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China's National Defense in 2006

Enhancing the capability of independent weaponry and equipment innovation. The PLA is strengthening applied and basic research as well as research on key defense technologies, ensuring the application of technological achievements and raising its capabilities of original innovation, integrated innovation, and innovation through digesting and absorbing introduced technologies. It is improving the innovation mechanism for defense-related science and technology, and weaponry and equipment to support the independent, leapfrogging and sustainable development of new and high-tech weaponry and equipment.

Optimizing the system of weaponry and equipment. The PLA gives priority to developing new types of equipment which are advanced and reliable in technical performance, and effective in operations. It is speeding up the development of integrated electronic information systems, enhancing the comprehensive integration of various types of weapon systems and support systems, and facilitating information sharing and fusion. The PLA is accelerating the retirement of redundant equipment, carrying out the prioritized, selective and phased retrofitting of equipment and informationization of equipment on active service, and tapping the potential of existing equipment. It is strengthening the systematic development of equipment to form a complete system of equipment, weaponry and equipment support.

Increasing the capability of integrated equipment support. The PLA is strict with equipment management and carries out scientific, institutionalized and regular evaluation on such management in order to maintain and improve the operability of existing equipment. The PLA has established and improved mechanisms for integrated civilian-military equipment support. It is developing new and high maintenance technologies, widening their application and enhancing the capabilities of equipment maintenance, emergency rescue and repair, and remote technical support. It is strengthening equipment support force building, equipment support training, pre-field training and training of qualified equipment personnel, to promote the organic and systematic development of operational and support capabilities of equipment.

Actively advancing the reform of the equipment procurement system. In December 2005, the CMC approved and issued the Opinions on Some Issues Concerning the Deepening of the Equipment Procurement System Reform. In the past two years, the General Armaments Department has improved the review and approval of equipment procurement modes, and gradually enlarged the scope of competitive procurement, raising the percentage of funds for such procurement from 10 percent to 20 percent. The General Armaments Department has strengthened the management of the centralized procurement of equipment of the same kind for the whole PLA, formulated related rules, regulations and standards, and substantially increased the quantities and varieties of equipment procured in a centralized way, saving eight percent of the planned funds and greatly improving the efficiency of fund use.

Military Legal System

During the Tenth Five-Year Plan period, the Standing Committee of the NPC, the State Council and the CMC, exercising their prescribed functions and powers, formulated and revised 99 military laws and regulations. The general headquarters/departments, military area commands, Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force formulated and revised nearly 900 military rules and regulations. In 2006, the CMC began to implement its law-making program for the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period. In a period of five years, a military legal system will take shape which covers multiple aspects, and is coherent, scientific, closely knit and well-designed.

As military courts exercise the function of civil trial within the military, military procuratorates have begun to conduct civil prosecution on a trial basis and supervise civil trials in the military in accordance with the law. In line with the regulations on the people's supervisory system practiced by civil procuratorates, military procuratorates have started to introduce, on a trial basis, a system of servicemen's supervisors to strengthen supervision over investigation of misconduct on duty. In conformity with the requirements of the state's procedural law, a new servicemen's jury system has been established, which specifies the selection of jury members and the procedure for the performance of their duties. In keeping with the state's judicial system, the PLA has instituted a specialized rank system for military judges and procurators which consists of 11 grades at three levels. This has enhanced the professional performance of the military judicial personnel.

In recent years, based on the experience gained from appointing military lawyers at the three levels of combined corps, division and brigade in the Army, units at and above the brigade level in the Second Artillery Force have also started to be staffed with military lawyers. The General Armaments Department and the Navy have set up professional legal advisory offices concerning national defense patents and maritime issues. Military lawyers have played an active role in providing support to commanding officers and organs in decision-making, defending defendants in criminal trials, and undertaking civil cases to protect the legitimate rights and interests of military units and personnel.

Military Institutional Education

Under the unified leadership of the CMC, the PLA institutional education is managed at two levels: by the general headquarters/departments and by the military area commands (Navy, Air Force or Second Artillery Force). The four general headquarters/departments provide overall guidance for all PLA educational institutions, and the General Staff Headquarters administers military education. The development goal of military educational institutions is to establish and improve a new school system with distinct military features to shift priority from education of officer candidates for academic credentials to pre-assignment education. The new system takes pre-assignment educational institutions as the main form, and makes a distinction between these two types of education. The PLA has 67 military educational institutions, which are divided into two types: those for academic credentials and those for pre-assignment education. The former offers undergraduate education for pre-commission officers and graduate education for officers. The latter consists of elementary, intermediate and advanced level institutions and NCO schools, and offers pre-assignment training and rotational training for active-duty officers and NCOs. Some pre-assignment educational institutions also offer graduate courses in military science. At the same time, 112 regular institutions of higher learning in China undertake the task of training defense students, thus gradually increasing the number of military officers trained in civilian educational institutions.

The PLA endeavors to improve the overall performance of military educational institutions through focused and coordinated development. It has launched a project for establishing key military colleges and schools in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period. It continues to focus efforts on building a number of institutions and research centers for disciplines and specialties that are important in building an informationized military and winning informationized wars. A new round of reform in teaching is underway to improve the training target models for officers in different fields and at different levels, and to develop new programs and curricula for the training of military personnel. The PLA is also improving the information network for military training, and has built more virtual laboratories, digital libraries and digital campuses to provide distance learning and online teaching and training. In graduate education, the focus is shifted from academic-oriented to practice-oriented, from emphasis on quantity to emphasis on quality, and from a relatively closed-door approach to a more open and diversified approach. The PLA now has 41 educational institutions authorized to award doctor's degrees and 60 to award master's degrees.

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