Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.
BEIJING, 08 April 2016
The Chinese military’s recently regrouped Western Theater Command is composed of the air forces of the Lanzhou and Chengdu military area commands, the military newspaper reported Thursday.
“Military officers are deciding whether to relocate as the air forces in the Lanzhou and Chengdu military area commands were combined to form the Western Theater Command,” read a feature story published in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily on Thursday.
Lieutenant General Zhan Houshun, former deputy commander of the Chengdu military area command and commander of its air force, was assigned as the commander of the Western Theater Command, news site thepaper.cn reported on March 29.
The Western Theater Command is located in Chengdu, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
China unveiled a long-anticipated plan to regroup its seven military area commands into five theater commands in February 2016, a move that observers said aims to beef up the PLA’s combat capabilities and respond more efficiently through a joint command system to face the challenges of a new era.
“Each theater command needs to focus on combat … enhance joint operations and command training, and seek to win the initiative in future wars,” Chinese President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said in February.
“Each theater command needs to focus on combat, … and seek to win the initiative in future wars,” Xi said.