The English-language China Daily newspaper reported last week that
the government would implement a joint command system "in due
course" and it had already launched pilot programs to that effect.
"With regards to this, the Defence Ministry has clarified that the
relevant report is groundless," the ministry said in a statement on
The People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, and its
sister tabloid, the Global Times, carried the denials on Monday,
citing unidentified ministry sources. The ministry posted the
People's Daily report on its website on Tuesday.
China has been moving rapidly to upgrade its military hardware, but
military analysts say operational integration of complex and
disparate systems across a regionalized command structure is a major
In the past, regional-level military commanders have enjoyed major
latitude over their forces and branches of the military have
remained highly independent of each other, making it difficult to
exercise the centralized control necessary to use new weapons
systems effectively in concert.
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The Defence Ministry reiterated a statement last November by its
spokesman, Yang Yujun, saying that establishing a joint operational
command system was a "necessary requirement".
"In this regard, our army has actively explored this," Yang said,
adding that it would form a "joint operational command system with
Chinese characteristics". He did not elaborate.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; editing by Robert Birsel)
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