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Civil-military integration will deepen

By ZHAO LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-03 06:55

President leads meeting that calls for breakthroughs, reforms in key areas

President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, called on Friday for deeper reform to boost civil-military integration in the new era.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks while presiding over a plenary session of the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development, which he heads.

Breakthroughs must be made this year in some key areas of civil-military integration, and reforms in sectors such as arms procurement systems, price setting and a taxation mechanism for weapon businesses should be carried forward, according to the meeting.

Institutional obstacles must be removed to facilitate private enterprises' participation in the defense sectors as well as State-owned defense companies' transfer of technologies to private companies, the meeting also decided. Advances in legislation for civil-military integration are also called for.

In China, civil-military integration has become a national strategy and a priority on the leadership's agenda since Xi was elected top Party leader in late 2012.

Such integration generally refers to the military and defense industries transferring technologies to civilian sectors and including private companies on the military's suppliers list. So far, State-owned defense contractors still dominate the research, development and production of weapons and equipment for the People's Liberation Army.

Friday's session reviewed and approved a set of guidelines on civil-military integration, a task list for the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development in 2018, a list for the first civil-military integration demonstration zones, and a road map for the development of these zones.

The demonstration zones will be tasked with exploring ways to get rid of institutional obstacles, making systemic innovation and setting examples for those that follow, according to the meeting.

Friday's meeting was the third gathering of the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development, which was founded in January last year by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. It was the first time the top leadership had established a body dedicated to civil-military integration.

Xi pays great attention to civil-military integration. Before the commission's establishment, he had repeatedly stressed the significance of civil-military integration on various occasions.

Observers said the strategy is key to fostering the sustainable growth of defense sectors, to upgrading the Chinese military's hardware and to injecting new momentum into the country's private sector.

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