Taking a page from the Donald Rumsfeld book on armed forces restructuring, Chinese President Hu Jintao has reportedly signaled his intention to further cut PLA force strength and use the savings to buy advanced high-tech military hardware. The PLA, now standing at 2.5mn, is already in the process of trimming personnel by 200,000. Reports said some savings would be used to beef up wages and pensions to catch up with civilian living standards which have dramatically outpaced those of the army. Hu recently took over from Jiang Zemin as chairman of the military commission, making him China's commander-in-chief.
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