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Armed Forces Ordered to Cut Costs, Reduce Energy Use
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The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has ordered China's armed forces to cut costs and save energy in response to the government's call for a resource efficient and environment-friendly society.

"The armed forces should be leading the drive to build a resource efficient society," Liao Xilong, director of the PLA General Logistics Department, said at a meeting on the "modernization" of military logistics.

A report from the General Logistics Department said the armed forces saved 1.4 billion yuan (US$179 million) by reducing water use by 40 million tons, coal use by 1.157 million tons of coal and oil fuel by 55,000 tons in 2006.

The newspaper quoted unnamed officials as saying further efforts would be made to promote the use of wind power, solar energy and geothermal energy in the armed forces.

The logistics department would also tighten checks on military infrastructure projects to prevent the unnecessary demolition of barracks and the construction of extravagant new buildings.

But Liao also warned army officials against aiming for quick results and instant gains in practicing thrift.

"Energy saving should not be achieved at the cost of the army's combat effectiveness and logistical support," Liao was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

China's defense expenditure in 2004 was 220 billion yuan, an annual growth of 15.31 percent, rising 12.5 percent to 247.49 billion yuan in 2005, and the budget for 2006 was 283.83 billion yuan (US$35.5 billion).

China's spending per serviceman averaged 107,607 yuan, amounting to 3.74 percent of that of the United States and 7.07 percent of that of Japan.

(Xinhua News Agency February 6, 2007)

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