Ding Laihang

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Ding Laihang
Commander of the PLA Air Force
Assumed office
August 2017
Preceded byMa Xiaotian
Commander of the Northern Theater Command Air Force
In office
February 2016 – August 2017
Preceded byNew position
Succeeded byXu Xueqiang
Commander of the Shenyang Military Region Air Force
In office
August 2012 – January 2016
Preceded byZhou Laiqiang
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
BornSeptember 1957 (age 61)
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Military service
Allegiance China
Service/branch People's Liberation Army Air Force
Years of service? – present
RankPLALtGeneral r.png Air Force Lieutenant General
Commands People's Liberation Army Air Force
Northern Theater Command Air Force
Shenyang Military Region Air Force

Ding Laihang (Chinese: 丁来杭; born September 1957) is a lieutenant general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). He has served as Commander of the PLAAF since August 2017. Prior to that, he was Commander of the Shenyang Military Region Air Force and then Commander of the Northern Theater Command Air Force.


Ding was born in September 1957 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.[1] He became regimental commander of Regiment 71 of Fighter Division 24 while in his early 30s. From the position of division deputy commander he moved to command of a training base in the Beijing Military Region Air Force, a divisional unit. Like Ma Zhenjun, he emphasized combat-realistic "Red versus Blue" training.[2]

In 2001, he was swiftly promoted to chief of staff of the 8th Corps, deployed on the Taiwan Front, reaching the deputy corps level at the age of 44. When the 8th Corps was reorganized down to the Fuzhou Forward Commanding Post in 2003, Ding was its founding head. In 2007 he was promoted to be president of PLA Air Force Command Academy. A year later he was transferred to the Chengdu Military Region Air Force as its chief of staff. Ding was one of the youngest senior officers among the seven PLAAF Military Regions (at the full corps rank).[2]

In August 2012, Ding was promoted to Commander of the Shenyang Military Region Air Force, as well as Deputy Commander of the Shenyang MR.[1] In February 2016, he was appointed the inaugural Air Force Commander and Deputy Commander of the Northern Theater Command, which was newly established in Xi Jinping's military reform.[3] In August 2017, he was promoted to Commander of the PLA Air Force, succeeding General Ma Xiaotian.[4]

Ding attained the rank of major general in July 2003, and lieutenant general (zhong jiang) in July 2013. He was a member of the 11th National People's Congress.[1] In October 2017, he was elected as a member of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.[5]



  1. ^ a b c "Ding Laihang" (in Chinese). National Chengchi University. 2015-07-19.
  2. ^ a b You Ji (2012). "Meeting the Challenge of the Upcoming PLAAF Leadership Reshuffle". The Chinese Air Force: Evolving Concepts, Roles, and Capabilities (PDF). National Defense University Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-16-091386-0.
  3. ^ "丁来杭出任北部战区空军司令员,白文奇任政委". Thepaper.cn (in Chinese). 2016-02-06.
  4. ^ "中国空军新任司令员丁来杭寄语新飞行学员:争当制胜空天的新锐一代!". Sina. 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  5. ^ "List of members of the 19th CPC Central Committee". Xinhua News Agency. 2017-10-24.