China Leadership Monitor

And Then There Were Seven: The New, Slimmed-Down Central Military Commission

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Image credit: 
Hung Chung Chih, Shutterstock

In October 2017 at the first plenary session of the 19th Central Committee, Chinese state media announced the lineup of the new Central Military Commission (CMC). While a smaller CMC had been rumored in the weeks prior, the new configuration shattered previous paradigms of military leadership. Not only was the number of members reduced from 11 to 7, but there was a wholesale change in the assignment of seats by office, reflecting the tectonic changes from the PLA’s massive reorganization discussed in CLM 49. This article examines the transition, analyzes the individuals chosen and the logic for their selection, and assesses the implications for party-Army relations.

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And Then There Were Seven: The New, Slimmed-Down Central Military Commission