Asien — China’s National Defense in 2008

III. Reform and Devel­op­ment of the PLA

In the great his­tor­i­cal course of China’s reform and open­ing-up over the past three decades, the PLA has invari­ably tak­en mod­ern­iza­tion as its cen­tral task, con­tin­u­ous­ly engaged in reform and inno­va­tion, com­pre­hen­sive­ly advanced rev­o­lu­tion­iza­tion, mod­ern­iza­tion and reg­u­lar­iza­tion, and made impor­tant con­tri­bu­tions to safe­guard­ing nation­al sov­er­eign­ty and secu­ri­ty, and main­tain­ing world peace. In recent years, the PLA has accel­er­at­ed RMA with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics, and pushed for­ward its mil­i­tary, polit­i­cal, logis­ti­cal and equip­ment work in a coor­di­nat­ed way, in an effort to achieve sound and rapid development. 

Thir­ty Years of Reform and Devel­op­ment
From the late 1970s and into the 1980s, the PLA set out on the road of build­ing a stream­lined mil­i­tary with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. Accord­ing to the sci­en­tif­ic judg­ment that peace and devel­op­ment had become the prin­ci­pal themes of the times, it made a strate­gic shift in its guid­ing prin­ci­ple for mil­i­tary build­ing from prepa­ra­tions for “an ear­ly, large-scale and nuclear war” to peace­time con­struc­tion, and advanced its mod­ern­iza­tion step by step in a well-planned way under the pre­con­di­tion that such efforts should be both sub­or­di­nat­ed to and in the ser­vice of the country’s over­all devel­op­ment. It set the gen­er­al goal of build­ing a pow­er­ful mil­i­tary, rev­o­lu­tion­ary in nature, mod­ern­ized and reg­u­lar­ized, and blazed a trail for build­ing a lean mil­i­tary with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. It under­went sig­nif­i­cant adjust­ment and reform, and stream­lined the size of its armed forces by a mil­lion troops, there­by tak­ing an impor­tant step for­ward in mak­ing itself stream­lined, com­bined and efficient. 

Enter­ing the 1990s, the PLA began to vig­or­ous­ly pro­mote RMA with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. It estab­lished the mil­i­tary strate­gic guide­line of active defense for the new era, based on win­ning local wars in con­di­tions of mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy, par­tic­u­lar­ly high tech­nol­o­gy. It began to adopt a strat­e­gy of strength­en­ing the mil­i­tary by means of sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, and a three-step devel­op­ment strat­e­gy in mod­ern­iz­ing nation­al defense and the armed forces, and pro­mot­ed the coor­di­nat­ed devel­op­ment of nation­al defense and econ­o­my. Regard­ing RMA with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics as the only way to mod­ern­ize the mil­i­tary, it put for­ward the strate­gic goal of build­ing an infor­ma­tion­ized mil­i­tary and win­ning infor­ma­tion­ized wars. Dri­ven by prepa­ra­tions for mil­i­tary strug­gle, it accel­er­at­ed the devel­op­ment of weapon­ry and equip­ment, stepped up the devel­op­ment of the arms and ser­vices of the armed forces, as well as forces for emer­gency mobile oper­a­tions, opti­mized its sys­tem and struc­ture, and reduced the num­ber of per­son­nel by 700,000. As a result, its capa­bil­i­ty of defen­sive oper­a­tions increased remarkably. 

At the new stage in the new cen­tu­ry, the PLA has been striv­ing to cre­ate a new sit­u­a­tion in its mod­ern­iza­tion dri­ve at a new his­tor­i­cal start­ing point. With the Sci­en­tif­ic Out­look on Devel­op­ment as an impor­tant guid­ing prin­ci­ple for nation­al defense and armed forces build­ing, it has act­ed in accor­dance with the strate­gic thought of bal­anc­ing eco­nom­ic and nation­al defense devel­op­ment and inte­grat­ing efforts to enrich the coun­try and strength­en the mil­i­tary. It has been ded­i­cat­ed to per­form­ing its new his­tor­i­cal mis­sions and improv­ing its capa­bil­i­ties to counter var­i­ous secu­ri­ty threats and accom­plish diver­si­fied mil­i­tary tasks. It has accel­er­at­ed the com­pos­ite devel­op­ment of mech­a­niza­tion and infor­ma­tion­iza­tion, vig­or­ous­ly con­ducts mil­i­tary train­ing in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion, and boosts inno­va­tion in mil­i­tary the­o­ry, tech­nol­o­gy, orga­ni­za­tion and man­age­ment, to con­tin­u­ous­ly increase the core mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ty of win­ning local wars in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion and the capa­bil­i­ty of con­duct­ing MOOTW

