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China's National Defense in 2006

China's overall security environment remains sound. China is committed to building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and a socialist harmonious society, and it enjoys steady economic growth, political stability, ethnic harmony and social progress. Its overall national strength has considerably increased, as has its international standing and influence. China's practical cooperation with major countries continues to grow, its friendly relations with its neighboring countries have developed steadily, and it is forging strong ties with other developing countries. This has given rise to a new relationship of mutual benefit and win-win between China and other countries. The Chinese government has taken a number of significant measures to improve relations across the Taiwan Straits, thus promoting cross-Straits relations toward peace and stability.

However, China's security still faces challenges that must not be neglected. The growing interconnections between domestic and international factors and interconnected traditional and non-traditional factors have made maintaining national security a more challenging task. The struggle to oppose and contain the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence" and their activities remains a hard one. By pursuing a radical policy for "Taiwan independence," the Taiwan authorities aim at creating "de jure Taiwan independence" through "constitutional reform, " thus still posing a grave threat to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. The United States has reiterated many times that it will adhere to the "one China" policy and honor the three joint communiqés between China and the United States. But, it continues to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan, and has strengthened its military ties with Taiwan. A small number of countries have stirred up a racket about a "China threat," and intensified their preventive strategy against China and strove to hold its progress in check. Complex and sensitive historical and current issues in China's surrounding areas still affect its security environment.

China persists in continuing its peaceful development road. Balancing developments in both domestic and international situations, it is well prepared to respond to complexities in the international security environment. Guided by a security strategy of promoting both development and security, China strives to build a socialist harmonious society at home and a harmonious world to ensure both its overall national security and enduring peace in the world. It endeavors to enhance both development and security, both internal security and external security and both traditional security and non-traditional security; works to uphold its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and promote national development; and strives to sustain the important period of strategic opportunity for national development. China is committed to fostering a cooperative relationship of mutual benefit and win-win with other countries and working with them to promote common security.

II. National Defense Policy

China pursues a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature. China's national defense provides the guarantee for maintaining China'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.

China pursues a three-step development strategy in modernizing its national defense and armed forces, in accordance with the state'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, defending against violation of China's territorial sea and 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. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is dedicated to performing its historical missions for the new stage in the new century, namely, providing an important source of strength for consolidating the ruling position of the Communist Party of China (CPC), providing a solid security guarantee for sustaining the important period of strategic opportunity for national development, providing a strong strategic support for safeguarding national interests, and playing a major role in maintaining world peace and promoting common development. It improves its capabilities of countering various security threats, accomplishes diversified military tasks, and ensures that it can effectively respond to crises, maintain peace, deter and win wars under complex circumstances.

· Achieving the all-round, coordinated and sustainable development of China's national defense and armed forces. China pursues a policy of coordinated development of national defense and economy. It keeps the modernization of China's 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. China works in a comprehensive way to ensure that its armed forces are revolutionary in nature, modernized and regularized. It strives to ensure coordination between the revolution in military affairs with Chinese features and preparations for military struggle, mechanization and informationization, combat force building of services and arms, current and long-term development, and efforts devoted to the main and secondary strategic directions. China works to deepen the adjustment and reform of its military organizations and structures, as well as policies and systems, address deep-seated impediments and problems in its military structures and mechanisms which hinder the development of its armed forces, boost innovation in its military organizational structure and military management, and improve efficiency in its military modernization drive.

· Enhancing the performance of the armed forces with informationization as the major measuring criterion. The PLA, taking mechanization as the foundation and informationization as the driving force, promotes the composite development of informationization and mechanization to achieve overall capability improvement in the fields of firepower, assault, mobility, protection and information. The PLA pursues a strategy of strengthening itself by means of science and technology, and works to accelerate change in the generating mode of war fighting capabilities by drawing on scientific and technological advances. The PLA seeks to raise its capabilities of independent innovation in weaponry and equipment, as well as defense-related science and technology, and strives to make major breakthroughs in some basic, pioneering and technological fields of strategic importance. It is stepping up its efforts to build a joint operational command system, training system and support system for fighting informationized wars and enhance the building of systems integration of services and arms. The PLA is carrying out a strategic project for training a large contingent of new-type and high-caliber military personnel suited to the task of informationization of the armed forces and competent for operational tasks under conditions of informationization. The PLA is also working to make its training more technology-intensive and innovative in training programs, means and methods.

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