Military corruption crackdown strengthens Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with military officers
May 24, 2016: Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with military officers on Heixiazi Island. Mr. Xi is using an anticorruption initiative to solidify his power over the PLA (source: dpa)


  • Members of China’s military have long used their positions to enrich themselves
  • Endemic corruption has hindered the PLA’s combat readiness
  • President Xi Jinping’s has launched an unprecedented crackdown on corruption in the Chinses military
  • The thorough change has allowed him to consolidate his power over the PLA

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was, until recently, held up as a paragon of virtue in China, but that changed when President Xi Jinping came to power. By 2016, his anti-graft campaign had resulted in 46 senior military officers facing corruption charges. The campaign shows no sign of stopping. The result will be a massive restructuring of the military, designed to weaken generals and increase President Xi’s personal power base.

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