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With last month’s meteoric rise of longtime air force commander Gen. Xu Qiliang as the only air force officer to hold the position of vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, China’s air force modernization will likely get a major boost.

Currently, the air force is undergoing a large-scale revamping of key departments and missions, including recruiting, training, acquisition and joint operations.

Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at