National security is vital to China's modernization

By Shen Dingli
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 20, 2013
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The decision to establish a national security committee as reached by the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee is an important milestone in the country's drive towards modernization.


To stand on in the global front ranks, China must realize the modernization of its State system. As a key member of the contemporary international society, we must pay special attention to development on the one side and security on the other. The decision made by the Third Plenary Session to establish both a leading group responsible for comprehensively deepening reform as well as a national security committee represents two milestone initiatives in the nation's development.

The two tasks ahead will fully realize the dominant role of the ruling Party, coordinate all parties in deepening reform and improve the strategic development of the national security system in an era when China's development and security face major opportunities and challenges.

National security has a broad meaning, involving both internal and external interests. In our modern-day era of globalization, this involves not only national defense and military strength, but also the entire structure of a country's political system, economy and finance, society and development, technology and innovation, ecology and environment.

At this crucial time of China's unprecedented rise in the new century, the ruling Party shoulders extremely significant and historic missions, and it must integrate national wisdom, achieve national consensus and produce national measures. China needs to design its own State system from the top down, promote an effective national strategy, allocate national resources in the best possible way and guarantee the most advantageous realization of China's legitimate interests and the common interests of human society in the age of global competition.

The internal and external are closely-related spheres of interest, both restraining and promoting each other. In the field of national security, the internal and external are forming increasingly closer joint actions. A strong internal stability will boost national security in regard to the international stage, while a favorable external security environment will at the same time also ensure the country's internal construction.

Both are indispensable. A far as the modernized system of national security is concerned, the crux of the establishment of a national security committee is to improve the mechanisms and overall strategy, optimize the allocation of resources and ensure national survival.

China has never lacked a security strategy, but now it needs an even more elaborate one. China has continuously innovated in its conception of an appropriate government system. However, at this critical moment of national modernization, we must ensure all government departments achieve systematic coordination and implement the best possible national security system.

The total volume of China's development resources is powerful, but on a per capita basis it clearly remains inadequate. Therefore, the need has never been greater for the comprehensive allocation of resources and the guarantee of a national security system with the highest efficiency. All of these requirements were enclosed in the innovations and expectations of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee and will have important practical and historical implications over the years to come.

The author is a columnist with For more information please visit:

This article was written in Chinese and translated by Li Jingrong.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of

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