Pro­mot­ing the Improve­ment of Mil­i­tary Train­ing
Regard­ing mil­i­tary train­ing as the basic approach to fur­ther­ing the com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment of the mil­i­tary and rais­ing com­bat effec­tive­ness, the PLA is work­ing to reform train­ing pro­grams, meth­ods, man­age­ment and sup­port, and cre­ate a sci­en­tif­ic sys­tem for mil­i­tary train­ing in con­di­tions of informationization. 

Increas­ing train­ing tasks. The PLA is inten­si­fy­ing strate­gic- and oper­a­tional-lev­el com­mand post train­ing and troop train­ing in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion, hold­ing trans-region­al eval­u­a­tion exer­cis­es with oppos­ing play­ers, con­duct­ing whole-unit night train­ing and car­ry­ing out inte­grat­ed exer­cis­es for logis­ti­cal and equip­ment sup­port. More­over, it is attach­ing more impor­tance to MOOTW train­ing in counter-ter­ror­ism, sta­bil­i­ty main­te­nance, emer­gency response, peace­keep­ing, emer­gency res­cue and dis­as­ter relief. 

Deep­en­ing train­ing reform. The PLA is cre­at­ing a task list for mil­i­tary train­ing in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion, devel­op­ing a new edi­tion of the Out­line for Mil­i­tary Train­ing and Eval­u­a­tion, and pro­mot­ing the appli­ca­tion of inno­va­tions made in train­ing reform. It is also rein­forc­ing the joint train­ing of the ser­vices and arms, strength­en­ing func­tion­al train­ing, giv­ing promi­nence to com­mand and coor­di­nate train­ing and the stud­ies of ways of fight­ing, and improv­ing train­ing in region­al coop­er­a­tion. It is improv­ing on-base train­ing and sim­u­lat­ed train­ing, pro­mot­ing web-based train­ing, and con­duct­ing train­ing with oppos­ing play­ers. It is also reform­ing train­ing eval­u­a­tion mech­a­nisms, mak­ing train­ing stan­dards stricter, and enforc­ing metic­u­lous man­age­ment of the whole process and all aspects of mil­i­tary training. 

Con­duct­ing train­ing in com­plex elec­tro­mag­net­ic envi­ron­ments. The PLA is spread­ing basic knowl­edge of elec­tro­mag­net­ic-spec­trum and bat­tle­field-elec­tro­mag­net­ic envi­ron­ments, learn­ing and mas­ter­ing basic the­o­ries of infor­ma­tion war­fare, par­tic­u­lar­ly elec­tron­ic war­fare. It is enhanc­ing train­ing on how to oper­ate and use infor­ma­tion­ized weapon­ry and equip­ment, and com­mand infor­ma­tion sys­tems. It is work­ing on the infor­ma­tion­iz­ing of com­bined tac­ti­cal train­ing bases, and hold­ing exer­cis­es in com­plex elec­tro­mag­net­ic environments. 

Strength­en­ing Ide­o­log­i­cal and Polit­i­cal Work
The PLA insists on putting ide­o­log­i­cal and polit­i­cal work first, and push­ing for­ward the inno­v­a­tive devel­op­ment of ide­o­log­i­cal and polit­i­cal work, to ensure the Party’s absolute lead­er­ship over the armed forces, the sci­en­tif­ic devel­op­ment of the mil­i­tary, the all-round devel­op­ment of the offi­cers and men, the increase of com­bat capa­bil­i­ties and the effec­tive ful­fill­ment of his­tor­i­cal missions. 

