China shuffles military posts amid Taiwan row

Agence France Presse

Hong Kong, January 14:

China has reshuffled its high-ranking military posts again in a move apparently targeted at operations covering Taiwanese waters, a Hong Kong report said today. Following a series of recent changes in senior military positions, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has promoted Lieutenant General Sun Dafa, currently political department director of the Nanjing military region, to deputy political commissar, the Beijing-backed Wen Wei Po newspaper said.

Major General Gao Wusheng, political commissar at joint logistics department of the same region, has also been promoted to become director of political department. Quoting unnamed observers it said that the recent reshuffles in all navy, land and air forces, formed part of military senior officials’ “important deployment for a future war in combined operation.”

Although the newspaper did not state who its target was, it noted that the latest change in the Nanjing Military region was specifically responsible for Taiwanese waters. Tension between Beijing and Taipei has been heightened since Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian was re-elected last year, with China fearing his pro-independence moves were aimed at gaining formal sovereignty. China has stepped up its rhetoric against Taiwan and Beijing recently proposed anti-secession law, which is aimed at preventing Taiwan from declaring independence. China regards Taiwan as part of its territory waiting to be reunified, by force if necessary. The two sides split at the end of a civil war in 1949.