Asien — China’s National Defense in 2008

II. Nation­al Defense Policy

Chi­na pur­sues a nation­al defense pol­i­cy which is pure­ly defen­sive in nature. Chi­na places the pro­tec­tion of nation­al sov­er­eign­ty, secu­ri­ty, ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty, safe­guard­ing of the inter­ests of nation­al devel­op­ment, and the inter­ests of the Chi­nese peo­ple above all else. Chi­na endeav­ors to build a for­ti­fied nation­al defense and strong mil­i­tary forces com­pat­i­ble with nation­al secu­ri­ty and devel­op­ment inter­ests, and enrich the coun­try and strength­en the mil­i­tary while build­ing a mod­er­ate­ly pros­per­ous soci­ety in all aspects. 

China’s nation­al defense pol­i­cy for the new stage in the new cen­tu­ry basi­cal­ly includes: uphold­ing nation­al secu­ri­ty and uni­ty, and ensur­ing the inter­ests of nation­al devel­op­ment; achiev­ing the all-round, coor­di­nat­ed and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of China’s nation­al defense and armed forces; enhanc­ing the per­for­mance of the armed forces with infor­ma­tion­iza­tion as the major mea­sur­ing cri­te­ri­on; imple­ment­ing the mil­i­tary strat­e­gy of active defense; pur­su­ing a self-defen­sive nuclear strat­e­gy; and fos­ter­ing a secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment con­ducive to China’s peace­ful development. 

Accord­ing to the require­ments of nation­al secu­ri­ty and the lev­el of eco­nom­ic and social devel­op­ment, Chi­na pur­sues a three-step devel­op­ment strat­e­gy to mod­ern­ize its nation­al defense and armed forces step by step in a well-planned way. This strate­gic frame­work is defined as follows: 

Pro­mot­ing the infor­ma­tion­iza­tion of China’s nation­al defense and armed forces. Tak­ing infor­ma­tion­iza­tion as the goal of mod­ern­iza­tion of its nation­al defense and armed forces and in light of its nation­al and mil­i­tary con­di­tions, Chi­na active­ly push­es for­ward the RMA with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. It has for­mu­lat­ed in a sci­en­tif­ic way strate­gic plans for nation­al defense and armed forces build­ing and strate­gies for the devel­op­ment of the ser­vices and arms, accord­ing to which it will lay a sol­id foun­da­tion by 2010, basi­cal­ly accom­plish mech­a­niza­tion and make major progress in infor­ma­tion­iza­tion by 2020, and by and large reach the goal of mod­ern­iza­tion of nation­al defense and armed forces by the mid-21st century. 

Over­all plan­ning of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and nation­al defense build­ing. Stick­ing to the prin­ci­ple of coor­di­nat­ed devel­op­ment of econ­o­my and nation­al defense, Chi­na makes over­all plans for the use of its nation­al resources and strikes a bal­ance between enrich­ing the coun­try and strength­en­ing the mil­i­tary, so as to ensure that its strat­e­gy for nation­al defense and armed forces build­ing is com­pat­i­ble with its strat­e­gy for nation­al devel­op­ment. It makes nation­al defense build­ing an organ­ic part of its social and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, endeav­ors to estab­lish sci­en­tif­ic mech­a­nisms for the coor­di­nat­ed devel­op­ment of econ­o­my and nation­al defense, and thus pro­vides rich resources and sus­tain­able dri­ving force for the mod­ern­iza­tion of its nation­al defense and armed forces. In nation­al defense build­ing, Chi­na makes it a point to take into con­sid­er­a­tion the needs of eco­nom­ic and social devel­op­ment and insists on hav­ing mil­i­tary and civil­ian pur­pos­es com­pat­i­ble with and ben­e­fi­cial to each oth­er, so as to achieve more social ben­e­fits in the use of nation­al defense resources in peacetime. 

