|Beijing releases white paper on defense for 2002|
Chinese central government made public on Monday a white paper on the country's defense situation in 2002, the fourth of its kind released by Beijing since 1995.
The Document, titled "China's National Defense in 2002" , was released by the Information Office of the State Council.¡¡By deploying substantial facts and figures, the white paper further elucidates China's national defense policy and progress in national defense development in the past two years, and shows that China unswervingly follows a road of peaceful development, pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and implements a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.
The 30,000-plus character white paper consists of nine parts, namely Foreword, The Security Situation, National Defense Policy, The Armed Forces, National Defense Building, Armed Forces Building, International Security Cooperation, Arms Control and Disarmament, and Appendices.
To continue to propel the modernization drive, to achieve the national reunification of the motherland, and to safeguard world peace and promote common development are the three historical tasks of the Chinese people in the new century, says the white paper.
"A developing China needs a peaceful international environment and a favorable climate in its periphery. And its development will make even greater contributions to world peace and human progress," it says.
Peace and development remain the themes of the present era. Economic development, scientific and technological progress, and the enhancement of overall national strength are the main strategic trends of all countries.
The major countries, while cooperating and seeking support from each other, are nonetheless checking on and competing with one another. But since the terror attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, they have stepped up their coordination and cooperation.
*** New World War Deemed Unlikely
The developing countries are actively pushing forward the establishment of a fair and rational new international order, and playing an important role in the promotion of world peace and development. A new world war is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
However, the paper says, uncertainties impeding peace and development are also on the increase. The world is far from being tranquil. The old international political and economic order, which is unfair and irrational, has yet to be changed fundamentally.
Rapid and drastic changes are taking place in the military field around the world, and a new serious disequilibrium has occurred in the balance of military power. As far as military technology is concerned, the gap between the developed and developing countries is wider than ever before.
The paper says that the basic pattern and trend of development in the cross-Taiwan Straits relationship remain unchanged. As the Taiwan compatriots are more vocal in their demand for peace, tranquillity and development, cross-Straits economic, trade, cultural and personnel exchanges have become more frequent, and the opening of three direct links in mail, air and shipping, and trade between the two sides represents the popular will and the trend of the times.
*** Taiwan Separatist Force Biggest Threat
But the root cause of tension between the two sides has not been eliminated. The Taiwan separatist force is the biggest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. A handful of countries have interfered in China's internal affairs and undermined China's peaceful reunification.
The paper says threats to world security have come in multiple forms and assumed global dimension, which has increased the common interests of countries on the issue of security. It has become the requirements of the trend of this era to enhance mutual trust through dialogue, to promote common security through cooperation, and to cultivate a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation.
China is always a staunch force for safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. China will unremittingly put the new security concept into practice, oppose all kinds of hegemonism and power politics, and combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations. China will, together with other countries in the world, strive to create an international environment of long-term peace, stability and security.
Strengthening national defense is a key guarantee from safeguarding China's security and unity and building a well-off society in an all-round way, says the paper.
The goals and tasks of China's national defense are mainly as follows: to consolidate national defense, prevent and resist aggression; to check separation and realize complete unification of the motherland; to stop armed subversion and safeguard social stability; to accelerate national defense development and achieve national defense and military modernization, and to safeguard world peace and oppose aggression and expansion.
***Military Strategy of Active Defense
The paper says that China implements a military strategy of active defense. Strategically, China pursues a principle featuring defensive operations, self-defense and attack only in case of being attacked.
In response to the profound changes in the world's military field and the requirements of the national development strategy, China has formulated a military strategic guideline of active defense in the new period.
This guideline is based on winning local wars under modern technology, especially high-tech conditions. It notes the deterrence of war and aims to prevent local wars and armed conflicts so as to keep the country's construction from the on rush of war.
The paper says that the People's Liberation Army (PLA), by implementing the strategy of building a strong military through science and technology, has accelerated the research and development of defense weaponry and equipment, trained high-quality military personnel of a new type, established a scientific organizational structure, developed theories for military operations with Chinese characteristics, and strengthened its capability for joint, mobile and multi-purpose operations.
The paper outlines the organizational systems and responsibilities of the PLA, the Chinese People's Armed Police Force, and the Militia. The PLA, the principal body of China's armed forces, has its total force maintained below the 2,500,000-strong mark.
