PLA beefs up military training system

By Qiang Pen (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-05-01 08:27

The Chinese military officers of the future will be brighter tacticians, better educated and adept at commanding the highest tech weaponry under an innovative training plan to build a better armed forces in the information age.

Recruiting high-caliber soldiers was also key to the training plan, a Chinese military officer said yesterday at the Foreign Affairs Office of Ministry of National Defense.

"The military will establish a new personnel training and educating system, which combines basic and continuing education, academic and military education, and domestic and overseas training," Shi Baohua, deputy chief of the Personnel Department of General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), said in a briefing attended by military attaches from more than 40 countries.

The annual briefing centered on the implementation of the Strategic Project of Personnel Development of PLA, a general plan for personnel development in the military by 2020.

"The project (launched in 2003) aims to obtain commanding officers capable of building informationalized armed forces; staff officers proficient in planning military operations; scientists capable of exploring key technologies in weaponry and equipment; technical specialists with thorough knowledge of hi-tech weaponry performance; and NCOs (non-commissioned officer) with expertise in using weapons and equipment at hand," Shi said.

He added that the PLA will enrol more high-caliber civilian personnel for military services.

"We will put into place a civilian employee system and create posts for specialists as a way to attract talent," he said.

The PLA now has more than 10,000 personnel with doctorate or master's degrees from civilian sections, and more than 1,000 officers are studying for doctorate or master's degrees in top non-military universities.

The long-running human resources project is greatly supported by a special fund of 350 million yuan ($45 million) that the PLA allocated each year.

More than 200,000 officers received pre-promotion education in academic institutions, according to Shi.

"PLA adopted an all-level pre-promotion education system of commanding officers, which means that all officers will receive education relevant to their future assignments before their promotion," he said.

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