In Jan­u­ary 2007 the Gen­er­al Polit­i­cal Depart­ment of the PLA issued the Guide­line for the Ide­o­log­i­cal and Polit­i­cal Edu­ca­tion of the Chi­nese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (Tri­al). This guide­line spells out clear­ly that such edu­ca­tion refers to the work by the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Chi­na (CPC) to arm the mil­i­tary with polit­i­cal the­o­ries and pro­vide it with ide­o­log­i­cal guid­ance; sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly reg­u­lates such edu­ca­tion for all kinds of PLA forces and per­son­nel; and fur­ther strength­ens the devel­op­ment of rules and reg­u­la­tions for such edu­ca­tion. Pur­suant to the guide­line, units whose ratios of polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion to mil­i­tary train­ing are 3 to 7 and 2 to 8 should devote 54 and 42 work­days, respec­tive­ly, to polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion each year. The PLA per­sists in arm­ing its offi­cers and men with the the­o­ry of social­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics, edu­cates them in its his­tor­i­cal mis­sions, ideals, beliefs, fight­ing spir­it and the social­ist con­cept of hon­or and dis­grace, and car­ries for­ward the fine tra­di­tions of obey­ing the Party’s orders, serv­ing the peo­ple, and fight­ing brave­ly and skill­ful­ly. The PLA’s ide­o­log­i­cal and polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion adheres to six prin­ci­ples: to be guid­ed by sci­en­tif­ic the­o­ries, to put the peo­ple first, to focus on the cen­tral task and serve the over­all inter­ests, to aim at con­crete results, to edu­cate through prac­ti­cal activ­i­ties, and to encour­age inno­va­tion and devel­op­ment. Fol­low­ing these prin­ci­ples, the PLA has flex­i­bly applied and inno­v­a­tive­ly devel­oped edu­ca­tion­al forms and means, improved radio, tele­vi­sion and net­work edu­ca­tion­al facil­i­ties, and built mil­i­tary his­to­ry muse­ums, cul­tur­al cen­ters, “homes of polit­i­cal instruc­tors,” study rooms, and com­pa­ny clubs and hon­ors exhibitions. 

In April 2008 the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion (CMC) approved the Reg­u­la­tions of the Chi­nese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army on the Work of Servicemen’s Com­mit­tees, which was joint­ly issued by the Head­quar­ters of the Gen­er­al Staff, the Gen­er­al Polit­i­cal Depart­ment, the Gen­er­al Logis­tics Depart­ment and the Gen­er­al Arma­ment Depart­ment. The doc­u­ment has insti­tu­tion­al­ized polit­i­cal democ­ra­cy, eco­nom­ic democ­ra­cy and mil­i­tary democ­ra­cy for grass-roots units in the new sit­u­a­tion. The servicemen’s com­mit­tee is an orga­ni­za­tion through which the grass-roots mil­i­tary units prac­tice democ­ra­cy in polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and mil­i­tary affairs and through which the ser­vice­men exer­cise their demo­c­ra­t­ic rights and car­ry out mass activ­i­ties. It exer­cis­es the fol­low­ing func­tions too: to advise on com­bat readi­ness train­ing, edu­ca­tion and man­age­ment, logis­ti­cal sup­port, and weapon­ry and equip­ment man­age­ment of its own unit; to make rec­om­men­da­tions on issues con­cern­ing the imme­di­ate inter­ests of offi­cers and men, such as the selec­tion and pro­mo­tion of non-com­mis­sioned offi­cers (NCOs), selec­tion of qual­i­fied enlist­ed men to enter mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions either through exam­i­na­tions or direct­ly, selec­tion of enlist­ed men for tech­ni­cal train­ing, and selec­tion of ser­vice­men for com­men­da­tions and rewards; to super­vise offi­cers and men on the per­for­mance of their duties and obser­va­tion of law and dis­ci­pline; and to pro­tect the col­lec­tive inter­ests of the unit, and the legit­i­mate rights and inter­ests of offi­cers and men. Con­sist­ing of five to sev­en mem­bers cho­sen by the servicemen’s assem­bly through elec­tion by secret bal­lot, the servicemen’s com­mit­tee works under the lead­er­ship of the unit Par­ty branch (or grass-roots Par­ty com­mit­tee) and the guid­ance of the unit commanders. 

Enhanc­ing the Cost-Effec­tive­ness of Logis­ti­cal Sup­port
The PLA vig­or­ous­ly pro­motes inte­gra­tion in logis­ti­cal sup­port sys­tem, out­sourc­ing in logis­ti­cal sup­port method, infor­ma­tion­iza­tion in logis­ti­cal sup­port means, and sci­en­tif­ic approach in logis­ti­cal sup­port man­age­ment, to build a mod­ern logis­tics sys­tem. In Decem­ber 2007 the CMC pro­mul­gat­ed the Out­line for Build­ing a Mod­ern Logis­tics Sys­tem, spec­i­fy­ing the guide­lines, prin­ci­ples, objec­tives and tasks for the devel­op­ment of mod­ern logistics. 