*** Defense Budget Under Strict Control
On defense expenditure, the white paper says, the Chinese government has always been strict in its control, management and supervision of defense spending, and has formed a complete system of relevant laws and regulations for that purpose.
The Chinese government exercises a system of financial appropriation of defense funds. China's defense budget and final accounts are reviewed and approved by the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. The State and armed forces' auditing organs exercise strict auditing and supervision of the execution process of the budget.
Based on the continuous economic growth, the paper says that China's defense expenditure has somewhat increased at a fairly low level. And the increased part is basically of a compensatory nature.
The proportion of annual defense spending in the GDP was 1.09 percent in 1995, and 1.50 percent in 2001. From 1979 to 2001, the proportion of defense expenditure in the state financial spending is on a declining curve from 17.37 percent in 1979 to 7.65 percent in 2001 -- a drop of nearly 10 percentage points.
The budget for defense expenditure in 2002 is 169.444 billion yuan, remaining at a fairly low level in the world. Compared with the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and France, the percentage of China's defense expenditure in its GDP and the state financial expenditure is also fairly low.
The paper says the increased defense expenditure in recent years has primarily been for the increase of personnel expenses, establishment and gradual improvement of a social security system for servicemen, increase of expenses of a maintenance nature, increase of expenses spent on cooperation with the international community in anti-terrorism activities, and appropriate increase of expenses for the improvement of military equipment to enhance defense capabilities under the conditions of modern technologies, particularly high technologies.
China pursues a policy of good neighborliness and friendship. It defends and administers its land borders and seas under its jurisdiction, safeguards the country's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and secures both its land and sea borders strictly in accordance with treaties and agreements it has signed with neighboring countries, and the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea. China has solved or basically solved boundary issues left over by history with most of its adjacent countries.
*** A Friendly Force Maintaining Regional Stability
China attaches importance to having frontier defense exchanges and cooperation with neighboring countries. China's frontier authorities and troops actively establish or improve systems for consultation, frontier defense talks and meetings with their foreign counterparts, and deal appropriately with border affairs.
"Therefore, mutual understanding, trust and friendship between China and its neighboring countries have been increased, and a peaceful and friendly atmosphere along borders has been created," says the paper.
The white paper says the PLA strives to adapt itself to the characteristics of modern warfare, takes enhancement of the capability of defensive operations under high-tech conditions as the main objective, and continuously strengthens and improves military training.
Over the past two years, the PLA has quickened its steps in transforming the training -- from the conventional training to one featuring new technology. It has made full use of modern science and technology to organize and implement military training.
The PLA's political work implements the aim of serving the people wholeheartedly and guarantees the Party's absolute leadership over the armed forces. The white paper also briefs the system of Chinese army's political work.
The PLA constantly strengthens the development of its logistical equipment and upgrades its logistical support means. In2001, it developed logistical equipment in seven aspects -- rapid maritime rescue and treatment of the wounded, shore party support, air field support, mobility support for missile units, air-dropped material support, individual support and field logistics command.
*** Chinese-Style Weaponry System
In compliance with the needs of future defense operations in high-tech conditions, the paper notes, the PLA mainly develops weaponry and equipment featuring new and high technology, while upgrading and modernizing current weaponry and equipment selectively, so as to accomplish the historical missions of mechanization and IT-application of military equipment.
A Chinese-style weaponry and equipment system, with a relatively complete variety and a good structure, has thus come into shape.
The PLA persists in taking the training of high-quality military personnel of a new type as a fundamental measure for promoting a leapfrog development of the armed forces' modernization.
Up to date, more than 80 percent of the PLA officers have received at least two-year college education.
The white paper notes that international security cooperation is playing an increasingly important role in maintaining world and regional peace and stability. The Chinese government pays great attention to and actively participates in international security cooperation, and advocates the development of international security cooperation on the basis of the UN Charter, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and other universally recognized norms of international relations.
China perseveres in building a good-neighborly relationship and partnership with its neighbors and strengthens regional cooperation constantly.
Over the past two years, China has worked hard to boost the formation and development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and continued to support and participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region (CSCAP), Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD) and other activities for multilateral security dialogue and cooperation, thus playing a positive role in deepening regional security cooperation with Asian characteristics, says the paper.
