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

Honoring Commitment to International Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

China has made sound preparations for implementing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). To this end, a preparatory office has been established at the PLA General Armaments Department. With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the State Environmental Protection Administration, the China Earthquake Administration and other government departments, this office is responsible for setting up 11 monitoring stations in China as part of the international monitoring system, and formulating their administrative regulations and detailed rules for the implementation of the CTBT. Two primary seismological monitoring stations have been set up in Hailar and Lanzhou, respectively, and three radionuclide stations have been set up in Beijing, Guangzhou and Lanzhou, respectively. The surveying of the two sites for two infrasound stations in Beijing and Kunming has been completed, and construction is scheduled to start soon. The China National Data Center and the Beijing Radionuclide Laboratory have been built, and are now in trial operation.

China supports multilateral efforts aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the Biological Weapons Convention. It has attended the review conferences, annual meetings of State Parties and meetings of the Ad Hoc Group of Governmental Experts in an active and responsible manner. China has also submitted in a timely fashion to the United Nations declarations regarding confidence-building measures under the Convention.

China honors in good faith its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. It has promptly and completely submitted all the annual declarations, subsequent declarations regarding newly discovered chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China and the annual national programs related to protective purposes. It has also received more than 100 on-site inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The PLA is working, in strict compliance with the Convention, to ensure the smooth management and operation of the "single small-scale facility" and the "10kg Schedule I Chemical Synthesis Laboratory." China and Japan have held 42 rounds of bilateral consultations to accelerate the destruction of the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China. Since 2005, China has assisted Japan in 24 on-site verifications, and recovered over 3,100 chemical weapons abandoned by Japan. At the request of Japan, China has taken into temporary custody the recovered Japanese-abandoned chemical weapons confirmed by Japan. These chemical weapons will be destroyed by Japan in the future.

China fully honors its obligations under the amended Landmine Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. The PLA keeps its troops fully informed of China's obligations, and has implemented the technical standards and limitations specified in the Protocol. It has carried out a general check of all the anti-personnel landmines that do not meet the standards of the Protocol, and has destroyed several hundred thousand old landmines in a planned way. China has made technical modifications to usable anti-infantry landmines in inventory to make them conform to the technical standards of the Protocol. China continues to take an active part in international demining operations. In the period September-December 2005, Chinese military demining experts worked in Thailand to train demining personnel and give on-site instructions. China also provided Thailand with demining equipment. In the period September-December 2006, China ran demining training courses for Lebanon and Jordan in Nanjing, and provided the two countries with demining equipment. China has taken part in a constructive way in the discussions on anti-vehicle landmines by the Group of Governmental Experts of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, and is making preparations for ratifying the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War.

China is firmly opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. It supports the United Nations in playing its due role in non-proliferation. China is a party to all international treaties on non-proliferation and related international organizations. It has established a complete legal regime for controlling the export of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, missiles and other related sensitive items and technologies, and all defense items. China follows strict procedures in approving exports, to ensure effective export control.

Military Exchanges and Cooperation

China has established military ties with over 150 countries and military attach└ offices in 107 countries. A total of 85 countries have military attach└ offices in China. In the past two years, senior PLA delegations have visited more than 60 countries, and defense ministers, commanders-in-chief of the services, chiefs of the general staff and other high-ranking officers and military-related officials from more than 90 countries have visited China. China and Russia hold regular high-level military exchanges, and the general staff headquarters of the two countries have held the ninth and tenth rounds of strategic consultations. The military activities connected with "Russia Year" were successful. In October 2005 and July 2006, Chinese and US military leaders exchanged visits. China and the US maintain in-depth exchanges through institutionalized defense consultations and maritime military security consultations. China has enhanced high-level military contacts and defense consultations with the European countries, and China-Europe military exchanges have progressed steadily. China maintains military contacts with its neighbors, and has enhanced military exchanges with other developing countries. Since 2005, China has held workshops for senior officers from Latin American and Middle Eastern countries, and China-Germany, China-France workshops for senior officers. It has also hosted the SCO defense and security forum and the China-ASEAN workshop on Asia-Pacific security issues. Since 2002, China has held 16 joint military exercises with 11 countries. In August 2005, China and Russia conducted the "Peace Mission-2005" joint military exercise in Russia's Vladivostok and China's Shandong Peninsula, and their respective offshore waters. In November and December 2005, the PLA Navy held joint maritime search and rescue exercises with its Pakistani, Indian and Thai counterparts, respectively. In September 2006, China and Tajikistan conducted the "Cooperation-2006" joint counter-terrorism military exercise. In September and November 2006, the Chinese Navy and the US Navy conducted joint maritime search and rescue exercises in the offshore waters of San Diego and in the South China Sea. In December 2006, China and Pakistan held the "Friendship-2006" joint counter-terrorism military exercise. In the past two years, the PLA has sent observers to military exercises held by Turkey, Thailand, Pakistan, India, the US and Australia. In September 2005, the PLA invited 41 military observers and military attach└s from 24 countries to attend the "North Sword-2005" maneuvers organized by the Beijing Military Area Command. Naval ships from Thailand, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, France, Singapore and Peru have paid port visits to China. PLA naval ships have visited Pakistan, India, Thailand, the United States, Canada and the Philippines. In the past two years, the PLA has continued to expand exchanges of professional expertise and military students with its foreign counterparts. It has sent division- and brigade-level officers of combat troops and relevant functional organs of the Navy, Air Force, Second Artillery Force, military area commands, and general headquarters/departments on overseas study tours. Over 500 military personnel have been dispatched to study in more than 20 countries, and over 2,000 military personnel from more than 140 countries have come to China to study in military schools.

Participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations and International Disaster Relief Operations

Since 1990, China has sent 5,915 military personnel to participate in 16 UN peacekeeping operations. Eight lost their lives and several dozens were wounded on duty. Since 2000, China has sent 893 peacekeeping police officers to seven mission areas. At present, China has 1,487 military peacekeeping personnel serving in nine UN mission areas and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Among them, 92 military observers and staff officers, 175 engineering troops and 43 medical personnel are in Congo (Kinshasa); 275 engineering troops, 240 transportation troops and 43 medical personnel are in Liberia; 275 engineering troops, 100 transportation troops and 60 medical personnel are in Sudan; and 182 engineering troops are in Lebanon. China also has a total of 180 peacekeeping police officers in Liberia, Kosovo, Haiti and Sudan.

The PLA has actively participated in the international disaster relief operations conducted by the Chinese government. It has set up an emergency command mechanism, sent personnel to join specialized rescue teams, provided equipment, and assisted in mission-oriented training. In the past two years, PLA personnel have joined China's international rescue teams in international rescue operations after the Indian Ocean tsunami and the earthquakes in Pakistan and Indonesia. They have conducted search and rescue operations for people in distress, treatment of the sick and injured and prevention of epidemics, and assisted the Chinese government in providing relief materials to disaster-stricken countries.