Asien — China’s National Defense in 2008

XIII. Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Cooperation

Chi­na per­sists in devel­op­ing friend­ly rela­tions, enhanc­ing polit­i­cal mutu­al trust, con­duct­ing secu­ri­ty coop­er­a­tion and main­tain­ing com­mon secu­ri­ty with all coun­tries on the basis of the Five Prin­ci­ples of Peace­ful Coexistence. 

Region­al Secu­ri­ty Coop­er­a­tion
The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is active­ly involved in mul­ti­lat­er­al coop­er­a­tion with­in the frame­work of the Shang­hai Coop­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion (SCO). At the Bishkek Sum­mit in August 2007 the SCO mem­ber states con­clud­ed the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neigh­bor­ly Rela­tions, Friend­ship and Coop­er­a­tion, lay­ing a sol­id polit­i­cal and legal foun­da­tion for secu­ri­ty coop­er­a­tion and ush­er­ing in a new phase of polit­i­cal mutu­al trust among the mem­ber states. Over the past two years, the mem­ber states have also signed the Agree­ment on Con­duct­ing Joint Mil­i­tary Exer­cis­es, the Agree­ment on Coop­er­a­tion of Defense Min­istries and the Agree­ment of SCO Gov­ern­ments on Coop­er­a­tion in Com­bat­ing the Ille­gal Cir­cu­la­tion of Weapons, Ammu­ni­tion and Explo­sives, final­ized such legal doc­u­ments as the Agree­ment on the Train­ing of Counter-Ter­ror­ism Pro­fes­sion­als, and launched coop­er­a­tion in such new areas as infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty by for­mu­lat­ing the Action Plan to Ensure Inter­na­tion­al Infor­ma­tion Secu­ri­ty. Procu­ra­tors-gen­er­al, heads of supreme courts, defense min­is­ters, and lead­ers of law enforce­ment and secu­ri­ty agen­cies from the mem­ber states have reg­u­lar­ly held meet­ings, deep­en­ing coop­er­a­tion in the jus­tice, defense, law enforce­ment, secu­ri­ty and oth­er fields. 

Chi­na attach­es great impor­tance to the ASEAN Region­al Forum (ARF). At the 14th ARF Min­is­te­r­i­al Meet­ing in August 2007 Chi­na stressed that the new secu­ri­ty con­cept is based on the diver­si­ty and com­mon inter­ests of the Asia-Pacif­ic region, and accords with the inher­ent law and require­ments of the region’s pur­suit of peace, devel­op­ment, progress and pros­per­i­ty. In the past two years Chi­na has co-host­ed with Indone­sia and Thai­land respec­tive­ly the ARF Round Table Dis­cus­sion on Stock­tak­ing of Mar­itime Secu­ri­ty Issues and the ARF Sem­i­nar on Nar­cotics Con­trol. The ARF Gen­er­al Guide­lines for Dis­as­ter Relief Coop­er­a­tion pro­posed and draft­ed by Chi­na was adopt­ed at the 14th ARF Min­is­te­r­i­al Meet­ing, mak­ing it the first ARF frame­work doc­u­ment pro­vid­ing guid­ance for dis­as­ter relief cooperation. 

Chi­na-ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three (Chi­na, Japan and the Repub­lic of Korea) coop­er­a­tion in non-tra­di­tion­al secu­ri­ty fields is devel­op­ing in depth. At the Chi­na-ASEAN Sum­mit and the ASEAN Plus Three Sum­mit, held respec­tive­ly in Jan­u­ary and Novem­ber 2007, Chi­na put for­ward a series of ini­tia­tives for strength­en­ing coop­er­a­tion in non-tra­di­tion­al secu­ri­ty fields, and empha­sized the impor­tance of con­duct­ing insti­tu­tion­al­ized defense coop­er­a­tion and mil­i­tary exchanges. Chi­na host­ed the First Chi­na-ASEAN Dia­logue between Senior Defense Schol­ars (CADSDS) in March 2008 and the Sec­ond ASEAN Plus Three Work­shop on Dis­as­ter Relief by Armed Forces in June 2008. 

