Reshuffle within PLA confirmed
GENERAL Fu Quanyou has been named Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, or executive commander of the 3.2 million-strong armed forces.
Xinhua (the New China News Agency) last night confirmed a report in the South China Morning Post last week that General Fu, 65, had replaced General Zhang Wannian at a meeting of the Central Military Commission last month.
General Zhang, 67, has been promoted to vice-chairman of the policy-setting commission, of which General Fu has been an ordinary member since 1992.
In a despatch on a meeting between General Fu and a Turkish military delegation, Xinhua referred to him as the 'newly appointed chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army'.
General Fu, who has served as chief of logistics, is a former commander of the Chengdu and Lanzhou military regions.
There have been no official reports on the commission meeting, which apparently also appointed General Wang Ke as General Fu's successor as logistics chief.
Until recently the commander of the Shenyang Military Region, General Wang was also inducted into the commission last week.
General Wang was deputy to General Fu when they both served in the Lanzhou Military Region.
Military analysts said General Fu had a solid track record as a professional, having distinguished himself in the liberation wars of the late 1940s as well as the Korean War of the 1950s.
The analysts said with the addition or promotion of several battle-tested commanders, the overall professional quality of the commission had been raised.
They said one reason for the strengthening of the commission was Taiwan.
Like his predecessor General Zhang, General Fu is expected to play a large role in formulating military or quasi-military policies against Taiwan.
One pressing task for General Fu is to implement war games along the East China coast that have been planned for this year.
Together with fellow commission members in his age group, General Fu is expected to lead the PLA into the next century.