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CMC Chair Xi inspects PLA Western Theater Command Focus PLAAF

Photo courtesy

As the Chairman of the Central Military Commission apart from his other high offices, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inspection tours of commands and units have invited attention. These denote the possible focus of military thinking at the highest level while geographies visited also assume significance.

This year on the eve of the China’s Army Day, visited the air force contingent of the Western Theatre Command which is deployed across the India China border and also what has been called as, “model airborne unit”.

Xinhua reportedv that Chinese President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission also the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping made an inspection tour ahead of China's Army Day, which falls on Aug. 1 of the air force of the Western Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Xi stressed the need to speed up efforts to boost the modernization of the armed forces in southwest China's Sichuan Province while inspecting the air force.

The points stressed by Xi remained standard which have been indicated by him to the PLA from time to time, “enhance military preparedness and ensure airspace security by thoroughly carrying out regular air defense….accelerated pace of pushing new equipment and forces to form combat forces…integrate these …to carry out training under real combat conditions”.

In a separate release Xi’s emphasis to, “concentrate training resources on difficult tactics and maneuvers, and seek better results from training”.

Party leadership over the armed forces in ideological, political, and organizational terms was also emphasised.

Separately President Xi Jinping urged members of an elite airborne company of the People's Liberation Army Air Force to continue to hone their combat skills and achieve new feats.

Meanwhile an updated edition of a study outlining Xi Jinping's thinking on strengthening the military has been published. The Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission (CMC) organized the compilation work of the new edition based on the original version of the study outline published in 2019. This edition of the study outline expounds on the significance, scientific system, essence and practical requirements of the thinking. It fully demonstrates the thinking's latest development and will serve as fundamental material for its study, according to an official statement.


The focus on PLA Air Force in Westen Theatre Command opposite the Indian border is significant after a number of new airfields have been constructed and forward deployment of front line Chinese combat aircraft have been noticed in the recent past. The visit of the Chairman CMC would be not just to pep up the morale but indicate the significance of the role being performed by the units.

What operational significance with reference to the ongoing standoff with India on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) remains to be seen indicating the high level of readiness that the WTC is maintaining on this front, which is perhaps the second most significant area being looked at by the CMC.

There is no doubt being left in the PLA commanders and rank and file as well as to the control and accountability to the CPC and its General Secretary Xi, as he went down to the subunit level of specialist airborne units.


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