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in UN Peace­keep­ing Oper­a­tions
As a per­ma­nent mem­ber of the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, Chi­na has con­sis­tent­ly sup­port­ed and active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the peace­keep­ing oper­a­tions con­so­nant with the spir­it of the UN Char­ter. Since 1990 the PLA has sent 11,063 mil­i­tary personnel/time to par­tic­i­pate in 18 UN peace­keep­ing oper­a­tions. Eight lost their lives on duty. As of the end of Novem­ber 2008, Chi­na had 1,949 mil­i­tary peace­keep­ing per­son­nel serv­ing in nine UN mis­sion areas and the UN Depart­ment of Peace­keep­ing Oper­a­tions. Among them, there were 88 mil­i­tary observers and staff offi­cers; 175 engi­neer­ing troops and 43 med­ical per­son­nel for the Unit­ed Nations Orga­ni­za­tion Mis­sion in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of the Con­go (UNMONUC); 275 engi­neer­ing troops, 240 trans­porta­tion troops and 43 med­ical per­son­nel for the Unit­ed Nations Mis­sion in Liberia (UNMIL); 275 engi­neer­ing troops, 100 trans­porta­tion troops and 60 med­ical per­son­nel for the Unit­ed Nations Mis­sion in the Sudan (UNMIS); 275 engi­neer­ing troops and 60 med­ical per­son­nel for the Unit­ed Nations Inter­im Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL); and 315 engi­neer­ing troops for the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Oper­a­tion in Dar­fur (UNAMID). Since 2000, Chi­na has sent 1,379 peace­keep­ing policeman/time to sev­en mis­sion areas. At present, 208 Chi­nese peace­keep­ing police­men are in Liberia, Koso­vo, Haiti, Sudan and East Tim­or for peace­keep­ing operations. 

Mil­i­tary Exchanges and Coop­er­a­tion with Oth­er Coun­tries
Imple­ment­ing the nation’s for­eign pol­i­cy, the PLA devel­ops coop­er­a­tive mil­i­tary rela­tions with oth­er coun­tries that are non-aligned, non-con­fronta­tion­al and not direct­ed against any third par­ty, and engages in var­i­ous forms of mil­i­tary exchanges and coop­er­a­tion in an effort to cre­ate a mil­i­tary secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment fea­tur­ing mutu­al trust and mutu­al benefit. 

Cre­at­ing a new sit­u­a­tion in mil­i­tary diplo­ma­cy which is open, prac­ti­cal and dynam­ic. Chi­na has estab­lished mil­i­tary ties with over 150 coun­tries, and has mil­i­tary attaché offices in 109 coun­tries. A total of 98 coun­tries have mil­i­tary attaché offices in Chi­na. In the past two years senior PLA del­e­ga­tions have vis­it­ed more than 40 coun­tries, and defense min­is­ters and chiefs of the gen­er­al staff from more than 60 coun­tries have vis­it­ed Chi­na. Prac­ti­cal coop­er­a­tion between the mil­i­tary forces of Chi­na and Rus­sia at var­i­ous lev­els and in mul­ti­ple fields has con­tin­ued to devel­op in depth. The mil­i­tary forces of the two sides have deep­ened their strate­gic mutu­al con­fi­dence and held fre­quent exchanges of high-lev­el vis­its. The defense min­is­ters of the two coun­tries have a direct tele­phone link, which is the first of its kind between Chi­na and anoth­er coun­try. Chi­na-US mil­i­tary rela­tions have made grad­ual progress. The two coun­tries have for­mal­ly estab­lished a tele­phone link between China’s Min­istry of Nation­al Defense and the US Depart­ment of Defense, held the first exchange of their NCOs, and for­mal­ly launched mil­i­tary archive coop­er­a­tion on infor­ma­tion relat­ing to US mil­i­tary per­son­nel miss­ing in action around the peri­od of the Kore­an War. Mean­while, Chi­na-Japan defense rela­tions have made head­way. The two sides have held the sev­enth and eighth Chi­na-Japan Defense and Secu­ri­ty Con­sul­ta­tion, made their first exchange of port calls by naval ships, and held the first con­sul­ta­tion over the estab­lish­ment of a mar­itime liai­son mech­a­nism between their teams of experts. China’s defense exchanges with its neigh­bors, includ­ing ASEAN, India and Pak­istan, have been fur­ther expand­ed. Chi­na has begun to hold defense and secu­ri­ty con­sul­ta­tions with India. The chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the defense sec­tors and mil­i­tary forces of Chi­na and Euro­pean coun­tries remain open. China’s mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion with devel­op­ing coun­tries has been strengthened. 

