In November 2015, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced that the military’s remaining sanctioned participation in the PRC economy, known as “paid services,” would be phased out over the course of three years. The soon-to-be-discontinued services included “accepting civilian patients at military hospitals, leasing military warehouses to commercial firms, hiring PLA song and dance troupes for public events, outsourcing military construction companies, and opening military academies and institutions to public students.” This article examines the origins and early course of this final divestiture, places it within the context of the PLA’s pre-1998 commercial activity, and then assesses its possible benefits for warfighting capability, supporting the massive reorganization currently under way, and strengthening the fight against military corruption.

PLA Divestiture 2.0: We Mean It This Time

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