One of the key issues we are tracking in China is the unity of the People’s Liberation Army. We expect, both in 2016 and in the years to follow, China will become more of a dictatorship, as Beijing attempts to maintain central control over the country. This forecast is based in part on the PLA remaining the enforcement mechanism for the Communist Party’s control over the country. We recently published an update on this key element of both our 2016 and 2040 forecasts earlier this month, following an article in the PLA’s official daily newspaper stressing the need for compliance with new military reforms pushed by President Xi Jinping. These reforms include a reorganization of the Chinese military command structure to be completed by January, as well as an eventual reduction of China’s military by 300,000 people.
Keeping this context in mind, it is notable to us that on Dec. 29, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) said on its website that both it and the Assets Supervi