The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces
Information Office of the State Council
The People’s Republic of China
April 2013, Beijing
I. New Situation, New Challenges and New Missions
II. Building and Development of China’s Armed Forces
III. Defending National Sovereignty, Security and Territorial Integrity
IV. Supporting National Economic and Social Development
V. Safeguarding World Peace and Regional Stability
In today’s world, peace and development are facing new opportunities and challenges. It is a historic mission entrusted by the era to people of all nations to firmly grasp the opportunities, jointly meet the challenges, cooperatively maintain security and collectively achieve development.
It is China’s unshakable national commitment and strategic choice to take the road of peaceful development. China unswervingly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. China opposes any form of hegemonism or power politics, and does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. China will never seek hegemony or behave in a hegemonic manner, nor will it engage in military expansion. China advocates a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and pursues comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security.
It is a strategic task of China’s modernization drive as well as a strong guarantee for China’s peaceful development to build a strong national defense and powerful armed forces which are commensurate with China’s international standing and meet the needs of its security and development interests. China’s armed forces act to meet the new requirements of China’s national development and security strategies, follow the theoretical guidance of the Scientific Outlook on Development, speed up the transformation of the generating mode of combat effectiveness, build a system of modern military forces with Chinese characteristics, enhance military strategic guidance and diversify the ways of employing armed forces as the times require. China’s armed forces provide a security guarantee and strategic support for national development, and make due contributions to the maintenance of world peace and regional stability.
I. New Situation, New Challenges and New Missions
Since the beginning of the new century, profound and complex changes have taken place in the world, but peace and development remain the underlying trends of our times. The global trends toward economic globalization and multi-polarity are intensifying, cultural diversity is increasing, and an information society is fast emerging. The balance of international forces is shifting in favor of maintaining world peace, and on the whole the international situation remains peaceful and stable. Meanwhile, however, the world is still far from being tranquil. There are signs of increasing hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism. Local turmoils occur frequently. Hot-spot issues keep cropping up. Traditional and non-traditional security challenges interweave and interact. Competition is intensifying in the international military field. International security issues are growing noticeably more abrupt, interrelated and comprehensive. The Asia-Pacific region has become an increasingly significant stage for world economic development and strategic interaction between major powers. The US is adjusting its Asia-Pacific security strategy, and the regional landscape is undergoing profound changes.
China has seized and made the most of this important period of strategic opportunities for its development, and its modernization achievements have captured world attention. China’s overall national strength has grown dramatically and the Chinese people’s lives have been remarkably improved. China enjoys general social stability and cross-Straits relations are sustaining a momentum of peaceful development. China’s international competitiveness and influence are steadily increasing. However, China still faces multiple and complicated security threats and challenges. The issues of subsistence and development security and the traditional and non-traditional threats to security are interwoven. Therefore, China has an arduous task to safeguard its national unification, territorial integrity and development interests. Some country has strengthened its Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanded its military presence in the region, and frequently makes the situation there tenser. On the issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, some neighboring countries are taking actions that complicate or exacerbate the situation, and Japan is making trouble over the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. The threats posed by “three forces,” namely, terrorism, separatism and extremism, are on the rise. The “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and their activities are still the biggest threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. Serious natural disasters, security accidents and public health incidents keep occurring. Factors affecting social harmony and stability are growing in number, and the security risks to China’s overseas interests are on the increase. Changes in the form of war from mechanization to informationization are accelerating. Major powers are vigorously developing new and more sophisticated military technologies so as to ensure that they can maintain strategic superiorities in international competition in such areas as outer space and cyber space.
Facing a complex and volatile security situation, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) resolutely carries out its historical missions for the new stage in the new century. China’s armed forces broaden their visions of national security strategy and military strategy, aim at winning local wars under the conditions of informationization, make active planning for the use of armed forces in peacetime, deal effectively with various security threats and accomplish diversified military tasks.
