China's National Defense in 2006

Updated: 2006-12-29 17:40

The Information Office of the State Council published a white paper titled "China's National Defense in 2006" here Friday. Following is the full text:

China's National Defense in 2006

Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China

December 2006, Beijing


To uphold world peace, promote common development and seek cooperation and win-win is the common wish of the people around the world and an irresistible trend of our times. Committed to peace, development and cooperation, China pursues a road of peaceful development, and endeavors to build, together with other countries, a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.

Never before has China been so closely bound up with the rest of the world as it is today. The Chinese government works to advance both the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and the common interests of the peoples of the rest of the world, and pursues a defense policy which is purely defensive in nature. China's national defense, in keeping with and contributing to the country's development and security strategies, aims at maintaining national security and unity, and ensuring the realization of the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. China is determined to remain a staunch force for global peace, security and stability.

China's national defense and military modernization, conducted on the basis of steady economic development, is the requirement of keeping up with new trends in the global revolution and development in military affairs, and of maintaining China's national security and development. China will not engage in any arms race or pose a military threat to any other country. At the new stage in the new century, we will take the scientific development outlook as an important guiding principle for the building of national defense and military affairs, vigorously advance the revolution in military affairs with Chinese features, and strive to realize an all-round, coordinated and sustainable development in our country's national defense and military capabilities.

I. The Security Environment

Peace and development remain the principal themes in today's world, and the overall international security environment remains stable. But, uncertainties and destabilizing factors are on the increase, and new challenges and threats are continuously emerging.

World peace and security face more opportunities than challenges. The world is at a critical stage, moving toward multi-polarity. Progress is expected in addressing the serious imbalances in the international strategic alignment. The major international forces compete with and hold each other in check. But, they also maintain coordination and practical cooperation in their mutual relationships, and draw on each other's strengths. Some major developing countries and regional groupings have grown in power, and the developing world as a whole is becoming stronger. Economic globalization accelerates and science and technology make rapid progress; there are profound changes in the international division of labor, global and regional economic cooperation is being vigorously promoted, leading to increasing interdependence among countries. More dialogues are being conducted on traditional security issues, and cooperation in non-traditional security is developing in depth. To address development and security issues through coordination, cooperation and multilateral mechanism is the preferred approach of the international community. The United Nations' status and role in world affairs are being upheld and strengthened. World wars or all-out confrontation between major countries are avoidable for the foreseeable future.

The international community is increasingly facing comprehensive, diverse and complex security threats. The world is not yet peaceful. Political, economic and security problems and geographical, ethnic and religious contradictions are interconnected and complex. Hegemonism and power politics remain key factors undermining international security. Non-traditional security threats present greater danger, and local turmoil caused by war is on and off, and some hotspots cannot be removed in a short time. The impact of economic globalization is spreading into the political, security and social fields. Global economic development is uneven, and the gap between the North and the South is widening. Security issues related to energy, resources, finance, information and international shipping routes are mounting. International terrorist forces remain active, shocking terrorist acts keep occurring. Natural disasters, serious communicable diseases, environmental degradation, international crime and other transnational problems are becoming more damaging in nature.

A revolution in military affairs is developing in depth worldwide. Military competition based on informationization is intensifying. There has not been major change in the imbalances in relative military strength. Some developed countries have increased their input into the military and speeded up R&D of high-tech weaponry to gain military superiority. Many developing countries are also upgrading their armaments and modernizing their military forces. The situation regarding the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains grave and complex. The international non-proliferation regime faces major challenges. The practice of a small number of countries that have intensified their military alliances and resorted to force or threats of force in international affairs has shown new developments, which hinder efforts to improve international security.

The overall security environment in the Asia-Pacific region remains stable. The regional economy maintains an unprecedented strong momentum of growth, and a framework of open and mutually beneficial cooperation based on equality and in diversified forms is taking shape in the region. Multilateral security dialogue and cooperation are being enhanced. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has entered a new stage of substantive growth, contributing to the establishment of a new mode of state-to-state relations. ASEAN has made steady progress in community-building and in talks on establishing free trade areas with other countries. East Asian cooperation, which is conducted mainly through the ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK (10+3) channel, has expanded in scope and its institutional building is improving constantly, continuing to play a major role in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The East Asia Summit has provided a new platform for East Asian cooperation. Moreover, significant progress has been made in South Asian regional cooperation. There is improvement in the relations between India and Pakistan.

There are growing complexities in the Asia-Pacific security environment. There is a new adjustment going on in the strategic alignment and relations among major countries in the region, and new changes have occurred in the hotspots in the region. The United States is accelerating its realignment of military deployment to enhance its military capability in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States and Japan are strengthening their military alliance in pursuit of operational integration. Japan seeks to revise its constitution and exercise collective self-defense. Its military posture is becoming more external-oriented. The DPRK has launched missile tests and conducted a nuclear test. Thus, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia has become more complex and challenging. Iraq and Afghanistan continue to face turbulence. The Middle East has become more volatile. A settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue is not yet in sight. Territorial disputes, conflicting claims over maritime rights and interests, and ethnic and religious discords undermine trust and cooperation among states. The threat of terrorism, separatism and extremism remains serious. In addition, some countries face growing internal problems caused by social and economic transition.

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