People's Liberation Army General Staff Department
Emblem of the PLA
|Jurisdiction||People's Liberation Army|
|Parent department||Central Military Commission|
The People's Liberation Army General Staff Department (GSD, 1954–2016; simplified Chinese: 中国人民解放军总参谋部; traditional Chinese: 中國人民解放軍總參謀部; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Zǒngcānmóubù), preceded by the General Staff of the People's Revolutionary Military Committee (1949–1954), was the former command organ and headquarters for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China. Its duties included PLA Operations Command, Recruitment, Mobilization, Formation, Training and Administration. The PLA General Staff Headquarters was located in Beijing and its last commander was General Fang Fenghui.
The General Staff was under the absolute leadership of the Central Military Commission and (especially during the long Maoist era) under the political supervision of the PLA General Political Department.
During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s the Intelligence Bureau of the General Staff, commonly referred to as "the 2nd Bureau" (the PLA adopted the numbering system of most continental European armies for staff bureaus) was active in funding, arming and training dozens of Asian, African and Latin American militant groups and liberation movements; especially in the case of Africa, the Intelligence Bureau "supplied, at one time or another, nearly all of the various African liberation movements with arms, money, food and medicines". Among those who received military training were Pol Pot (leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia) and Abimael Guzmán (leader of the Shining Path in Peru).
The General Staff was disbanded as part of the January 2016 military reform and its operations were consolidated into the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission.
List of General Staff Bureaus
- Combat Operations Command
- Combat Communications
- Military Intelligence
- Electronic Warfare
- Foreign Relations
List of Chiefs of the General Staff
Note: From the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and until the creation of the General Staff Department in 1954, the duties of the Chief of the General Staff were performed by General (later Marshal) Xu Xiangqian, who held the title Chief of Staff of the People's Revolutionary Military Committee of the Central People's Government.
|No.||Chief of the General Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office|
|October 1954||October 1958||4 years|
|October 1958||September 1959||11 months|
|September 1959||December 1965||6 years, 3 months|
|December 1965||March 1968||2 years, 3 months|
|March 1968||September 1971||3 years, 6 months|
|January 1975||March 1980||5 years, 2 months|
|March 1980||November 1987||7 years, 8 months|
|November 1987||November 1992||5 years|
|November 1992||September 1995||2 years, 10 months|
|September 1995||November 2002||7 years, 2 months|
|November 2002||September 2007||4 years, 10 months|
|September 2007||October 2012||5 years, 1 month|
|October 2012||January 2016||3 years, 3 months|
For the new office, see Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission.
- Gérald Arboit, "The Chinese intelligence services in Africa", in Handbook on China and Globalization, pp. 305-321, edited by Huiyao Wang and Lu Miao, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019
- Maoism: A Global History – how China exported revolution around the world, South China Morning Post, 8 March 2019
- "国防部新闻事务局官微发布中央军委机关英文译名". People's Daily Online. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
- (in Chinese) RFA: 陈炳德晋升为中国军队总参谋长 Archived 2007-06-27 at Archive.today