China releases white paper on national defense warning U.S. of interference in Taiwan

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J-15 fighters from China's Liaoning aircraft carrier conduct a drill in an area of South China Sea [FILE/Mo Xiaoliang/Reuters]

The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China released a white paper titled “China’s National Defense in the New Era” on Wednesday, explaining the practice, purposes and significance of China’s efforts to build a fortified national defense and a strong military.

The following is an abstract of the paper:

The International Strategic Landscape Is Going Through Profound Changes

International strategic competition is on the rise. The US has adjusted its national security and defense strategies, and adopted unilateral policies. It has provoked and intensified competition among major countries, significantly increased its defense expenditure, pushed for additional capacity in nuclear, outer space, cyber and missile defense, and undermined global strategic stability. NATO has continued its enlargement, stepped up military deployment in Central and Eastern Europe, and conducted frequent military exercises. Russia is strengthening its nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities for strategic containment, and striving to safeguard its strategic security space and interests. The European Union (EU) is accelerating its security and defense integration to be more independent in its own security.

As the world economic and strategic center continues to shift towards the Asia-Pacific, the region has become a focus of major country competition, bringing uncertainties to regional security. The US is strengthening its Asia-Pacific military alliances and reinforcing military deployment and intervention, adding complexity to regional security. The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the Republic of Korea (ROK) by the US has severely undermined the regional strategic balance and the strategic security interests of regional countries. In an attempt to circumvent the post-war mechanism, Japan has adjusted its military and security policies and increased input accordingly, thus becoming more outward-looking in its military endeavors. Australia continues to strengthen its military alliance with the US and its military engagement in the Asia-Pacific, seeking a bigger role in security affairs.

China’s overseas interests are endangered by immediate threats such as international and regional turmoil, terrorism, and piracy.

Resolutely Safeguarding China’s Sovereignty, Security and Development Interests

The South China Sea islands and Diaoyu Islands are inalienable parts of the Chinese territory. China exercises its national sovereignty to build infrastructure and deploy necessary defensive capabilities on the islands and reefs in the South China Sea, and to conduct patrols in the waters of Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

To solve the Taiwan question and achieve complete reunification of the country is in the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation and essential to realizing national rejuvenation. China adheres to the principles of “peaceful reunification”, and “one country, two systems”, promotes peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, and advances peaceful reunification of the country. Meanwhile, China resolutely opposes any attempts or actions to split the country and any foreign interference to this end. China must be and will be reunited. China has the firm resolve and the ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will never allow the secession of any part of its territory by anyone, any organization or any political party by any means at any time. We make no promise to renounce the use of force, and reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is by no means targeted at our compatriots in Taiwan, but at the interference of external forces and the very small number of “Taiwan independence” separatists and their activities. The PLA will resolutely defeat anyone attempting to separate Taiwan from China and safeguard national unity at all costs.

Continuing to Strengthen the Military in the Chinese Way

The strategic goals for the development of China’s national defense and military in the new era are:

  • to generally achieve mechanization by the year 2020 with significantly enhanced informationization and greatly improved strategic capabilities;
  • to comprehensively advance the modernization of military theory, organizational structure, military personnel, and weaponry and equipment in step with the modernization of the country and basically complete the modernization of national defense and the military by 2035; and
  • to fully transform the people’s armed forces into world-class forces by the mid-21st century.

Maintaining Combat Readiness & Carrying Out Military Training in Real Combat Conditions

The PLA and the People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) give greater priority to combat readiness. Efforts are made to strictly act on relevant regulations and procedures, fulfill readiness duties, conduct targeted exercises and training, and maintain standardized order, with a view to staying ready to act when required and effectively carrying out readiness (combat) duties.

The PLA Army (PLAA) has organized training competitions and conducted live exercises codenamed Stride and Firepower. The PLA Navy (PLAN) has extended training to the far seas and deployed the aircraft carrier task group for its first far seas combat exercise in the West Pacific. It has organized naval parades in the South China Sea and the waters and airspace near Qingdao, and conducted a series of live force-on-force exercises codenamed Mobility and systematic all-elements exercises.

he PAP has developed to meet the requirements of nationwide coverage, effective connectivity, all-area response and integrated functions, and conducted a series of exercises including Guard.

China’s armed forces accelerate the building of their cyberspace capabilities, develop cyber security and defense means, and build cyber defense capabilities consistent with China’s international standing and its status as a major cyber country.

Protecting China’s Overseas Interests

Overseas interests are a crucial part of China’s national interests. One of the missions of China’s armed forces is to effectively protect the security and legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese people, organizations and institutions.

China’s Defense Expenditure Since 2012

From 2012 to 2017, China’s defense expenditure increased from RMB669.192 billion to RMB1,043.237 billion. China’s GDP and government expenditure grew at average rates of 9.04% and 10.43% respectively, calculated on the price of the indicated years, while its defense expenditure increased by an average of 9.42%. Defense expenditure accounted for 1.28% of GDP and 5.26% of government expenditure on average. The percentage of China’s defense expenditure in GDP remained stable and grew in coordination with the increase of government expenditure.

Closing Remarks

Guided by Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the military, China’s national defense in the new era will stride forward along its own path to build a stronger military and endeavor to achieve the great goal of developing world-class forces in an all-round way. China’s armed forces have the determination, confidence and capability to prevail over all threats and challenges. They stand ready to provide strong strategic support for the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and to make new and greater contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Edited by staff

>>Download the full text here

white paper on national defense in new era

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