The diversified employment of China’s armed forces adheres to fundamental policies and principles as follows:
Safeguarding national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and supporting the country’s peaceful development. This is the goal of China’s efforts in strengthening its national defense and the sacred mission of its armed forces, as stipulated in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and other relevant laws. China’s armed forces unswervingly implement the military strategy of active defense, guard against and resist aggression, contain separatist forces, safeguard border, coastal and territorial air security, and protect national maritime rights and interests and national security interests in outer space and cyber space. “We will not attack unless we are attacked; but we will surely counterattack if attacked.” Following this principle, China will resolutely take all necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Aiming to win local wars under the conditions of informationization and expanding and intensifying military preparedness. China’s armed forces firmly base their military preparedness on winning local wars under the conditions of informationization, make overall and coordinated plans to promote military preparedness in all strategic directions, intensify the joint employment of different services and arms, and enhance warfighting capabilities based on information systems. They constantly bring forward new ideas for the strategies and tactics of people’s war, advance integrated civilian-military development, and enhance the quality of national defense mobilization and reserve force building. They raise in an all-round way the level of routine combat readiness, intensify scenario-oriented exercises and drills, conduct well-organized border, coastal and territorial air patrols and duties for combat readiness, and handle appropriately various crises and major emergencies.
Formulating the concept of comprehensive security and effectively conducting military operations other than war (MOOTW). China’s armed forces adapt themselves to the new changes of security threats, and emphasize the employment of armed forces in peacetime. They actively participate in and assist China’s economic and social development, and resolutely accomplish urgent, difficult, hazardous, and arduous tasks involving emergency rescue and disaster relief. As stipulated by law, they perform their duties of maintaining national security and stability, steadfastly subduing subversive and sabotage attempts by hostile forces, cracking down on violent and terrorist activities, and accomplishing security-provision and guarding tasks. In addition, they strengthen overseas operational capabilities such as emergency response and rescue, merchant vessel protection at sea and evacuation of Chinese nationals, and provide reliable security support for China’s interests overseas.
Deepening security cooperation and fulfilling international obligations. China’s armed forces are the initiator and facilitator of, and participant in international security cooperation. They uphold the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, conduct all-round military exchanges with other countries, and develop cooperative military relations that are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party. They promote the establishment of just and effective collective security mechanisms and military confidence-building mechanisms. Bearing in mind the concept of openness, pragmatism and cooperation, China’s armed forces increase their interactions and cooperation with other armed forces, and intensify cooperation on confidence-building measures (CBMs) in border areas. China’s armed forces work to promote dialogue and cooperation on maritime security; participate in UN peacekeeping missions, international counter-terrorism cooperation, international merchant shipping protection and disaster relief operations; conduct joint exercises and training with foreign counterparts; conscientiously assume their due international responsibilities; and play an active role in maintaining world peace, security and stability.
Acting in accordance with laws, policies and disciplines. China’s armed forces observe the country’s Constitution and other relevant laws, comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and maintain their commitment to employing troops and taking actions according to law. They strictly abide by laws, regulations and policies, as well as discipline regarding civil-military relations. According to law, they accomplish such tasks as emergency rescue, disaster relief, stability maintenance, contingency response and security provision. On the basis of the UN Charter and other universally recognized norms of international relations, they consistently operate within the legal framework formed by bilateral or multi-lateral treaties and agreements, so as to ensure the legitimacy of their operations involving foreign countries or militaries. The diversified employment of China’s armed forces is legally guaranteed by formulating and revising relevant laws, regulations and policies, and the armed forces are administered strictly by rules and regulations.
II. Building and Development of China’s Armed Forces
China’s armed forces are composed of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) and the militia. They play a significant role in China’s overall strategies of security and development, and shoulder the glorious mission and sacred duty of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests.
Over the years, the PLA has been proactively and steadily pushing forward its reforms in line with the requirements of performing its missions and tasks, and building an informationized military. The PLA has intensified the strategic administration of the Central Military Commission (CMC). It established the PLA Department of Strategic Planning, reorganized the GSH (Headquarters of the General Staff) Communications Department as the GSH Informationization Department, and the GSH Training and Arms Department as the GSH Training Department. The PLA is engaged in the building of new types of combat forces. It optimizes the size and structure of the various services and arms, reforms the organization of the troops so as to make operational forces lean, joint, multi-functional and efficient. The PLA works to improve the training mechanism for military personnel of a new type, adjust policies and rules regarding military human resources and logistics, and strengthen the development of new- and high-technology weaponry and equipment to build a modern military force structure with Chinese characteristics.