Deep­en­ing the reform of nation­al defense and armed forces. Chi­na is work­ing to adjust and reform the orga­ni­za­tion, struc­ture and poli­cies of the armed forces, and will advance step by step the mod­ern­iza­tion of the orga­ni­za­tion­al form and pat­tern of the armed forces in order to devel­op by 2020 a com­plete set of sci­en­tif­ic modes of orga­ni­za­tion, insti­tu­tions and ways of oper­a­tion both with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics and in con­for­mi­ty with the laws gov­ern­ing the build­ing of mod­ern armed forces. Chi­na strives to adjust and reform the sys­tems of defense-relat­ed indus­try of sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy and the pro­cure­ment of weapons and equip­ment, and enhance its capac­i­ty for inde­pen­dent inno­va­tion in R&D of weapons and equip­ment with bet­ter qual­i­ty and cost-effec­tive­ness. Chi­na endeav­ors to estab­lish and improve the sys­tems of weapon­ry and equip­ment research and man­u­fac­tur­ing, mil­i­tary per­son­nel train­ing and logis­ti­cal sup­port that inte­grate mil­i­tary with civil­ian pur­pos­es and com­bine mil­i­tary efforts with civil­ian sup­port. In addi­tion, Chi­na makes an effort to estab­lish and improve a nation­al defense mobi­liza­tion sys­tem that is cen­tral­ized and uni­fied, well struc­tured, rapid in reac­tion, and author­i­ta­tive and efficient. 

Tak­ing the road of leapfrog devel­op­ment. Per­sist­ing in tak­ing mech­a­niza­tion as the foun­da­tion and infor­ma­tion­iza­tion as focus, Chi­na is step­ping up the com­pos­ite devel­op­ment of mech­a­niza­tion and infor­ma­tion­iza­tion. Per­sist­ing in strength­en­ing the mil­i­tary by means of sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, Chi­na is work­ing to devel­op new and high-tech weapon­ry and equip­ment, car­ry out the strate­gic project of train­ing tal­ent­ed peo­ple, con­duct mil­i­tary train­ing in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion, and build a mod­ern logis­tics sys­tem in an all-round way, so as to change the mode of for­ma­tion of war-fight­ing capa­bil­i­ties. Per­sist­ing in lay­ing stress on pri­or­i­ties, Chi­na dis­tin­guish­es between the pri­ma­ry and the sec­ondary, and refrains from doing cer­tain things, striv­ing to achieve leapfrog devel­op­ment in key areas. Chi­na per­sists in build­ing the armed forces through dili­gence and thrift, attach­ing impor­tance to sci­en­tif­ic man­age­ment, in order to make the fullest use of its lim­it­ed defense resources. 

Chi­na imple­ments a mil­i­tary strat­e­gy of active defense. Strate­gi­cal­ly, it adheres to the prin­ci­ple of fea­tur­ing defen­sive oper­a­tions, self-defense and strik­ing and get­ting the bet­ter of the ene­my only after the ene­my has start­ed an attack. In response to the new trends in world mil­i­tary devel­op­ments and the require­ments of the nation­al secu­ri­ty and devel­op­ment strat­e­gy, Chi­na has for­mu­lat­ed a mil­i­tary strate­gic guide­line of active defense for the new period. 

This guide­line aims at win­ning local wars in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion. It takes into over­all con­sid­er­a­tion the evo­lu­tion of mod­ern war­fare and the major secu­ri­ty threats fac­ing Chi­na, and pre­pares for defen­sive oper­a­tions under the most dif­fi­cult and com­plex cir­cum­stances. Meet­ing the require­ments of con­fronta­tion between war sys­tems in mod­ern war­fare and tak­ing inte­grat­ed joint oper­a­tions as the basic approach, it is designed to bring the oper­a­tional strengths of dif­fer­ent ser­vices and arms into full play, com­bine offen­sive oper­a­tions with defen­sive oper­a­tions, give pri­or­i­ty to the flex­i­ble appli­ca­tion of strate­gies and tac­tics, seek advan­tages and avoid dis­ad­van­tages, and make the best use of our strong points to attack the enemy’s weak points. It endeav­ors to refine the com­mand sys­tem for joint oper­a­tions, the joint train­ing sys­tem and the joint sup­port sys­tem, opti­mize the struc­ture and com­po­si­tion of forces, and speed up the build­ing of a com­bat force struc­ture suit­able for win­ning local wars in con­di­tions of informationization. 

