Setting up a joint operational command system is a basic requirement in an era of information and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has launched positive pilot programmes in this regard, the Ministry of National Defence said.
    
The joint operational command system would be established "in due course", reported the media.
    
Quoting observers, the newspaper said the proposed joint operational command system will result in more-coordinated and combat-capable forces to efficiently respond to a crisis.
    
The report comes amidst rising tensions over Beijing's territorial claims in the region. In November, China unilaterally declared air defence rights over much of the East China Sea. Besides, China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea, triggering tensions with countries like the Philippines.
    
The PLA is the world's largest military force, with strength of nearly 2,285,000 personnel. The China Daily report also comes shortly after the Japanese media said China is considering reorganising its seven military regions into five.
    
Each of the new military regions would create a joint operations command controlling the army, navy and air force as well as a strategic missile unit, the newspaper reported.

Reacting to the report, China's Defence Ministry said that the modernisation of PLA is not targeted at any country.
    
Meanwhile, experts said the PLA's structural reform is gathering pace as the country increases sophisticated technology but also faces different security challenges.
    
Ouyang Wei, a professor at the National Defence University of the People's Liberation Army, said a joint command system highlights unified command and information sharing across at least two different military forces.
    
It would help the military respond quickly to a contingency, he said, adding that "The system, which has been popular in the West for decades, is not (aimed at) starting a war, but to kill it in the cradle."
    
Zhao Xiaozhuo, deputy director of the center on China-US defense relations at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said the seven military regions were established in 1985, with the army as the backbone force.
    
China has been trying to optimise the allocation of these military regions, given that incidents are increasingly likely to happen at sea, said Zhao.
    
Li Qinggong, deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, said the country will give top priority to modernise its navy, including having more aircraft carriers and stronger fleets.
    
"China has built an iron bastion in its border regions. The major concern lies at sea," Li said.

(Agencies)

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