What is the Central Military Commission of China? What makes it so powerful?

Know what the Central Military Commission of China is and how it is so powerful.
What is the Central Military Commission of China? What makes it so powerful?
What is the Central Military Commission of China? What makes it so powerful?

A leadership reshuffle is what the Communist Party of China's  Central Military Commission is going to experience soon.  The body is responsible for overseeing the People's Liberation Army.

Chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Central Military Commission will be reshuffling its leadership. Xi Jinping, however, is expected to stay on.


Amidst the 20th party congress unfolding this week in Beijing, Xi will pick a few to come at the top brass. This will throw light on the determined modernization goals of the PLA.


The Central Military Commission 


The Central Military Commission is China's supreme military commanding and decision-making body. It holds the authority to command all the armed forces of China, take decisions on their strategies and course of action, and oversee their development, equipment, personnel, funding and assets, and other such issues of importance. 

The CMC comprises 16 functional departments, including the Logistical Support Department and the Joint Staff Department. 

It also takes care of the headquarters of the five theater commands of the PLA, six force branches, along with multiple affiliated research academies and institutions.

Above all these comes a seven-man committee. The seven members consist of Xi, and 6 others, out of which, the two vice-chairman and the four members are uniformed generals, each holding the charge of some CMC duties.

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Election of the CMC members


The national congress of the Communist Party elects the CMC members and the chairman every five years.


This time, President Xi is expected to get re-elected for a third time.

Are there multiple CMCs in China?


Well, there is one more CMC in China apart from the one discussed above. It is the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China.

As per the constitution, the authority to lead the country's armed forces lies in the hands of this commission. It must be elected or removed by the National People's Congress.

Basically, the CMC of the party and the CMC of the state are nothing but organizations with different brands.


Both hold the same members, each with corresponding roles and titles.

The arrangement was such to fit the party's absolute control of the military into a modern constitutional state structure.

What makes the party's CMC powerful?


It was Mao Zedong who set the principle "the party commands the gun" while founding the Red Army.

Mao has long chaired the CMC. 


Eventually, the Red Army grew into the PLA and successfully won the civil war in China.

The principle thus became the doctrine of the PRC's constitution. 

Presently, the party holds absolute leadership over the PLA along with other Chinese armed forces.


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