The Chinese military has set up a joint command center that would integrate the operations of its army, navy and air forces, military sources have told Kyodo News, in a move aimed at making military strategy and tactics more efficient.
The joint operations command center has been established under the People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Headquarters, which is responsible for taking command of military strategies, as part of military reform efforts to boost the unified operations of Chinese capabilities on land, sea, air and in dealing with strategic missile operations, the sources said.
It is the first time for such a center to be permanently set up, according to the sources.
The establishment comes as China is reviewing its military posture, partly with an eye on Japan’s efforts to boost its alliance with the United States and U.S. shift in strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region.
Political analysts say the new entity could spark worries among nations near China and in the United States over China’s growing assertiveness in pushing its territorial claims in the East China Sea as well as South China Sea.
According to the sources, China is also considering drastic reforms to restructure its seven domestic military regions, including the Beijing Military Region and the Shenyang Military Region, to four “battleground regions,” which it will rename to quickly respond to events in surrounding countries.
The four new regions would be named “Northeast Asia,” “Southeast Asia,” “South Asia” and “Central Asia.”
It is not known who will head the new center, which was set up under the Operation Department of the General Staff Headquarters under the wing of the military’s top decision-making organ, the powerful Central Military Commission, the sources said.