China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), headed by President Xi Jinping, has approved a set of guidelines that will govern the public activities of serving and retired senior military officers. As reported by the South China Morning Post, these rules set out a specific code of conduct in eight areas and seek to regulate interactions with government agencies, media, ethnic minorities, religious groups, and foreign institutions, as well as with family members and people known to them through the Internet.
Political and disciplinary bodies are expected to be responsible for monitoring compliance with these rules and correcting any deviations. In addition to their monitoring role, they will be urged to foster a strong sense of loyalty to the party and promote self-discipline to lead a public and transparent social life both professionally and personally.
Military experts have hailed this approval of rules as an unprecedented step for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Ni Lexiong, a professor of political science at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, noted that this move was necessary to adapt to the changing times, as corruption remains a problem in the military. He stressed that even in Mao Zedong’s time, such a significant action had not been taken.
Zhou Chenming, a researcher at the military science and technology think tank Yuan Wang, suggested that these new rules may be aimed at eliminating the legacy of ousted generals Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, who served as vice presidents of the CMC and were implicated in corruption cases.
With these guidelines, China seeks to strengthen discipline and integrity in its armed forces and set clear standards for the interactions of senior officers both on and off duty in an effort to address the problem of corruption and maintain public confidence in the military.