Senior Army Officials Suppress Voices for Army Nationalization

August 5, 2007 Updated: August 5, 2007

August 1 marks the 80th anniversary of China's Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing has announced changes to military uniforms and launched a series of public activities around this event. The CCP also stressed its opposition to the nationalization of the army. On the other hand, there are voices from inside the army that encourage Chinese soldiers to withdraw from the CCP and not to serve as the party's private militia. These same voices call for Chinese soldiers to put the fundamental interests of China before those of the CCP and to support nationalization of the army.

The nationalization of the army has been discussed for a long time. Some generals have written articles in public journals in support of nationalization.    On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the PLA, a statement by The Voices from the Army on the Future China Forum website was published to reflect voices from the army: “We are announcing our withdrawal from all CCP organizations. We are no longer willing to serve the CCP army.   

“We pledge to join the National Army of China in the near future. We are going to align our forces and transform the army of the CCP into the National Army of China.”

The Voices from the Army statement drew immediate response from mainland China. Yi Junshan, who used to serve for the No 12 Squad of No 94816 Troop, immediately published his intent to withdraw from the CCP.    In the CCP journal Qiushi, a July 16 article written to mark the 80th anniversary of the PLA, Cao Gangchuan, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defense, said: “The enemy forces are positioning the PLA for westernization, spreading the concepts of non-party army, non-political army or nationalization of the army. They are attempting to eliminate CCP control of the PLA.”

The CCP army newspaper PLA Daily also published a special article on July 3 to denounce nationalization of the army and to reemphasize the CCP's absolute control of the army. Zhao Keming, Dean of the National Defense University, published a supporting article in Qiushi.    The CCP has tightened its control over the army. A recent report revealed a mental hospital in Guangxi Province where many young soldiers are being detained. Li Dayong, who initiated the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP, thinks the CCP may no longer be able to control the PLA.

The CCP started to build the computer based army in 2001. Army corps, division, brigade and regiment all are equipped with computers from which they can easily access information on the worldwide web.

“Some generals are no longer willing to serve the CCP,” said Li Dayong. “Many have read the Nine Commentaries of the Communist Party. Many have withdrawn from the CCP.”