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Defense Minister Outlines Army-building Plans
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The methods being used to enhance army-building were explained by Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan Monday and the mechanization and IT capabilities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were highlighted. 

The Defense Minister, who's also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and a state councilor, made the remarks when addressing a reception in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing to mark the 79th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) which falls on August 1.

"We will adapt ourselves to the new trends in the conduct of war and fighting and address the actual needs of the PLA to strengthen its mechanization and IT capabilities," Cao said.

He indicated that the PLA would promote the transformation of military training from mechanized to IT systems and enhance their mission-execution capabilities. Strict and tough training under war conditions would also be carried out. A scientific system of military training under IT conditions would be established. 

Cao pledged the upgrading of weaponry and equipment and vowed to develop modern logistics, enhance military capabilities while cutting costs and to manage the army strictly and according to the law.

"China is now in a key period of reform and development," said Cao. "This is also an important period of accelerating the enhancement of China's military capabilities."

The PLA would redouble its efforts in building a "revolutionary, modern and regular army" to ensure it could effectively handle crises, prevent wars and maintain peace in any complex environment, Cao said.

He also emphasized that China would promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and work for peaceful reunification.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2006)

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