◎ Purged military members are often replaced by people who owe their promotions to Xi.
On Sept. 13, the official Chinese military newspaper reported that General Song Puxuan had replaced General Zhao Keshi as director of the Logistic Support Department of the Central Military Commission (CMC), China’s top military organ.
Song’s promotion was foreshadowed when he and Zhang Guoshu, the Logistic Support Department political commissar, were reported to have jointly sent a wreath to the wake of recently departed revolutionary general Xiang Shouzhi on Sept. 10. At the time, Song was still commander of the Northern Theater Command.
Song’s appointment also suggests that Lieutenant General Zhou Yaning, vice commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s Rocket Force, will soon be officially promoted to full commander of the Rocket Force. Zhou had also sent a wreath jointly (with Wang Jiasheng, Rocket Force political commissar) to Xiang Shouzhi’s wake.
Why it matters: In recent years, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been consolidating control over the military by restructuring ranks and purging personnel who are members of former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin’s political faction. Purged military members are often replaced by people who owe their promotions to Xi.