Deep­en­ing logis­tics reform. The PLA per­sists in pro­mot­ing reforms in joint logis­tics. In April 2007 the Jinan The­ater for­mal­ly adopt­ed the joint logis­tics sys­tem based on the inte­gra­tion of tri-ser­vice logis­ti­cal sup­port. To speed up the out­sourc­ing process, the PLA out­sources the com­mer­cial and hous­ing ser­vices of com­bat units sta­tioned in large- and medi­um-sized cities, gen­er­al-pur­pose mate­ri­als stor­age, cap­i­tal con­struc­tion, logis­ti­cal equip­ment pro­duc­tion and logis­ti­cal tech­ni­cal ser­vices. To enhance bud­get­ing reforms, it pro­motes the cre­ation of data­bas­es for bud­get items, strength­ens the invest­ment assess­ment and eval­u­a­tion of major projects, sum­ma­rizes and pop­u­lar­izes such prac­tices as the inte­gra­tion of assets man­age­ment with bud­get man­age­ment and the con­trol of expens­es con­cern­ing admin­is­tra­tive con­sum­ables, and grad­u­al­ly adopts the prac­tice of using work-relat­ed expen­di­ture cards for pay­ment and account set­tle­ment. It enlarges the scope of cen­tral­ized pro­cure­ment, increas­es the pro­por­tion of pro­cure­ment through bid­ding, and extends cen­tral­ized pro­cure­ment to non-com­bat units. 

Upgrad­ing logis­ti­cal sup­port. The PLA has sub­stan­tial­ly increased fund­ing for edu­ca­tion and train­ing, polit­i­cal work, health care, water and elec­tric­i­ty sup­plies, heat­ing, bar­racks main­te­nance, etc. It has increased allowances for avi­a­tors, sailors and astro­nauts. It has increased post allowances for offi­cers in grass-roots units and duty allowances for enlist­ed men. It has raised servicemen’s injury and death insur­ance and board expens­es. It has set stan­dards for the sub­si­dies and fees for small, scat­tered, dis­tant units and units direct­ly under the head­quar­ters. In August 2007 all PLA troops began to replace their old uni­forms with the 07 series. 

Reg­u­lat­ing logis­tics man­age­ment. To step up stan­dard­iza­tion, the PLA is redou­bling its efforts in the stan­dard­ized pro­vi­sion of main­te­nance funds and cen­tral­ly allo­cat­ed sup­plies, reg­u­lat­ing the man­age­ment of con­struc­tion-relat­ed sup­plies, and cre­at­ing step by step a sys­tem of logis­ti­cal sup­port stan­dards and reg­u­la­tions cov­er­ing sup­ply, con­sump­tion and man­age­ment. It strength­ens finan­cial man­age­ment, spends accord­ing to stan­dards and with­in its bud­get, and car­ries out con­struc­tion accord­ing to its finan­cial strength. It pays close atten­tion to the safe man­age­ment of drink­ing water, food, med­ical care, med­i­cine, petro­le­um, oils and lubri­cants, trans­porta­tion and dan­ger­ous arti­cles. It is improv­ing the mech­a­nism to pre­vent and con­trol pub­lic health haz­ards; stan­dard­iz­ing the man­age­ment of mil­i­tary vehi­cles; con­duct­ing a spe­cial review of hous­ing for active offi­cers at and above the corps lev­el; impos­ing strict man­age­ment on mil­i­tary hous­ing and the lease of unoc­cu­pied real estate; and improv­ing the sys­tem for the employ­ment of civil­ians. In Jan­u­ary 2007 the CMC pro­mul­gat­ed the new­ly revised Audit Reg­u­la­tions of the Chi­nese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army. The PLA has launched an in-depth move­ment to con­serve ener­gy and resources by encour­ag­ing con­ser­va­tion-mind­ed sup­ply and con­sump­tion. It pro­tects the eco­log­i­cal envi­ron­ment of mil­i­tary areas by ini­ti­at­ing a grass­land con­ser­va­tion project, a pilot project for pre­vent­ing and alle­vi­at­ing sand storms affect­ing coastal mil­i­tary facil­i­ties, and efforts to har­ness pol­lu­tion by mil­i­tary units sta­tioned in the area known as the Bohai Sea rim. 

