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Xi calls for increased civil-army integration

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-13 09:27

President Xi Jinping called for greater and more efficient civil-military integration on Thursday to strengthen the country's ability to defend itself and the combat-readiness of its armed forces.

The implementation of this key national strategy remains at a preliminary phase because of problems such as a lack of top-level coordination and lax implementation, said Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Efforts must be made to ensure "coordinated, balanced and compatible development" of the country's economic and national defense capabilities, he said at a plenary meeting of the People's Liberation Army delegation at the two sessions.

The president's call is expected to give a fresh boost to civil-military integration. The phrase is used to describe a closer partnership between the defense industry and civilian enterprises through the sharing of technologies, manufacturing processes and equipment, personnel and facilities to meet both defense and commercial needs.

A key Party policy meeting in 2013 highlighted the importance of integration by labeling it a vital national strategy.

The defense market has gradually been opened up to the private sector since 2005. The PLA's General Staff Headquarters opened 108 defense items for tender in November, encouraging private players to take part in product-related research, development and production.

The move has been praised as a way of ensuring that the military has its "cannons" while private contractors can reap "bread", PLA Daily said in November.

Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said many countries have been increasing civil-military integration, and the scope and scale of such cooperation in China lags behind.

Military products are usually of a higher quality, and integration could assist in the upgrading of products in the civilian market, said Zhang.

Xi said the armed forces should fully implement the "Four Comprehensives" and the civil-military integration strategy to enable the PLA to break new ground in improving its capabilities.

The "Four Comprehensives", a political concept unveiled by Xi last year, refers to the building of a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law and governing the Party strictly.

He said the PLA had redoubled its efforts to carry out combat-like military training, fight corruption and consider advanced reforms.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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