Active­ly hold­ing bilat­er­al or mul­ti­lat­er­al joint mil­i­tary exer­cis­es with oth­er coun­tries. Since 2007 Chi­na has held over 20 joint mil­i­tary exer­cis­es or joint train­ing exer­cis­es with a score of coun­tries. In August 2007, with­in the frame­work of the SCO, Chi­na, Rus­sia, Kaza­khstan, Kyr­gyzs­tan, Tajik­istan and Uzbek­istan held a joint counter-ter­ror­ism mil­i­tary exer­cise in the Xin­jiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Chi­na, and Chelyabin­sk, Rus­sia, focus­ing on the task of com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism, sep­a­ratism and extrem­ism. This was the first time for the PLA to par­tic­i­pate in a major land-air joint exer­cise out­side the Chi­nese ter­ri­to­ry. In July 2007 and July 2008 Chi­na and Thai­land con­duct­ed joint counter-ter­ror­ism train­ing involv­ing both coun­tries’ army spe­cial oper­a­tions respec­tive­ly in Guangzhou, Chi­na, and Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land. In Decem­ber 2007 and Decem­ber 2008, armies of Chi­na and India staged joint counter-ter­ror­ism train­ing exer­cis­es respec­tive­ly in Kun­ming, Chi­na and Bel­gaum, India. Dur­ing the past two years, the Chi­nese Navy has held bilat­er­al joint mar­itime train­ing exer­cis­es with the navies of 14 coun­tries, includ­ing Rus­sia, the Unit­ed King­dom, France, the Unit­ed States, Pak­istan, India and South Africa. Chi­na has also con­duct­ed var­i­ous forms of mul­ti­lat­er­al joint mar­itime train­ing exer­cis­es with rel­e­vant coun­tries, focus­ing on var­i­ous tasks. In March 2007, Chi­na held the “Peace-2007” joint mar­itime train­ing exer­cise in the Ara­bi­an Sea with sev­en oth­er coun­tries, includ­ing Pak­istan. In May 2007 Chi­na and eight oth­er coun­tries, includ­ing Sin­ga­pore, con­duct­ed a mul­ti­lat­er­al joint mar­itime exer­cise in Sin­ga­pore­an waters with­in the frame­work of the West­ern Pacif­ic Naval Sym­po­sium (WPNS). In Octo­ber the same year Chi­na, Aus­tralia and New Zealand staged a joint mar­itime search-and-res­cue train­ing exer­cise in the Tas­man Sea. 

Con­duct­ing coop­er­a­tion and exchanges in per­son­nel devel­op­ment. Chi­na is send­ing an increas­ing num­ber of mil­i­tary stu­dents over­seas. In the past two years it has sent over 900 mil­i­tary stu­dents to more than 30 coun­tries. Twen­ty mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions in Chi­na have estab­lished and main­tained inter-col­le­giate exchange rela­tions with their coun­ter­parts in over 20 coun­tries, includ­ing the Unit­ed States, Rus­sia, Japan and Pak­istan. Mean­while, some 4,000 mil­i­tary per­son­nel from more than 130 coun­tries have come to Chi­na to study at Chi­nese mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion­al institutions. 

To fur­ther mil­i­tary exchanges and coop­er­a­tion, and enhance mutu­al mil­i­tary con­fi­dence, China’s Min­istry of Nation­al Defense offi­cial­ly set up an spokesper­son sys­tem in May 2008. The new­ly-found­ed Infor­ma­tion Office of the Min­istry of Nation­al Defense of the PRC releas­es impor­tant mil­i­tary infor­ma­tion through reg­u­lar or irreg­u­lar press con­fer­ences and writ­ten statements. 

Infor­ma­tion Office of the State Coun­cil of the People’s Repub­lic of China 

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