Boost­ing Inte­grat­ed Equip­ment Sup­port
Meet­ing the require­ments of tri-ser­vice inte­gra­tion, joint oper­a­tions, sys­tems build­ing and sys­tems inte­gra­tion, the PLA is con­tin­u­al­ly improv­ing its weapon­ry and equip­ment sys­tem and ele­vat­ing inte­grat­ed equip­ment support. 

Accel­er­at­ing the build­ing of a mod­ern weapon­ry and equip­ment sys­tem with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. Per­sist­ing in self-reliance and inde­pen­dent inno­va­tion, the PLA gives pri­or­i­ty to devel­op­ing infor­ma­tion­ized weapons and equip­ment which can meet the require­ments of inte­grat­ed joint oper­a­tions, and car­ries out pri­or­i­tized and selec­tive retro­fitting and upgrad­ing of exist­ing equip­ment. It has basi­cal­ly estab­lished an army equip­ment sys­tem fea­tur­ing high mobil­i­ty and three-dimen­sion­al assault, a naval equip­ment sys­tem with inte­grat­ed sea-air capa­bil­i­ties for off­shore defen­sive oper­a­tions, an air force equip­ment sys­tem with inte­grat­ed air-land capa­bil­i­ties for both offen­sive and defen­sive oper­a­tions, a sur­face-to-sur­face mis­sile equip­ment sys­tem for the Sec­ond Artillery Force com­pris­ing both nuclear and con­ven­tion­al mis­siles with dif­fer­ent ranges, and an elec­tron­ic infor­ma­tion equip­ment sys­tem fea­tur­ing sys­tems inte­gra­tion and joint development. 

Rais­ing the lev­el of equip­ment man­age­ment and the capa­bil­i­ty of new equip­ment main­te­nance and sup­port. The PLA is inten­si­fy­ing the sci­en­tif­ic, insti­tu­tion­al­ized and reg­u­lar man­age­ment of equip­ment, and has adopt­ed a sys­tem of account­abil­i­ty to improve weapon and equip­ment readi­ness. Empha­sis is laid on cul­ti­vat­ing the capa­bil­i­ty of equip­ment main­te­nance and sup­port, the tech­niques and means of which are being grad­u­al­ly shift­ed from being applic­a­ble to equip­ment of the first and sec­ond gen­er­a­tions to being applic­a­ble to the sec­ond and third gen­er­a­tions. Over­haul and emer­gency sup­port capa­bil­i­ties have been basi­cal­ly devel­oped for the main equip­ment. The PLA has aug­ment­ed equip­ment sup­port forces and formed a pre­lim­i­nary sys­tem of such forces, with reg­u­lar forces as the back­bone, reserve forces as the rein­force­ment, and back­up forces as the sup­ple­ment. Equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing units have been ordered to rehearse the mobi­liza­tion of tech­ni­cal sup­port forces, and approach­es to civ­il-mil­i­tary inte­grat­ed sup­port have been explored. 

Adjust­ing and reform­ing the equip­ment pro­cure­ment sys­tem. In the past two years, the PLA has fur­ther expand­ed the scope of com­pet­i­tive, cen­tral­ized and inte­grat­ed pro­cure­ment. In line with the demand to sep­a­rate and bal­ance plan­ning, con­tract ful­fill­ment, con­tract super­vi­sion and con­tract audit­ing, the PLA has adjust­ed and improved the orga­ni­za­tion­al sys­tem for equip­ment pro­cure­ment, and reformed the sys­tem of res­i­dent mil­i­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tives in factories. 

Speed­ing up Infor­ma­tion­iza­tion
Active­ly cop­ing with the chal­lenges pre­sent­ed by the world­wide RMA, the PLA exten­sive­ly applies infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy, devel­ops and uti­lizes infor­ma­tion resources in var­i­ous fields of mil­i­tary build­ing, and strives to take a road of mil­i­tary infor­ma­tion­iza­tion with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics which high­lights the lead­ing role of infor­ma­tion, pur­sues com­pos­ite devel­op­ment, pro­motes inde­pen­dent inno­va­tion and facil­i­tates transformation. 

