China orders military to end all paid outside work


BEIJING (AP) — China has ordered its armed forces to end all paid outside work within the next three years as part of a push to make the world’s largest standing military more professional and battle ready.

A Defense Ministry notice viewed Monday said both the regular army and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police would be covered under the ban. It identified no specific fields but is thought to mainly target military art troupes, publishing houses and hospitals that accept paying civilian patients.

The 2.3 million-member People’s Liberation Army was ordered more than a decade ago to divest itself from its vast business empire. The latest round of reforms have reorganized parts of the command structure and will reduce troop numbers by 300,000, mainly by culling non-combat units and those using outdated equipment.