China's Military Strong But Defensive
(Source: Global Times; issued July 25, 2019)
China on Wednesday issued a white paper on national defense in the new era. The paper objectively expounds on China's rapidly developing military build-up, declares the People's Liberation Army's resolve to safeguard the country's core interests, expresses China's willingness to maintain world peace, and stresses that China will never seek hegemony, expansion or spheres of influence.
It is expected that the rest of the world can read up on it to understand China's national defense more comprehensively and accurately.
China is facing the most serious strategic risk militarily among the great powers. The US has been increasingly resistant to China's rise and constantly placing military pressure on China. The Chinese people have thus been increasingly concerned that the bilateral economic and trade conflicts would spread to the military field.
The US is a military superpower and has major military allies such as Japan and Australia. It also has the island of Taiwan's collusion to harass the Chinese mainland.
But China has never carried out radical national defense policies. China's military strategy has always been defensive despite its constantly advancing military build-up. Beijing has even not developed a mandatory road map and timetable on the Taiwan question, but has only set a precondition for the use of force - when the Taiwan island authority or foreign forces make separatist movements identified by the Anti-Secession Law.
China has no ambition to overtake the US in regard to military power or to compete with the US militarily on a global scale. China's core concern on national security has always been political security and stability, and the inviolability of territory and sovereignty. Expanding international influence is a natural process for China, rather than a proactive pursuit through military leverage.
Given the risks posed by the Taiwan secessionist forces and the increasingly clear US intention to contain China, China's military must develop the ability to withstand the potential US military extortions under extreme circumstances. There are few possibilities and necessities for China to possess military power to provoke the US. But if attacked by the US, China must be able to cause unbearable losses to the US.
The China-US "military balance" in this sense is gradually being established. Especially in the Taiwan Straits, China's military confidence is multiplying daily. The mainland's military pressure against Taiwan has become an increasingly effective lever to prevent Taiwan secessionist forces. It has become difficult for the US to weaken China's leverage.
The China-US strategic game is already a reality, but the two countries hold different goals in this game. The US holds the intention, at least partly, to "defeat" China in its game with China. But for China, the goal is to strive for equal rights and win-win development.
The defense white paper is China's response to the request from the international community to improve its military transparency. It demonstrates China's goodwill to the outside world. China repeatedly stresses that it doesn't seek hegemony and expansion, which is self-restraint to a rising power. It deserves encouragement, not mockery.
The West led by the US should understand that China can't be intimidated. Past clashes between imperialist powers were often triggered by competing for colonies and overseas spheres of influence. But China has no colony and is not interested in seeking spheres of influence. All the challenges it faces happen in China's doorway. But it is wise to avoid squeezing a military power.
PLA Establishes Modern Weapons, Equipment System: White Paper
(Source: Global Times; issued July 25, 2019)
The Chinese military is establishing a modernized weaponry and equipment system by commissioning the likes of Type 15 tanks, Type 052D destroyers, J-20 fighters and DF-26 intermediate and long-range ballistic missiles, according to a white paper issued by defense ministry on Wednesday.
The white paper "China's National Defense in the New Era," released by the Information Office of the State Council, said China's armed forces are optimizing the overall composition of its weaponry and equipment, coordinating the efforts of all services and arms in this regard, promoting the balanced development of main battle equipment, information systems, and support equipment, with a view to comprehensively raise standardization, serial development and interoperability.
Older equipment is being phased out and a system is being created that is mainly comprised of new and high-tech weaponry and equipment.
The weapons mentioned in the white paper are some of China's newest and are world-class, military observers said.
The weapons listed in the white paper are likely already crucial parts of the Chinese military's arsenal and are combat-ready, they said.
The Type 15 tank is a lightweight tank capable of operating in rough terrain such as high altitude plateaus and mountainous areas, and can also be useful in landing missions, experts told the Global Times.
The Type 052D guided missile destroyer is considered the "Chinese Aegis" due to its outstanding detection and air defense capabilities.
Considered one of the world's best fighter jets, the J-20 is stealth-capable that could rival the US' F-22.
The DF-26 missile has been dubbed the anti-ship ballistic missile, which can destroy moving mid-sized to large vessels including aircraft carriers, providing strong strategic deterrence to potential enemies, experts said.
China Keeps Active Military Force at 2 Mln After Downsizing: White Paper
(Source: Xinhua; issued July 24, 2019)
BEIJING --- The Chinese military has cut 300,000 personnel to keep the total active force at 2 million, said a white paper released by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday.
Reform measures have been taken to transfer more officer positions to non-commissioned officers and civilian staff, downsize the leading organs at all levels by reducing their subordinate sections, leadership hierarchies and staff, and streamline the institutions and personnel in arts, sports, press, publication, logistical support, medical facilities, depots, and educational and research institutes, said the white paper titled "China's National Defense in the New Era."
The number of personnel in the leading organs at and above regiment level has been cut by about 25 percent and that of non-combat units by almost 50 percent, it said.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has significantly downsized the active force of the PLA Army, maintained that of the PLA Air Force at a steady number, moderately increased that of the PLA Navy and PLA Rocket Force, and optimized the force structures of all services and arms, it said.
The development of China's defense reserves has been enhanced. China is streamlining the number of primary militia nationwide, driving deeper reform of militia and reserve forces in their size, structure and composition, and promoting integrated development and employment of the reserve and active forces.
The deployment of combat forces has been adjusted for a strategic configuration that meets the demands of safeguarding China's national security in the new era, according to the white paper.