Start­ing with com­mand automa­tion in the 1970s, the PLA has shift­ed the focus of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion from spe­cif­ic areas to trans-area sys­tems inte­gra­tion, and is on the whole at the ini­tial stage of com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment. Cur­rent­ly, aim­ing at inte­gra­tion, the PLA is per­sist­ing in com­bin­ing break­throughs in key sec­tors with com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment, tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion with struc­tur­al reform, and the devel­op­ment and build­ing of new sys­tems with the mod­i­fi­ca­tion of exist­ing ones to tap their poten­tials; enhanc­ing sys­tems inte­gra­tion; step­ping up efforts to devel­op and uti­lize infor­ma­tion resources; and grad­u­al­ly devel­op­ing and improv­ing the capa­bil­i­ty of fight­ing based on infor­ma­tion systems. 

Achieve­ments have been made in the build­ing of mil­i­tary infor­ma­tion sys­tems, with the pri­or­i­ty being giv­en to com­mand infor­ma­tion sys­tems. The inte­grat­ed mil­i­tary infor­ma­tion net­work came into oper­a­tion in 2006, result­ing in the fur­ther improve­ment of the infor­ma­tion infra­struc­ture, basic infor­ma­tion sup­port and infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty assur­ance. Progress has been made in the build­ing of com­mand and con­trol sys­tems for inte­grat­ed joint oper­a­tions, sig­nif­i­cant­ly enhanc­ing the capa­bil­i­ty of bat­tle­field infor­ma­tion sup­port. IT-based train­ing meth­ods have under­gone con­sid­er­able devel­op­ment; sur­vey­ing and map­ping, nav­i­ga­tion, weath­er fore­cast­ing, hydro­log­i­cal obser­va­tion and space envi­ron­ment sup­port sys­tems have been fur­ther opti­mized; a num­ber of infor­ma­tion sys­tems for logis­ti­cal and equip­ment sup­port have been suc­cess­ful­ly devel­oped and deployed; and full-scale efforts in build­ing “dig­i­tal cam­pus­es” have begun in PLA edu­ca­tion­al institutions. 

Main bat­tle weapon sys­tems are being grad­u­al­ly infor­ma­tion­ized. The focus is to increase the capa­bil­i­ty of the main bat­tle weapon sys­tems in the areas of rapid detec­tion, tar­get loca­tion, friend-or-foe iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and pre­ci­sion strikes. Some tanks, artillery pieces, ships and air­craft in active ser­vice have been infor­ma­tion­ized, new types of high­ly infor­ma­tion­ized com­bat plat­forms have been suc­cess­ful­ly devel­oped, and the pro­por­tion and num­ber of pre­ci­sion-guid­ed muni­tions are on the rise. 

The con­di­tions for infor­ma­tion­iza­tion have been improved. A lead­er­ship, man­age­ment and con­sul­ta­tion sys­tem for infor­ma­tion­iza­tion has been basi­cal­ly set up, and the cen­tral­ized and uni­fied lead­er­ship for infor­ma­tion­iza­tion has been strength­ened. The­o­ret­i­cal explo­rations and stud­ies of key prac­ti­cal issues relat­ed to infor­ma­tion­iza­tion have been con­tin­u­ous­ly inten­si­fied, medi­um- and long-term plans and guid­ance for infor­ma­tion­iza­tion of the mil­i­tary for­mu­lat­ed and pro­mul­gat­ed, tech­ni­cal stan­dards revised and refined, and insti­tu­tion­al edu­ca­tion and per­son­nel train­ing cater­ing to the require­ments of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion strengthened. 

Step­ping up Per­son­nel Train­ing
The PLA is fur­ther imple­ment­ing the strate­gic project for tal­ent­ed peo­ple, improv­ing its train­ing sys­tem and lay­ing stress on the train­ing of com­mand­ing offi­cers for joint oper­a­tions and high-lev­el tech­ni­cal experts in an effort to cul­ti­vate a large con­tin­gent of new-type and high-cal­iber mil­i­tary personnel. 

