BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping is assuming a more direct role as commander of the country's powerful armed forces with the new title of commander in chief of its Joint Operations Command Center.
Xi's new position was revealed in news reports run on Wednesday and Thursday in which he appeared publicly for the first time in camouflage battle dress wearing the center's insignia.
Xi is already chairman of the Central Military Commission that oversees the 2.3-million-member People's Liberation Army, the world's largest standing armed forces. Among his several other titles, Xi is also leader of the ruling Communist Party and chair of a recently created National Security Council.
As head of the military, Xi has overseen a reorganization of the PLA's command structure aimed at improving integration among the different services.