BEIJING, Feb. 2 (ChinaMil) -- China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) held a special press conference in Beijing on February 1, 2016, at which the Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun answered journalists' questions about the adjustment and establishment of the theater commands.
Q: Why re-adjust and re-divide the theater commands?
Yang: The five new theater commands, namely the Eastern Theater Command, the Southern Theater Command, the Western Theater Command, the Northern Theater Command and the Central Theater Command are set up according to China's security environment and the military's missions and tasks.
This adjustment is made on the principle that the Central Military Commission (CMC) takes charge of the overall administration of the Chinese armed forces, the theater commands focus on combat readiness, and the various military services pursue their own construction and development.
This adjustment is conducive to improving the joint operational commanding institutions, forming the joint operational system, better safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and maintaining regional stability and world peace.
Q: How were the five new theater commands established?
Yang: The five new theater commands' organs are established on the basis of the functions and institutions of the former seven Military Area Commands (MAC). Under the leadership of the CMC, the five new theater commands are equivalent to the level of the former MACs, and the top commanding officers are also equivalent to the same level of the former MACs. As the adjustment and establishment is completed, the former seven MACs - Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Ji'nan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu - will be canceled.
Q: What are the duties and missions of the theater commands?
Yang: As the only top joint operational commanding institutions in their respective strategic directions, the theater commands are responsible for performing joint operational commanding functions, dealing with security threats in their strategic directions, maintaining peace, deterring wars and winning battles.
Q: What's the goal of theater commands construction?
Yang: The goal is to resolutely implement the Communist Party of China's goal of building a strong military under new circumstances, resolutely carry out the military strategy and guideline under new circumstances, resolutely carry through the principle that the CMC takes charge of the overall administration of the Chinese armed forces, the theater commands focus on combat readiness, and the various military services pursue their own construction and development, and build the loyal, competent and efficient joint operational commanding institutions.
Q: Will there be services' organs in the five theater commands?
Yang: To adapt to the establishment of theater commands, services' subordinate organs are formed within the five theater commands during this round of reform.
The Army's subordinate organs within the five theater commands are built on the basis of certain functions and institutions of the former MACs, the Navy's subordinate organs within the five theater commands are built on the basis of relevant naval fleets, and the Air Force's subordinate organs within five theater commands are built on the basis of the air force of former MACs. To date, the adjustment and establishment of the services' organs within five theater commands has been completed.
Q: Since the theater commands don't directly lead and manage the troops, will that affect their commands over the troops?
Yang: As the only top joint operational commanding institutions in their respective strategic directions, the theater commands can carry out unified command and control over all troops undertaking combat missions according to the commanding rights and liabilities endorsed by the CMC.
We will adapt to the operational requirements of the new commanding system, improve relevant rules and laws, and make sure the commanding rights and liabilities of the theater commands be earnestly put in place.
Q: After the theater commands adjustment and establishment, will China's national defense policy and military strategy be changed?
Yang: China always upholds a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and insists on the military strategy of proactive defense. Such policy and strategy are determined by China's political system, development strategy, foreign policy and historical and cultural traditions and will remain unchanged.
The Chinese armed forces will adhere to the security outlook of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable, actively expand the space for military security cooperation, and create a security environment conducive to the nation's peaceful development, and make greater contributions to world peace.
Q: How to deal with the follow-up work and left-over problems after the former MACs are canceled?
Yang: According to the actual situations of the reform, President Xi Jinping and China's CMC have decided to form transitional work offices to specifically deal with the follow-up work.
This arrangement is good for well serving the retired officers and properly arranging the officers and the wounded, sick and disabled, and is conducive to strengthening the management of funds, materials, equipment and facilities, so as to ensure the smooth transition from the old system to the new one and also the security and stability of the troops.