(Illustration image) China issues white paper on national defense to enhance transparency
BEIJING, March 31 (KATAKAMI.COM) — China on Thursday issued a white paper on national defense, aiming to enhance its military transparency and boost the world’s trust in its commitment to peaceful development, XINHUA reported on Thursday.
The document, the seventh of its kind the Chinese government has issued since 1998, says China will never seek hegemony, nor will it adopt the approach of military expansion now or in the future, no matter how its economy develops.
It gives an overall picture of China’s national defense ranging from the security environment, national defense policy, to defense expenditure and arms control.
On security environment, the white paper says the world remains peaceful and stable at large, but the international security situation has become more complex and military competition remains fierce.
China is meanwhile confronted by more diverse and complex security challenges, it says.
China pursues a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, the white paper says. Such a pursuit is determined by China’s development path, its fundamental aims, its foreign policy, and its historical and cultural traditions.
The goals and tasks of China’s national defense in the new era are defined as safeguarding national sovereignty, security and interests of national development; maintaining social harmony and stability; accelerating the modernization of national defense and the armed forces; maintaining world peace and stability.
The white paper reviewed the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), saying it has grown from a single service into a strong military force featuring a range of services and arms, and is now beginning to make progress towards informationization.
The PLA laid down a three-step development strategy and adopted a step-change approach which takes mechanization as the foundation and informationization as the focus.
On defense expenditure, the white paper says the increase has been kept at a reasonable and appropriate level.
China’s defense expenditure mainly comprises expenses for personnel, training and maintenance, and equipment, with each accounting for roughly one third of the total.
In the past two years, the increase in the defense expenditure has been used to improve support conditions for the troops and accomplish diversified military tasks, ranging from earthquake rescue and escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.
In view of the upward trend in purchasing prices and maintenance costs, China has moderately increased the funds for high-tech weaponry and equipment and their supporting facilities.
The white paper eyed military confidence-building as an effective way to maintain national security and development, and safeguard regional peace and stability.
China is promoting the establishment of equal, mutually beneficial and effective mechanisms for military confidence-building, via strategic consultations and dialogues, border area confidence-building measures, dialogues and cooperation on maritime security, regional security cooperation and military exchanges with other countries.
China attaches importance to and takes an active part in international efforts in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, the white paper says.
The country adheres to the complete fulfillment of the UN’s role in this area, and that of other related international organizations and multilateral mechanisms.
It considers that existing multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation systems should be consolidated and strengthened, that the legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries should be respected and accommodated, and that global strategic balance and stability should be maintained.
The white paper also reviewed the deployment of the Chinese armed forces, national defense mobilization and reserve force building, military legal system, as well as science, technology and industry for national defense. (*)