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PLA on course to cut 200,000 personnel
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-15 06:02

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is on course to cut 200,000 military personnel by the end of the year, the PLA Daily, mouthpiece of China's armed forces, reported yesterday.

Navy cadets receive training on board the training vessel "Zhenghe" . The photo is taken in July, 2004. [newsphoto/file]
The military is currently carrying out extensive restructuring reform, adding new battle units and cutting outdated ones in an effort to create combat effectiveness and intensify the force's combat command capability, the report said.

The total number of officers at headquarters and functional branches at different command levels will be cut to a new low, and some grassroots posts previously held by officers will be transferred to soldiers or civil servants.

"The readjustment and reform programme is now proceeding smoothly," Zang Guoqing, head of the army affairs department with the PLA's Headquarters of the General Staff, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

China announced in September 2003 that it would reduce its military from 2.5 million to about 2.3 million in two years.
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