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China to cut troops by 200,000 before 2005
( 2003-09-01 14:12) (chinadaily.com.cn)

China has decided to further cut its troops by 200,000 to 2.3 million by the year 2005, following the previous disarmament of 500,000 during the Ninth Five Year Plan Period (1996-2000).

The decision, jointly made by the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the Central Military Commission (CMC), was announced in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, by CMC Chairman Jiang Zemin at a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Defense Science and Technology University of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

"To shrink China's armed forces is not only in accordance with the world military reform trend but also out of the necessity of the national economic construction," said Jiang.

With the development of modern science and technology, especially information technology, global competition in military affairs has intensified, Jiang said, pointing out the current transformation from mechanized warfare to information warfare, with the information capabilities of the army playing an increasingly decisive role.

"Further reducing the scale of the army will help us concentrate our limited strategic resources to quicken the pace of the information technology construction of our army," said Jiang.

The decision carries great significance in that it will promote China's army construction, accelerate the modernization drive of the army, stimulate the national economic development and contribute to the peace and development of the whole world, said Jiang.

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