The PLA Army (PLAA) is composed of mobile operational units, border and coastal defense units, guard and garrison units, and is primarily responsible for military operations on land. In line with the strategic requirements of mobile operations and multi-dimensional offense and defense, the PLAA has been reoriented from theater defense to trans-theater mobility. It is accelerating the development of army aviation troops, light mechanized units and special operations forces, and enhancing building of digitalized units, gradually making its units small, modular and multi-functional in organization so as to enhance their capabilities for air-ground integrated operations, long-distance maneuvers, rapid assaults and special operations. The PLAA mobile operational units include 18 combined corps, plus additional independent combined operational divisions (brigades), and have a total strength of 850,000. The combined corps, composed of divisions and brigades, are respectively under the seven military area commands (MACs): Shenyang (16th, 39th and 40th Combined Corps), Beijing (27th, 38th and 65th Combined Corps), Lanzhou (21st and 47th Combined Corps), Jinan (20th, 26th and 54th Combined Corps), Nanjing (1st, 12th and 31st Combined Corps), Guangzhou (41st and 42nd Combined Corps) and Chengdu (13th and 14th Combined Corps).
The PLA Navy (PLAN) is China’s mainstay for operations at sea, and is responsible for safeguarding its maritime security and maintaining its sovereignty over its territorial seas along with its maritime rights and interests. The PLAN is composed of the submarine, surface vessel, naval aviation, marine corps and coastal defense arms. In line with the requirements of its offshore defense strategy, the PLAN endeavors to accelerate the modernization of its forces for comprehensive offshore operations, develop advanced submarines, destroyers and frigates, and improve integrated electronic and information systems. Furthermore, it develops blue-water capabilities of conducting mobile operations, carrying out international cooperation, and countering non-traditional security threats, and enhances its capabilities of strategic deterrence and counterattack. Currently, the PLAN has a total strength of 235,000 officers and men, and commands three fleets, namely, the Beihai Fleet, the Donghai Fleet and the Nanhai Fleet. Each fleet has fleet aviation headquarters, support bases, flotillas and maritime garrison commands, as well as aviation divisions and marine brigades. In September 2012, China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning was commissioned into the PLAN. China’s development of an aircraft carrier has a profound impact on building a strong PLAN and safeguarding maritime security.
The PLA Air Force (PLAAF) is China’s mainstay for air operations, responsible for its territorial air security and maintaining a stable air defense posture nationwide. It is primarily composed of aviation, ground air defense, radar, airborne and electronic countermeasures (ECM) arms. In line with the strategic requirements of conducting both offensive and defensive operations, the PLAAF is strengthening the development of a combat force structure that focuses on reconnaissance and early warning, air strike, air and missile defense, and strategic projection. It is developing such advanced weaponry and equipment as new-generation fighters and new-type ground-to-air missiles and radar systems, improving its early warning, command and communications networks, and raising its strategic early warning, strategic deterrence and long-distance air strike capabilities. The PLAAF now has a total strength of 398,000 officers and men, and an air command in each of the seven Military Area Commands (MACs) of Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. In addition, it commands one airborne corps. Under each air command are bases, aviation divisions (brigades), ground-to-air missile divisions (brigades), radar brigades and other units.
The PLA Second Artillery Force (PLASAF) is a core force for China’s strategic deterrence. It is mainly composed of nuclear and conventional missile forces and operational support units, primarily responsible for deterring other countries from using nuclear weapons against China, and carrying out nuclear counterattacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles. Following the principle of building a lean and effective force, the PLASAF is striving to push forward its informationization transform, relying on scientific and technological progress to boost independent innovations in weaponry and equipment, modernizing current equipment selectively by applying mature technology, enhancing the safety, reliability and effectiveness of its missiles, improving its force structure of having both nuclear and conventional missiles, strengthening its rapid reaction, effective penetration, precision strike, damage infliction, protection and survivability capabilities. The PLASAF capabilities of strategic deterrence, nuclear counterattack and conventional precision strike are being steadily elevated. The PLASAF has under its command missile bases, training bases, specialized support units, academies and research institutions. It has a series of “Dong Feng” ballistic missiles and “Chang Jian” cruise missiles.