This guide­line lays stress on deter­ring crises and wars. It works for close coor­di­na­tion between mil­i­tary strug­gle and polit­i­cal, diplo­mat­ic, eco­nom­ic, cul­tur­al and legal endeav­ors, strives to fos­ter a favor­able secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment, and takes the ini­tia­tive to pre­vent and defuse crises, and deter con­flicts and wars. It strict­ly adheres to a posi­tion of self-defense, exer­cis­es pru­dence in the use of force, seeks to effec­tive­ly con­trol war sit­u­a­tions, and strives to reduce the risks and costs of war. It calls for the build­ing of a lean and effec­tive deter­rent force and the flex­i­ble use of dif­fer­ent means of deter­rence. Chi­na remains com­mit­ted to the pol­i­cy of no first use of nuclear weapons, pur­sues a self-defen­sive nuclear strat­e­gy, and will nev­er enter into a nuclear arms race with any oth­er country. 

This guide­line focus­es on enhanc­ing the capa­bil­i­ties of the armed forces in coun­ter­ing var­i­ous secu­ri­ty threats and accom­plish­ing diver­si­fied mil­i­tary tasks. With the focus of atten­tion on per­form­ing the his­tor­i­cal mis­sions of the armed forces for the new stage in the new cen­tu­ry and with rais­ing the capa­bil­i­ty to win local wars in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion at the core, it works to increase the country’s capa­bil­i­ties to main­tain mar­itime, space and elec­tro­mag­net­ic space secu­ri­ty and to car­ry out the tasks of counter-ter­ror­ism, sta­bil­i­ty main­te­nance, emer­gency res­cue and inter­na­tion­al peace­keep­ing. It takes mil­i­tary oper­a­tions oth­er than war (MOOTW) as an impor­tant form of apply­ing nation­al mil­i­tary forces, and sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly makes and exe­cutes plans for the devel­op­ment of MOOTW capa­bil­i­ties. Chi­na par­tic­i­pates in inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty coop­er­a­tion, con­ducts var­i­ous forms of mil­i­tary exchanges and pro­motes the estab­lish­ment of mil­i­tary con­fi­dence-build­ing mech­a­nisms in accor­dance with this guideline. 

This guide­line adheres to and car­ries for­ward the strate­gic con­cept of people’s war. In accor­dance with this guide­line, Chi­na always relies on the peo­ple to build nation­al defense and the armed forces, com­bines a lean stand­ing force with a pow­er­ful reserve force, and endeav­ors to rein­force its nation­al war poten­tial and defense strength. Chi­na is work­ing to set up a mech­a­nism for uni­fied and effi­cient nation­al defense mobi­liza­tion, step­ping up the mobi­liza­tion of econ­o­my, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, infor­ma­tion and trans­porta­tion, and mak­ing improve­ments in the build­ing of the reserve force. Chi­na is striv­ing to make inno­va­tions in the con­tent and forms of people’s war, explor­ing new approach­es of the peo­ple in par­tic­i­pat­ing in war­fare and sup­port for the front, and devel­op­ing new strate­gies and tac­tics for people’s war in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion. More­over, the People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) sub­or­di­nates its devel­op­ment to the over­all nation­al con­struc­tion, sup­ports local eco­nom­ic and social devel­op­ment, and con­sol­i­dates the uni­ty between the PLA and the gov­ern­ment, and between the PLA and the people. 

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

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