian-led ministries control the military, Zeng added: “Even in the US, the civilian-led defense ministry plays a more important role than their military top brass, the joint chiefs of staff.”
The US intensified its military presence in the region last year by increasing US Navy patrols of the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. The US has also conducted more military surveillance flights in the region, Anti-War said.
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