In peacetime, the PAPF’s main tasks include performing guard duties, dealing with emergencies, combating terrorism and participating in and supporting national economic development. In wartime, it is tasked with assisting the PLA in defensive operations. Based on the national information infrastructure, the PAPF has built a three-level comprehensive information network from PAPF general headquarters down to squadrons. It develops task-oriented weaponry and equipment and conducts scenario-based training so as to improve its guard-duty, emergency-response and counter-terrorism capabilities. The PAPF is composed of the internal security force and other specialized forces. The internal security force is composed of contingents at the level of province (autonomous region or municipality directly under the central government) and mobile divisions. Specialized PAPF forces include those guarding gold mines, forests, hydroelectric projects and transportation facilities. The border public security, firefighting and security guard forces are also components of the PAPF.
The militia is an armed organization composed of the people not released from their regular work. As an assistant and backup force of the PLA, the militia is tasked with participating in the socialist modernization drive, performing combat readiness support and defensive operations, helping maintain social order and participating in emergency rescue and disaster relief operations. The militia focuses on optimizing its size and structure, improving its weaponry and equipment, and pushing forward reforms in training so as to enhance its capabilities of supporting diversified military operations, of which the core is to win local wars in informationized conditions. The militia falls into two categories: primary and general. The primary militia has emergency response detachments; supporting detachments such as joint air defense, intelligence, reconnaissance, communications support, engineering rush-repair, transportation and equipment repair; and reserve units for combat, logistics and equipment support.
III. Defending National Sovereignty, Security and Territorial Integrity
The fundamental tasks of China’s armed forces are consolidating national defense, resisting foreign aggression and defending the motherland. Responding to China’s core security needs, the diversified employment of the armed forces aims to maintain peace, contain crises and win wars; safeguard border, coastal and territorial air security; strengthen combat-readiness and warfighting-oriented exercises and drills; readily respond to and resolutely deter any provocative action which undermines China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity; and firmly safeguard China’s core national interests.
Safeguarding Border and Coastal Security
With a borderline of more than 22,000 km and a coastline of more than 18,000 km, China is one of the countries with the most neighbors and the longest land borders. Among all China’s islands, more than 6,500 are larger than 500 square meters each. China’s island coastline is over 14,000 km long. China’s armed forces defend and exercise jurisdiction over China’s land borders and sea areas, and the task of safeguarding border and coastal security is arduous and complicated.
The border and coastal defense forces of the PLAA are stationed in border and coastal areas, and on islands. They are responsible for defense and administrative tasks such as safeguarding the national borders, coastlines and islands, resisting and guarding against foreign invasions, encroachments and provocations, and assisting in cracking down on terrorist sabotage and cross-border crimes. The border and coastal defense forces focus on combat-readiness duties, strengthen the defense and surveillance of major directions and sensitive areas, watercourses and sea areas in border and coastal regions, maintain a rigorous guard against any invasion, encroachment or cross-border sabotage, prevent in a timely fashion any violation of border and coastal policies, laws and regulations and changes to the current borderlines, carry out civil-military joint control and management, and emergency response missions promptly, and effectively safeguard the security and stability of the borders and coastal areas.
China has signed border cooperation agreements with seven neighboring countries, and established mechanisms with 12 countries for border defense talks and meetings. The border and coastal defense forces of the PLA promote friendly cooperation in joint patrols, guard duties and joint control-management drills with their counterparts of Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Vietnam, respectively. They also organize annual mutual inspections to supervise and verify the implementation of confidence-building measures in border areas with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
The PLAN strengthens maritime control and management, systematically establishes patrol mechanisms, effectively enhances situational awareness in surrounding sea areas, tightly guards against various types of harassment, infiltration and sabotage activities, and copes promptly with maritime and air incidents and emergencies. It advances maritime security cooperation, and maintains maritime peace and stability, as well as free and safe navigation. Within the framework of the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA), the Chinese and US navies regularly exchange maritime information to avoid accidents at sea. According to the Agreement on Joint Patrols by the Navies of China and Vietnam in the Beibu Gulf, the two navies have organized joint patrols twice a year since 2006.
