Beijing has promoted four senior military officers experienced in planning for war over Taiwan ahead of the Party Congress on October 15, the New York Times reported. The Communist Party has said it will adopt a new strategy to stop Taiwan from moving toward independence during the congress. The People's Liberation Army's General Chen Bingde was quietly promoted from director general of the general armaments department to chief of the general staff, which means he commands the daily operations of China's armed forces. No official announcement of his promotion has yet been made, although the official military newspaper attributed the new post to him in a September news report. His predecessor, Liang Guanglie, is rumored to be the new defense minister. General Xu Qiliang, a veteran air force pilot, became head of the air force last month. General Ma Xiaotian, also of the air force, was appointed deputy chief of the general staff last month.
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