In April 2008, the CMC issued Opin­ions on Strength­en­ing and Improv­ing the Offi­cers Train­ing Work of the Armed Forces, explic­it­ly requir­ing the estab­lish­ment and improve­ment of the ser­vice-long and all-per­son­nel train­ing sys­tem, which takes lev­el-by-lev­el train­ing as the back­bone and on-the-job train­ing as the sup­ple­ment, and match­es train­ing with assign­ment. A sit­u­a­tion is to be cre­at­ed in which insti­tu­tion­al edu­ca­tion is linked with train­ing in units, edu­ca­tion in mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions is car­ried on in par­al­lel with edu­ca­tion through reg­u­lar insti­tu­tions of high­er learn­ing, and domes­tic train­ing is com­bined with over­seas training. 

Strength­en­ing the train­ing of com­mand­ing offi­cers for joint oper­a­tions. Var­i­ous mea­sures are being tak­en to step up efforts to train com­mand­ing offi­cers for joint oper­a­tions, such as insti­tu­tion­al edu­ca­tion, on-the-job study and rota­tion of posts. Incor­po­rat­ing joint oper­a­tions into the whole train­ing process, the PLA care­ful­ly dis­tin­guish­es between the train­ing tasks of edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions of dif­fer­ent lev­els and types, and cou­ples insti­tu­tion­al edu­ca­tion with train­ing in units, so as to estab­lish a sys­tem for train­ing joint oper­a­tions com­mand­ing offi­cers which empha­sizes both insti­tu­tion­al edu­ca­tion and prac­tice in units. The PLA has launched the Key Projects of Mil­i­tary Edu­ca­tion­al Insti­tu­tions and made step-by-step progress in these projects. 

Select­ing and train­ing offi­cer can­di­dates. In Octo­ber 2007 the CMC approved and the four gen­er­al headquarters/departments joint­ly pro­mul­gat­ed the Reg­u­la­tions of the Chi­nese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army on the Admis­sion Work of Edu­ca­tion­al Insti­tu­tions, reg­u­lat­ing the admis­sion of high-school grad­u­ates and enlist­ed men into mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions. At the end of 2007 the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion and the Gen­er­al Polit­i­cal Depart­ment of the PLA co-spon­sored a con­fer­ence on the issue of train­ing PLA offi­cers via reg­u­lar insti­tu­tions of high­er learn­ing. At present, there are 117 col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties with defense stu­dents. The PLA has select­ed near­ly 1,000 key mid­dle schools in the var­i­ous provinces and munic­i­pal­i­ties as the main sources of defense students. 

Cre­at­ing a favor­able envi­ron­ment for cul­ti­vat­ing tal­ent­ed peo­ple. The PLA has estab­lished and improved a mech­a­nism for reward­ing and inspir­ing tal­ent­ed peo­ple, issu­ing high rewards to out­stand­ing com­mand­ing offi­cers, staff offi­cers and tech­ni­cal experts, as well as teams which have made great con­tri­bu­tions in sci­en­tif­ic and tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion. Since 2007 addi­tion­al funds amount­ing to RMB 700 mil­lion have been devot­ed to tal­ent cul­ti­va­tion. In July 2007 the CMC pro­mul­gat­ed the Pro­vi­sions of the Armed Forces on Attract­ing and Retain­ing High-lev­el Spe­cial­ized Tech­ni­cal Per­son­nel, spec­i­fy­ing effec­tive mea­sures to attract and retain par­tic­u­lar­ly lead­ing sci­en­tists, first-rate per­son­nel in spe­cif­ic dis­ci­plines and tech­ni­cal experts. In March 2008 the Guide­line of the Chi­nese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army for the Eval­u­a­tion of Com­mand­ing Offi­cers, the Imple­men­ta­tion Mea­sures of the Chi­nese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army on the Eval­u­a­tion of Com­mand­ing Offi­cers and the Stan­dards of the Chi­nese People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army for the Eval­u­a­tion of Com­mand­ing Offi­cers (Tri­al) were pub­lished, which marked the ini­tial estab­lish­ment of a sys­tem for the eval­u­a­tion of com­mand­ing offi­cers in accor­dance with the require­ments of sci­en­tif­ic development. 

Per­sist­ing in Gov­ern­ing the Forces in Accor­dance with the Law
The PLA per­sists in tak­ing it as the basic require­ment of the reg­u­lar­iza­tion dri­ve to gov­ern the armed forces in accor­dance with the law, and empha­sizes sci­en­tif­ic leg­is­la­tion and strict law enforce­ment to enhance its lev­el of regularization. 

