The top officers of the five theater commands of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) appeared to-gether for the first time at a grand parade on Tuesday as leaders of the battle flag square team, which is the first part of the weapons formation.

The weapons formation follows the foot formation, and includes 32 square teams like battle flag, land warfare, naval warfare, air and missile defense, information operations, and unmanned combat. They are meant to express a joint operation.

As the leading team of the weapons formation, the battle flag team symbolizes the bright spot of “battle zone commands focusing on combat” after the military reform. 

The team is made up of hundreds of battle flags named after famous revolutionary martyrs and combat heroes, which the PLA has inherited. 

The innovation showcases flag bearers holding battle flags and passing Tiananmen Square on battle vehicles.  

The top officers of the five theater commands each took one vehicle. They are: Commander of the Eastern Theater Command General Liu Yuejun, Commander of the Western Theater Command General Zhao Zongqi, Political Commissar of the Southern Theater Command Lieutenant General Wang Jianwu, Commander of the Northern Theater Command Lieutenant General Li Qiaoming and Political Commissar of the Central Theater Command General Zhu Shengling. 

The ceremony for establishing the five theater commands was held on February 1, 2016 in Beijing to help realize the Chinese dream and build a strong army. It is a historic improvement in the estab-lishment of the PLA’s joint operation system and a meaningful move to help protect the national security. 

Global Times