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.
Upholding national security and unity and ensuring the interests of national development
Upholding national security and unity, and ensure the interests of national development. This includes guarding against and resisting aggression, defending against violation of China's territorial sea and air space, and borders; opposing and containing the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence" and their activities, taking precautions against and cracking down on terrorism, separatism and extremism in all forms. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is dedicated to performing its historical missions for the new stage in the new century, namely, providing an important source of strength for consolidating the ruling position of the Communist Party of China (CPC), providing a solid security guarantee for sustaining the important period of strategic opportunity for national development, providing a strong strategic support for safeguarding national interests, and playing a major role in maintaining world peace and promoting common development. It improves its capabilities of countering various security threats, accomplishes diversified military tasks, and ensures that it can effectively respond to crises, maintain peace, deter and win wars under complex circumstances.
Achieving the all-round, coordinated and sustained development of China’s national defense and armed forces
China pursues a policy of coordinated development of national defense and economy. It keeps the modernization of China's national defense and armed forces as an integral part of its social and economic development, so as to ensure that the modernization of its national defense and armed forces advance in step with the national modernization drive. China works in a comprehensive way to ensure that its armed forces are revolutionary in nature, modernized and regularized. It strives to ensure coordination between the revolution in military affairs with Chinese features and preparations for military struggle, mechanization and informationization, combat force building of services and arms, current and long-term development, and efforts devoted to the main and secondary strategic directions. China works to deepen the adjustment and reform of its military organizations and structures, as well as policies and systems, address deep-seated impediments and problems in its military structures and mechanisms which hinder the development of its armed forces, boost innovation in its military organizational structure and military management, and improve efficiency in its military modernization drive.
Enhancing the performance of the armed forces with informationization as the major measuring criterion
The PLA, taking mechanization as the foundation and informationization as the driving force, promotes the composite development of informationization and mechanization to achieve overall capability improvement in the fields of firepower, assault, mobility, protection and information. The PLA pursues a strategy of strengthening itself by means of science and technology, and works to accelerate change in the generating mode of war fighting capabilities by drawing on scientific and technological advances. The PLA seeks to raise its capabilities of independent innovation in weaponry and equipment, as well as defense-related science and technology, and strives to make major breakthroughs in some basic, pioneering and technological fields of strategic importance. It is stepping up its efforts to build a joint operational command system, training system and support system for fighting informationized wars and enhance the building of systems integration of services and arms. The PLA is carrying out a strategic project for training a large contingent of new-type and high-caliber military personnel suited to the task of informationization of the armed forces and competent for operational tasks under conditions of informationization. The PLA is also working to make its training more technology-intensive and innovative in training programs, means and methods.
Implementing the military strategy of active defense
The PLA ensures that it is well prepared for military struggle, with winning local wars under conditions of informationization and enhancing national sovereignty, security, and interests of development as its objective. It will upgrade and develop the strategic concept of people's war, and work for close coordination between military struggle and political, economic, diplomatic, cultural and legal endeavors, uses strategies and tactics in a comprehensive way, and takes the initiative to prevent and defuse crises and deter conflicts and wars. The PLA will establish step by step a modern national defense mobilization system that is centralized and unified, well structured, rapid in reaction, and authoritative and efficient. Taking joint operations as the basic form, the PLA aims to bring the operational strengths of different services and arms into full play. The Army aims at moving from regional defense to trans-regional mobility, and improving its capabilities in air-ground integrated operations, long-distance maneuvers, rapid assaults and special operations. The Navy aims at gradual extension of the strategic depth for offshore defensive operations and enhancing its capabilities in integrated maritime operations and nuclear counterattacks. The Air Force aims at speeding up its transition from territorial air defense to both offensive and defensive operations, and increasing its capabilities in the areas of air strike, air and missile defense, early warning and reconnaissance, and strategic projection. The Second Artillery Force aims at progressively improving its force structure of having both nuclear and conventional missiles, and raising its capabilities in strategic deterrence and conventional strike under conditions of informationization.
Pursuing a self-defense nuclear strategy
China's nuclear strategy is subject to the state's nuclear policy and military strategy. Its fundamental goal is to deter other countries from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against China. China remains firmly committed to the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances. It unconditionally undertakes not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and stands for the comprehensive prohibition and complete elimination of nuclear weapons. China upholds the principles of counterattack in self-defense and limited development of nuclear weapons, and aims at building a lean and effective nuclear force capable of meeting national security needs. It endeavors to ensure the security and reliability of its nuclear weapons and maintains a credible nuclear deterrent force. China's nuclear force is under the direct command of the Central Military Commission (CMC). China exercises great restraint in developing its nuclear force. It has never entered into and will never enter into a nuclear arms race with any other country.
Fostering a security environment conducive to China’s peaceful development
China maintains military contacts with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and develops cooperative military relations that are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party. China takes part in international security cooperation, strengthens strategic coordination and consultation with major powers and neighboring countries, and conducts bilateral or multilateral joint military exercises. It promotes the establishment of just and effective collective security mechanisms and military confidence-building mechanisms, and works with other countries to prevent conflicts and wars. China stands for effective disarmament and arms control that are just, reasonable, comprehensive and balanced in nature. China opposes nuclear proliferation, and endeavors to advance the process of international nuclear disarmament. China observes the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, honors its international obligations, and participates in UN peacekeeping operations, international counter-terrorism cooperation and international disaster relief operations. It plays an active part in maintaining global and regional peace and stability.
China pursues a three-step development strategy to modernize its national defense and armed forces step by step in a well-planned way
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
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.
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