China's Military Paper Opposes Army Nationalization

June 25, 2007 Updated: June 25, 2007

CHINA—The Chinese Communist Regime's People's Liberation Army Daily (a military newspaper) published an article that strongly opposed the nationalization of the army. The article said, “Once the army is nationalized, the communist party will no longer have absolute control of it, and the socialist nature of the country will be obliterated.” The article has met with some criticism.

Analysts say that on the eve of 80 years of the communist army's existence, the fact that the article was published indicates that the voice inside the communist party seeking nationalization of the army is very loud. Experts said that military nationalization is symbolic of whether or not a country has democracy. If a harmonious society needs an army to protect it, the purpose of the army is questionable.

According to a report in China Times , before the communist party's 17th Congress, any slight commotion can bring about conjecture. In April the regime's leader Hu Jintao frequently emphasized to the army that “it is important to obey the communist party's command;” which resulted in strong support for Hu from the high-ranking army officers.

As the reformation wave ripples through China, thoughts of democracy are also rising inside China, and the voice to nationalize the army becomes stronger and stronger.

Some analysts believe that under the single-party autocracy, nationalization of the army is in the foreseeable future. However, the communist party cannot tolerate such opinions.

Hong Kong critic of military affairs, Ma Ding-shing said, “The talk of army nationalization cannot be openly discussed inside China because even such so-called reformists as Premier Wen Jiabao still insist that the system of a single-party autocracy will not change for a 100 years.”

Ma also said that the most popular reason for refusing military nationalization in China is that stability is paramount; with no stability, there is no development and no economic prosperity. So China needs the army to maintain order and stability.

But Critic Wu Fen said, the army is there to protect the country from outside invasion. An army doesn't exist to ensure the safety of the society—that is the job of the police.

Ma Ding-shing said, “What is the biggest problem of having a non-nationalized army? The biggest defect is that the army becomes the communist party's tool to persecute different voices. The most obvious example is the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The leader of the communist party gave orders for the army to attack its own people.”

Taiwan chief editor of Defense International Cheng Chi-wen said, “The Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan Kuoming Tang as a warning. If the army is nationalized, it will lose its power.”

Cheng Chi-wen thought that nationalization of the army is an important criterion of a democratic country. If the army cannot be separated from politics, the country will encounter a lot of unimaginable obstacles and problems on its way to democracy and modernization because the army is controlled by a few people or one party.