Chapter II National Defense Policy

China persists in taking the road of peaceful development and unswervingly pursues a national defense policy defensive in nature. China's national defense is the security guarantee for the survival and development of the nation. The main tasks of China's national defense are to step up modernization of its national defense and its armed forces, to safeguard national security and unity, and to ensure the smooth process of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.

Proceeding from the fundamental interests of the country, China's national defense policy is both subordinated to and in service of the country's development and security strategies. Firmly seizing and taking full advantage of the important strategic opportunities presented in the first two decades of this century, China sticks to keeping its development in pace with its security and makes great efforts to enhance its national strategic capabilities by using multiple security means to cope with both traditional and non-traditional security threats so as to seek a comprehensive national security in the political, economic, military and social areas.

China's basic goals and tasks in maintaining national security are:

    • To stop separation and promote reunification, guard against and resist aggression, and defend national sovereignty, territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests.

    • To safeguard the interests of national development, promote economic and social development in an all-round, coordinated and sustainable way and steadily increase the overall national strength.

    • To modernize China's national defense in line with both the national conditions of China and the trend of military development in the world by adhering to the policy of coordinating military and economic development, and improve the operational capabilities of self-defense under the conditions of informationalization.

    • To safeguard the political, economic and cultural rights and interests of the Chinese people, crack down on criminal activities of all sorts and maintain public order and social stability.

    • To pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and adhere to the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination with a view to securing a long-term and favorable international and surrounding environment.

    It is the sacred responsibility of the Chinese armed forces to stop the "Taiwan independence" forces from splitting the country. The Chinese government continues to adhere to the basic principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" along with the eight-point proposal on developing cross-Straits relations and advancing the process of peaceful reunification of the motherland at the current stage. So long as the Taiwan authorities accept the one China principle and stop their separatist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence," cross-Straits talks can be held at any time on officially ending the state of hostility between the two sides, including on the establishment of a confidence-building mechanism in the military field. The Chinese people are resolutely opposed to all separatist activities in whatever manifestation aimed at "Taiwan independence," to foreign interference of any form, and to arms sales to Taiwan or entrance to military alliance of any form with Taiwan by any country in the world. We will never allow anyone to split Taiwan from China through whatever means. Should the Taiwan authorities go so far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of "Taiwan independence," the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost.

    To adapt itself to the changes both in the international strategic situation and the national security environment and rise to the challenges presented by the RMA worldwide, China adheres to the military strategy of active defense and works to speed up the RMA with Chinese characteristics.

    • To take the road of composite and leapfrog development. Going with the tide of the world's military development and moving along the direction of informationalization in the process of modernization, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) shall gradually achieve the transition from mechanization and semi-mechanization to informationalization. Based on China's national conditions and the PLA's own conditions, the PLA persists in taking mechanization as the foundation to promote informationalization, and informationalization as the driving force to bring forward mechanization. The PLA will promote coordinated development of firepower, mobility and information capability, enhance the development of its operational strength with priority given to the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force, and strengthen its comprehensive deterrence and warfighting capabilities.

    • To build a strong military by means of science and technology. The PLA works to improve its combat capabilities by taking advantage of scientific and technological advances and aims at building qualitative efficiency instead of a mere quantitative scale, and transforming the military from a manpower-intensive one to a technology-intensive one. Implementing the Strategic Project for Talented People, the PLA focuses on training a new type of high-caliber military personnel. It works to build up a complete system of weaponry and equipment by stepping up development of new- and high-tech weaponry and equipment while upgrading those in active service. In an innovative spirit, the PLA endeavors to improve its training system as well as the means and methods of training so as to raise its military training to a higher level. Relying on national economic, scientific and technological development, the PLA is devoted to improving the level of scientific management and achieving a higher overall cost-effectiveness in military expenditure so as to modernize the armed forces with less input and better results.

    • To deepen the reform of the armed forces. Based on the transformation of modern warfare and the requirements of the socialist market economy, the PLA seeks to achieve development and breakthroughs in the process of reform and innovation. The PLA develops its military theories in an innovative spirit, and explores the laws of building the army and conducting operations under the condition of informationalization. In accordance with the principle of making the troops smaller and better, as well as more integrated and efficient, and with emphasis on adjusting the organizational structure and reforming the command system, the PLA works to build and further improve the military structure and organization to make them appropriate in size, optimal in structure, streamlined in institutional set-up and flexible and swift in command. The PLA also works to readjust and regulate the relationship within the military as well as that with the government and society so as to put in place policies and mechanisms which will help motivate officers and soldiers.

    • To step up preparations for military struggle. The PLA takes as its objective to win local wars under the conditions of informationalization and gives priority to developing weaponry and equipment, to building joint operational capabilities, and to making full preparations in the battlefields. Meanwhile, it adheres to the people's war concept and develops the strategies and tactics of the people's war. To meet the requirements of integrated and joint operations, the PLA endeavors to establish a modern operational system capable of giving full play to the overall efficiency of the armed forces as well as the national war potentials. The PLA conducts more training and exercises with specific objectives in order to raise its capabilities in coping with various crises and contingencies.

    • To carry out military exchanges and cooperation. In line with the national foreign policy, the PLA conducts military cooperation that is non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party. The PLA takes part in the UN peacekeeping operations and international counter-terrorism cooperation. While promoting military exchanges in various forms, the PLA works to establish security dialogue mechanisms in order to create a military security environment featuring mutual trust and mutual benefit. It takes part in bilateral or multilateral joint military exercises in non-traditional security fields so as to enhance the joint capabilities to cope with threats in those fields. The PLA learns from and draws on the valuable experience of foreign armed forces, and introduces, on a selective basis, technologically advanced equipment and better management expertise from abroad to advance the modernization of the Chinese armed forces.