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China's National Defense in 2006
Updated: 2006-12-29 17:40

Basic Tasks

In peacetime, the PAPF is tasked to perform guard duties, handle emergencies, combat terrorism, and participate in and support national economic development. In wartime, it assists the PLA in defensive operations.

Every day, more than 260,000 PAPF servicemen are on guard duty. Through the combined use of manpower, facilities and technologies, the PAPF has effectively enhanced the efficiency of guard duties and security in recent years. The PAPF annually handles an average of over 100 cases of attempted attacks against guarded targets and escape attempts by detained suspects and imprisoned criminals, organizes thousands of important temporary duties, and ensures the security of important international and national conferences and large-scale events, in cooperation with the government departments concerned. Adhering to the guidelines and principles for handling emergencies, and using proper methods and tactics, the PAPF effectively safeguards the fundamental interests of the people, social stability and the dignity of the law. The PAPF anti-terrorism units closely follow the state's anti-terrorism guidelines and principles, and enhance their combat-readiness training. They have been involved in the successful handling of cases of bombing attempts and kidnapping incidents. The various units of the PAPF take an active part in efforts to keep local order, and assist the public security departments in catching and arresting criminal suspects and cracking down on organized criminal gangs.

The PAPF gold mine force has completed 38 geological prospecting projects in a dozen provinces and autonomous regions, and found some rich gold deposits. In the last two years, the PAPF forest force has put out 552 forest or prairie fires, protecting valuable natural resources. The PAPF water and electricity force has taken part in the construction of 21 key national projects, including the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the West-East Natural Gas Transmission Project, the South-North Water Diversion Project, and major hydropower projects. The PAPF communications force is responsible for the maintenance of the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway and the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, and has undertaken the construction of national high-grade highways, extra-long tunnels and bridges. Those projects built by the PAPF communications force are all up to standards. In the past two years, 224,000 PAPF troops have participated in 2,320 emergency rescue and disaster relief operations, and rescued and evacuated 250,000 people in disaster-stricken areas.

Force Building

The PAPF is working to strengthen itself through science and technology. It is enhancing staff competence, and conducting strict management so that its personnel can fully perform their duties. Using the national information infrastructure, the PAPF has established a preliminary system of three-level integrated information networks, linking general headquarters with the grass-roots squadrons. It has made progress in real-time command and control, management of duties through visual means, networked education and training, and office automation. The PAPF possesses a basically complete range of equipment through R&D and procurement of urgently needed weaponry and equipment. It has set up and improved a distinctive mechanism for the selection, training and employment of officers and NCOs. In particular, priority is given to the training of inter-disciplinary personnel. The PAPF conducts mission-oriented training on a priority basis to better perform guard duties, manage emergencies and combat terrorism. It participated in China's "Great Wall-2003" and "Great Wall II" anti-terrorism exercises, and the SCO's "Joint-2003" exercise, and sponsored the "Guard-04" and "Guard-06" exercises to deal with large-scale emergencies. The PAPF runs its forces strictly and pursuant to the law. It stresses that leaders make decisions, administrative organs conduct management, and officers and men perform their duties strictly in accordance with the law. As a result, its overall performance has been greatly boosted.

The PAPF is steadily improving its logistical support system based on self-support and supplemented by social and PLA support to raise the efficiency of integrated support. It runs a crisis response support system covering the three echelons of the general headquarters, contingents (divisions) and detachments (regiments), to better respond to emergencies, and unexpected and complex situations. It promotes standardized and institutional logistical management by exploitation of IT and uniformly standardizes its facility configurations, work procedures, operating mechanisms and management requirements. The PAPF is pursuing reforms in housing, procurement of bulk materials and project procurement, medical care, and outsources food, barracks and bedding and clothing services.

In recent years, the PAPF has conducted friendly exchanges with the armed police forces, military police, internal security forces, public security forces and other similar forces of more than 30 countries to draw on each other's practices and cooperate in conducting anti-terrorism training. Its medical personnel, as part of Chinese rescue teams, have participated in disaster-relief missions in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia, and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

VI. National Defense Mobilization and Reserve Force

China, responding to new developments in modern warfare and the needs of national security, is reinforcing national defense mobilization and reserve force building to enhance its capabilities of rapid mobilization, sustained support, comprehensive protection and swift shift from a peacetime to wartime footing.

Mobilization of the Armed Forces

China's mobilization of the armed forces includes the mobilization of manpower, weaponry and equipment, as well as logistical materials. The main tasks of the PLA's mobilization are as follows: to formulate plans for wartime troop mobilization and support according to operational plans, carry out pre-regimentation of reservists into active units and organization of reserve units, and expand and form units according to wartime structure and organization upon the state's issuance of a mobilization order. The main tasks of the PAPF's mobilization are to formulate mobilization and support plans based on the PAPF's possible wartime tasks, carry out pre-regimentation of reservists and adjustment, expansion and reorganization of units, and adjust the organizational system or form or expand units according to designated tasks after the state issues a mobilization order. The main tasks of the militia's mobilization are to call up militiamen, adjust and reinforce organizations, issue weapons and equipment, carry out pre-war training, and provide support in accordance with the needs of wartime manpower mobilization and plans for participating in warfare and supporting the front.

Acting on the directives of the State Council and the CMC, the General Staff Headquarters organizes and conducts mobilization of the armed forces with the assistance of the General Political Department, General Logistics Department and General Armaments Department as well as the relevant government departments. The Navy, Air Force, and Second Artillery Force are responsible for the mobilization of their respective forces. The military area commands, provincial military commands and local Party committees and governments at different levels are responsible for the mobilization of reserve forces within their respective jurisdictions.

By maintaining a lean standing army, improving the reserve service system, setting up reserve units, designating manpower replenishment areas, pre-positioning equipment and supplies, and organizing civil-military mobilization rehearsals, China has ensured the smooth mobilization of the armed forces, enabling the latter to deter or defuse security crises with even a downsized standing force. In recent years, China has accelerated the adjustment and reform of the organization and structure of the militia and the reserve forces and increased the number of reservists with high-tech backgrounds, and strengthened the reserve forces of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force. As a result, the level of the general quality of the backup forces of national defense has been raised notably.