China tightens auditing of its massive military budget
China on Thursday brought the auditing of accounts of its 2.3 million-strong People's Liberation Army directly under the control of the high-powered military body headed by President Xi Jinping, after corruption scandals involving high-profile army officers rocked the country.
Beijing: China on Thursday brought the auditing of accounts of its 2.3 million-strong People's Liberation Army directly under the control of the high-powered military body headed by President Xi Jinping, after corruption scandals involving high-profile army officers rocked the country.
The auditing office of the People's Liberation Army has been brought under the direct control of Central Military Commission (CMC) headed by Xi, to heighten its independence and authority, an official statement said.
The decision to bring the auditing office under the command of CMC, comes close on the heels of the arrest of several high-profile army officials in the current campaign against corruption intensified since Xi took over power in 2012.
The top leaders included Xu Caihou, the retired Vice Chief of the CMC, besides a number of his associates.
The decision, carried in a decree signed by Xi was announced today at a meeting, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China's massive defence budget amounted to over USD 132 billion this year, as the military carries out its modernisation campaign.
Previously, a subsidiary of the PLA General Logistics Department, the office now enjoys a more independent and authoritarian status as it is directly managed by the CMC, the country's top military decision-making and command organ.
"This is a major decision made by Chairman Xi and the CMC in an effort to strengthen the army and tighten auditing and supervision over military economic activities.
"It's also a key measure to deepen national defence and military reform, as well as to push forward the innovation of the army's auditing system," the statement said.
The restructuring, which is part of the army's wider- efficiency drive, will prevent and punish corruption and ensure high quality auditing work, the report said.
"The modernisation of the army and its combat preparation processes are arduous missions and we have entered another crucial stage," CMC Vice Chairman Fan Changlong said at the meeting.
Fan asked auditing officials to ensure professionalism, efficiency and?policy knowledge to contribute to the army's anti-graft fight.
Today's decision followed a CMC-approved circular released late last month that called for a results-based expenditure management system to ensure maximum output of the spending.
Modern warfare is expensive, which means cost-output management should be an important consideration for the military, it said.