China sticks to the path of peaceful development and pursues a national defense policy that is purely defensive in nature. China's national defense provides the guarantee for maintaining the country'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.
Chinese soldiers are in a drill.
China pursues a three-step development strategy in modernizing its national defense and armed forces, in accordance with the country'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, and defending against violation of China's territorial sea, 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.
--Sticking to the principle of coordinated development of national defense and economy. China keeps the modernization of 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.
--Enhancing the performance of the armed forces with informationization as the major measuring criterion.
--Implementing the military strategy of active defense.
--Pursuing a self-defensive nuclear strategy. The fundamental goal of China's nuclear strategy 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 thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. 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.