In the past 30 years of reform and open­ing-up the mil­i­tary leg­isla­tive sys­tem has been improved step by step, and remark­able achieve­ments have been made in mil­i­tary leg­is­la­tion. In 1988 the CMC set up a legal organ, and the gen­er­al headquarters/departments, Navy, Air Force, Sec­ond Artillery Force and mil­i­tary area com­mands des­ig­nat­ed spe­cif­ic depart­ments to be in charge of legal affairs. In 1997 the Law of the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na on Nation­al Defense was pro­mul­gat­ed, spec­i­fy­ing that the CMC enacts mil­i­tary reg­u­la­tions in accor­dance with the Con­sti­tu­tion and rel­e­vant laws. The Law of the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na on Leg­is­la­tion pro­mul­gat­ed in 2000 fur­ther defined the leg­isla­tive author­i­ty of the CMC, gen­er­al headquarters/departments, Navy, Air Force, Sec­ond Artillery Force, and mil­i­tary area com­mands. By Octo­ber 2008, the Nation­al People’s Con­gress (NPC) and its Stand­ing Com­mit­tee had made 15 laws and law-relat­ed deci­sions con­cern­ing nation­al defense and armed forces build­ing; the State Coun­cil and the CMC had joint­ly for­mu­lat­ed 93 mil­i­tary admin­is­tra­tive reg­u­la­tions; the CMC had for­mu­lat­ed 214 mil­i­tary reg­u­la­tions; and the gen­er­al headquarters/departments, Navy, Air Force, Sec­ond Artillery Force, mil­i­tary area com­mands and People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) had enact­ed more than 3,000 mil­i­tary rules and reg­u­la­tions. In June 2007 and Decem­ber 2008, the NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee rat­i­fied respec­tive­ly the Treaty on the Tem­po­rary Stay of the Army of One Par­ty in the Ter­ri­to­ry of the Oth­er Par­ty dur­ing the Peri­od of Joint Mil­i­tary Exer­cis­es between the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na and the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion and the Agree­ment among the Mem­ber States of the Shang­hai Coop­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion on Con­duct­ing Joint Mil­i­tary Exercises. 

The PLA per­sists in gov­ern­ing the forces strict­ly and in accor­dance with the law, and improves the mech­a­nism for mak­ing deci­sions and pro­vid­ing guid­ance in accor­dance with the law in an effort to insti­tu­tion­al­ize and reg­u­lar­ize mil­i­tary, polit­i­cal, logis­ti­cal and equip­ment work. It prac­tices sci­en­tif­ic man­age­ment, strict­ly enforces rules and reg­u­la­tions, and incor­po­rates the cul­ti­va­tion of prop­er style and strict dis­ci­pline into the rou­tine edu­ca­tion and admin­is­tra­tion of the forces. Through strict train­ing and dai­ly cul­ti­va­tion, the PLA aims to build a force with a refined mil­i­tary pos­ture, strict dis­ci­pline and fine work style. 

Tak­ing dis­sem­i­nat­ing knowl­edge of the law as an impor­tant part of strength­en­ing all-round build­ing, the PLA places empha­sis on dis­sem­i­nat­ing legal knowl­edge, and is step­ping up efforts to pop­u­lar­ize knowl­edge of the law with a clear aim and in an active and effec­tive way. Units with secu­ri­ty tasks in the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics and Par­a­lympics orga­nized offi­cers and men to study rel­e­vant laws and reg­u­la­tions to enhance their legal aware­ness and their capa­bil­i­ty of deal­ing with emer­gen­cies in accor­dance with the law. Offi­cers and men of units tasked with inter­na­tion­al peace­keep­ing mis­sions and of naval ships mak­ing port calls have been orga­nized to study the Unit­ed Nations Char­ter, the Unit­ed Nations Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea, etc. In Novem­ber 2007 the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment estab­lished the Nation­al Com­mit­tee for Inter­na­tion­al Human­i­tar­i­an Law, under the arrange­ment and coor­di­na­tion of which rel­e­vant mil­i­tary agen­cies dis­sem­i­nate knowl­edge of and imple­ment inter­na­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an law with­in the PLA

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

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