PLA to set up local 'watchdog' offices to monitor graft and protect troops' rights

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 April, 2014, 6:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 April, 2014, 7:51am

The Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army are setting up offices at the local government level to better monitor soldiers for illegal activities and to address any grievances.

The move comes amid a drive by the leadership to clean up the military, improve morale and root out graft without shaking public confidence in soldiers.

"All departments should attach importance to the work of protecting military rights, especially those that have a major influence on state security and social stability," read a document issued jointly by the Communist Party's Central Political and Law Commission and the PLA's General Political Department.

Government authorities should also crack down on military-related crimes, such as stealing and selling PLA secrets, and theft or destruction of equipment or facilities, it read.

The PLA has come under closer scrutiny by the administration of President Xi Jinping , who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission.

At the end of last month, former deputy logistics chief Gu Junshan was charged with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power. His former boss and ally Xu Caihou , who previously served as CMC vice-chairman, has also been detained.

The document asked all provinces and municipalities to establish leading groups and standing offices at the county, city and provincial levels. Heads of the local political and law commissions will lead the groups, while key juridical and government organisations will take part.

The jointly produced document asked authorities to carefully handle disputes relating to military preparation, drills and training, construction of state-defence projects and related scientific research.

It urged better assistance for military families who became involved in legal matters triggered by personal injuries or death, as well as land acquisitions or demolition work.

"Some civilian disputes and mass incidents have had a direct influence on state defence and military preparation," said a director with the military court quoted by the PLA Daily.

The central government will also establish a mechanism to co-ordinate national issues relating to protecting military rights.