Personnel changes at PLA headquarters have resulted in a new commandant of the top military think-tank and a new assistant chief of general staff. Military analysts consider the appointment of Lieutenant-General Wang Zuxun , thought to be in his 50s, as commandant of the Academy of Military Sciences a major move in introducing younger officers to execute the central policy of 'revitalising the PLA with science and technology'. One source said: 'General Wang has both solid combat experience and academic research credentials. He is a younger hopeful groomed to further the professionalisation course of the PLA.' General Wang, a veteran commander on Yunnan's border with Vietnam, successively headed the 14th Group Army, stationed in Kunming, and the provincial command before his promotion to the academy in 1994 as its youngest deputy commandant, the source said. Throughout his time at the academy, General Wang served concurrently as director of the Military Operations Institute and the Military Systems Department, two major research arms of the PLA's top science school. The source said: 'General Wang's promotion is the first of its kind from a deputy position to the commandant from within the academy. All of his predecessors were brought in from other units, and most of them were close to retirement.' Major-General Zhang Li , former political department chief of the General Staff Department, has been made Assistant Chief of the General Staff. 'The appointment reaffirms the role of political officers despite the stress on science and technology,' said another senior military source. The appointment of four vice-directors of the General Armaments Department has also been confirmed. They are generals Li Yuanzheng, Chen Dazhi, Hu Shixiang and Xiao Zhentang. The department was created in April after the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence was opened to civilians. Generals Li and Chen were transferred from the commission. Generals Hu and Xiao were promoted from other duties, the source said.