Chinese State-run media has been reporting a major announcement for Chinese military families. From next year, the Chinese military expenditure will be expanded to provide free or preferential medical treatment to military families. Interestingly, this is being described as a part of Beijing’s efforts to “maintain a focus on war preparation” and “strengthen troops’ cohesion and combat power.”
Therefore, Xi Jinping’s message to the PLA soldiers is loud and clear- go to the borders, get slaughtered, and don’t worry about your families. And this is why free medical aid to military families is being described as an effort to enhance war preparation.
Xi trying to lure PLA troops into dying for his personal wars
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Military Daily stated that the new regulation giving free medical services to military families is going to come into effect with the approval of Xi, who also serves as the chairman of the Central Military Commission.
The CCP is literally going to give free or preferential medical services to everyone in the family of a military officer including free medical service to the spouse and minor children, and preferential treatment to the parents and spouse’s parents.
However, Chen Pokong, a U.S.-based Chinese political commentator, believes that the latest announcement is a strategic move by the CCP to buy the hearts and minds of the military.
Chen said, “Military personnel’s families get free medical care, but they have to support their spouses going to war. [The CCP] provides families free medical care in exchange for family members going to the front line to die.”
The US-based commentator added, “Seventy percent of these soldiers and officers are the only child in the family.” He added, “They don’t want to get killed in the war, nor do their parents.”
Most Chinese families have only one child due to the One-Child Policy that was introduced in the 1980s by the CCP and relaxed only recently. Being the lone child, an average Chinese youth is supposed to look after his ageing parents and lack of siblings is one of the major reasons why no PLA soldier would want to die at the borders. Even their parents can’t get rid of the fear of losing their only child in a battle.
The ‘One Child Policy’ has also made the PLA an undisciplined military force. Close to 70% of the Chinese military force is comprised of single-children, with no siblings. As such, they have been brought up as pampered “little emperors” by parents and grandparents. Having psychological impacts that growing up alone might have, there is a constant fear among strategic quarters in China that the softness of their force would spell a death-knell for the country’s expansionist and belligerent ambitions around all of its borders.
As a direct result of the One-Child policy, defence think tanks within China are of the increasing opinion that the PLA is made up of “wimps”. “Soldiers from the one-child generations are wimps who have absolutely no fighting spirit,” warned the Study Times, a government publication in China.
In fact, most of the high-ranking CCP officials make it a point not to let their children go to the front lines to face death. After all, even highly powerful CCP officials wouldn’t want to lose their only child.
However, Chen said that such an unfair environment in the military “would inevitably result in anti-war and war-weariness in the military.”
China trying to indoctrinate PLA soldiers
The cultural environment in China and the unfair atmosphere in the PLA have made the Chinese military a demotivated institution. The CCP is, therefore, looking to indoctrinate them with money and propaganda.
As per The Epoch Times, Wang He, an overseas commentator on current affairs, said that the CCP wants to keep the PLA soldiers in captivity and detach them from society to assert tight control over their minds and political ideology. The troops are even made to read propaganda and political material in order to bring them in line with what the CCP thinks.
Wang said, “The CCP requires them [the military] to be obedient to the CCP and does not treat them as human beings, but as tools.” The commentator added, “To settle down active-duty military personnel, the CCP uses money to buy their hearts and minds.”
Is Xi planning a war?
Xi Jinping is in a politically delicate position, and the pressure of adverse public opinion is rising rapidly. As such, any dictator would love to mobilise public opinion by creating war hysteria and ratcheting irredentism to deflect public opinion. Xi is no different.
At a military conference convened last month in Beijing, Xi declared that the Chinese military will dedicate itself to “weapons and equipment”. The Chinese military expenditure is expected to go up by 6.89 percent in 2021 over 2020 and reach a whopping $209 billion, despite the ongoing downturn in the Chinese economy.
Such high military spending clearly hints at Xi’s plans to escalate military tensions with China’s neighbouring enemies like India. However, any such misadventure would involve getting several PLA troops slaughtered. Now, by paying for the medical expenses of the troops’ families, Xi is pushing the PLA soldiers into facing a painful death at the borders.