II. National Defense Policy
China pursues a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature. China's national defense provides the guarantee for maintaining China's security and unity, and realizing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. To build a powerful and fortified national defense is a strategic task of China's modernization drive.
China pursues a three-step development strategy in modernizing its national defense and armed forces, in accordance with the state's overall plan to realize modernization. The first step is to lay a solid foundation by 2010, the second is to make major progress around 2020, and the third is to basically reach the strategic goal of building informationized armed forces and being capable of winning informationized wars by the mid-21st century.
China's national defense policy for the new stage in the new century is defined as follows:
· 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 sustainable 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-defensive 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.