China verschlankt sein Militär
Die chinesische Volks- und Freiheitsarmee soll schlagkräftiger und schlanker werden:
China, which has the largest military force in the world, is making important strides toward developing a lean, high-tech fighting machine, the People's Liberation Army said Monday. A two-year slim-down program has eliminated more than 200,000 jobs, or about 9% of the service, according to the PLA's official newspaper. By year end, that left a total of about 2.3 million members, a 45% reduction since 1987. "Our military is marching towards the goal of an appropriately sized, structurally balanced, lean, command-responsive fighting force," the official Liberation Army Daily said. The PLA has made no secret of its effort to craft a slimmer, more mobile force versed in the use of advanced weaponry as a source of national pride and a deterrent to Taiwanese independence. In an environment in which too many officers and poorly educated soldiers undercut efficiency, these staffing reductions are in line with analysts' expectations. But the downsizing has engendered less obvious social changes, the analysts say. In recent months, China has seen more protests by uniformed and retired military personnel over pay and pensions as the institution's ambitions outpace its resources. It has also faced grumbling from those who have been laid off. Many are less educated and feel let down by an organization that Mao Tse-tung once heralded as virtually indistinguishable from the Chinese people, as "integral to the society around it as fish to water."