In recent years, terrorist activities have notably increased, and constitute a real threat to world peace and development. The Chinese government has always resolutely opposed and condemned all forms of terrorism, and has actively adopted effective measures to fight against terrorist activities.
The paper says the Chinese government is of the view that the international community should strengthen dialogue and consultation and develop cooperation, join hands in preventing and fighting against international terrorist activities, and make efforts to eradicate the root cause of terrorism.
China supports and has conscientiously implemented a series of resolutions on the anti-terror issue passed by the United Nations and its Security Council.
The paper says that China actively prompted the Shanghai Conference of APEC Leaders to bring about the anti-terrorism statement, motivated the heads of government, defense ministers, leaders of law-enforcement and security departments, and foreign ministers of the SCO member nations in issuing a common statement, and actively supported the SCO in establishing a permanent regional anti-terror organization. China and Kyrgyzstan conducted a joint anti-terrorism military exercise in October 2002.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has always valued and supported the UN in its efforts to play a positive role in safeguarding international peace and security under the guidance of the purpose and principles of the UN Charter.
*** Peace-Keeping Operations
Since its first dispatch of military observers to the UN peacekeeping activities in 1990, the PLA of China has successively taken part in 10 UN peace-keeping operations.
In January 2002, China formally participated in the Class-A stand-by arrangements mechanism for the UN peace-keeping operations, and is ready to provide the UN peace-keeping operations with engineering, medical, transportation and other logistical support teams at appropriate times.
China has established its military relations with more than 100countries. The relations between the armed forces of China and Russia, under the guidance of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, have kept strengthening and developing, and high-level contacts between the armed forces of the two sides have maintained their good momentum, says the paper.
In September 2001, the special meeting of the China-US Military Maritime Consultation Agreement was held in Guam, which led to the thawing of the once-suspended Sino-US military relations. In October 2002, it was agreed between the heads of state of both countries that the military exchanges should be resumed.
Sino-Japanese military ties were resumed at the end of 2001. Meanwhile, China-EU military relations have developed smoothly.
China continues to provide a number of developing countries with aid in personnel training, equipment, logistical materials and medical care, and will seek to widen the scope of contacts in the future.
On arms control and disarmament, the white paper acknowledges that after the end of the Cold War, a series of achievements were made in the field of international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
However, this momentum has been hampered by a host of negative developments in recent years. In the current situation, it is critically important to maintain the global strategic balance and stability and the legal system governing international arms control and disarmament.
China has consistently advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of chemical weapons, biological weapons, and nuclear weapons. China has pledged that at no time and under no circumstances would it be the first to use nuclear weapons, and it would not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.
China has consistently urged all nuclear-weapon states to enshrine these commitments in a legal form, says the paper.
*** Nuclear Disarmament
China holds that the countries with the largest nuclear arsenals bear a special and primary responsibility toward nuclear disarmament, and that they should take the lead in drastically reducing their nuclear arsenals and destroy the reduced nuclear weapons.
China has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). China has conscientiously fulfilled its obligations under the two conventions.
The paper says that large quantities of chemical weapons abandoned by the Japanese invaders still remain on the Chinese soil today. China urges Japan to earnestly implement the obligations under the CWC for the destruction of these weapons, and expedite the pace of the relevant work in accordance with the Memorandum on the Destruction of Japanese Abandoned Chemical Weapons in China between the governments of China and Japan, so as to commence as soon as possible the substantive part of the destruction process.
On missile defense and prevention of an arms race in outer space, the white paper says, China's stand on the issue of missile defense is consistent and clear-out. It is China's consistent view that maintaining the global strategic stability and the international system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation is vitally important and in conformity with the fundamental interests of all countries.
The white paper says China is concerned about certain countries' joint research and development of theater missile defense (TMD) systems with a view to their deployment in the Northeast Asian region. This will lead to the proliferation of advanced missile technology and be detrimental to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China resolutely opposes any country which provides Taiwan with TMD assistance or protection in any form.
The paper says that China has always been in opposition to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. As a State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), China has always abided by its obligations under the Treaty, and pursues a policy of not advocating, not encouraging and not engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and not helping other countries to develop nuclear weapons.
Among the nuclear-weapon states, the while paper notes, China was the first to formally notify the IAEA that it had completed its domestic legal procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Protocol Additional to the Agreement Between China and IAEA for the Application of Safeguards in China, in March 2002.