China military army salute Tang Zhaoming/ZumaPress

Soviet Lessons for Chinese Purges

Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive has entered its most dangerous phase: a purge of some of the highest-ranking officers in the People's Liberation Army. Will this effort deepen the PLA's loyalty to the Communist Party, or weaken the military at a critical moment, as Stalin's purge did just before the Nazi invasion?

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – On August 1, China’s People’s Liberation Army celebrated its 88th anniversary. But the country’s 2.3 million soldiers have little to cheer about. On the eve of the anniversary, the PLA’s former top general, Guo Boxiong, was unceremoniously booted out of the Communist Party and handed over to military prosecutors to face corruption charges, including allegations that he took large bribes from fellow PLA officers in exchange for promotions. And Guo will not be the last PLA officer to face such charges.