The border public security force is an armed law-enforcement body deployed by the state in border and coastal areas, and at ports. It assumes important responsibilities of safeguarding national sovereignty, and maintaining security and stability in border, coastal and sea areas, as well as entry and exit order at ports. It carries out diversified tasks of maintaining stability, combating crimes, conducting emergency rescues and providing security in border areas. The border public security force establishes border control zones along the borderlines, establishes maritime defense zones in the coastal areas, establishes border surveillance areas 20 to 50 meters in depth along land border and coastline areas adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao, sets up border inspection stations at open ports, and deploys a marine police force in coastal areas. In recent years, regular strict inspections, management and control in border areas and at ports have been carried out to guard against and subdue separatist, sabotage, violent and terrorist activities by the “three forces” or hostile individuals. The border public security force takes strict and coordinated measures against cross-border fishing activities, strengthens law enforcement by maritime security patrols, and clamps down on maritime offenses and crimes. Since 2011, it has handled 47,445 cases, seized 12,357 kg of drugs, confiscated 125,115 illegal guns, and tracked down 5,607 illegal border-crossers.
The militia takes an active part in combat readiness duties, joint military-police-civilian defense efforts, post duties, and border protection and control tasks in the border and coastal areas. Militia members patrol along the borders and coastlines all year round.
Safeguarding Territorial Air Security
The PLAAF is the mainstay of national territorial air defense, and in accordance with the instructions of the CMC, the PLAA, PLAN and PAPF all undertake some territorial air defense responsibilities. In peacetime, the chain of command of China’ s air defense runs from the PLAAF headquarters through the air commands of the military area commands to air defense units. The PLAAF exercises unified command over all air defense components in accordance with the CMC’s intent. China’s air defense system is composed of six sub-systems of reconnaissance and surveillance, command and control, aerial defense, ground air defense, integrated support and civil air defense. China has established an air defense force system that integrates reconnaissance and early warning, resistance, counterattack and protection. For air situation awareness means, air detection radars and early warning aircraft are the mainstay, supplemented by technical and ECM reconnaissance. For resistance means, fighters, fighter-bombers, ground-to-air missiles and antiaircraft artillery troops are the mainstay, supplemented by the strengths from the PLAA air defense force, militia and reserves, as well as civil air defense. For integrated protection means, various protection works and strengths are the mainstay, supplemented by specialized technical protection forces.
The PLAAF organizes the following routine air defense tasks: reconnaissance and early warning units are tasked with monitoring air situations in China’s territorial air space and surrounding areas and keeping abreast of air security threats. Command organs at all levels are tasked with assuming routine combat readiness duties with the capital as the core, and border and coastal areas as the key, and commanding air defense operations at all times. Routine air defense troops on combat duty are tasked with carrying out air vigilance and patrols at sea, conducting counter-reconnaissance in border areas and verifying abnormal and unidentified air situations within the territory. The air control system is tasked with monitoring, controlling and maintaining air traffic order so as to ensure flight safety.
Maintaining Constant Combat Readiness
Combat readiness refers to the preparations and alert activities of the armed forces for undertaking operational tasks and MOOTW, and it is the general, comprehensive and regular work of the armed forces. It is an important guarantee for coping with various security threats and accomplishing diversified military tasks to enhance the capabilities of combat readiness and maintain constant combat readiness. The PLA has a regular system of combat readiness. It improves infrastructure for combat readiness, carries out scenario-oriented drills, and earnestly organizes alert duties, border, coastal and air defense patrols and guard duties. It keeps itself prepared for undertaking operational tasks and MOOTW at all times. Based on different tasks, the troops assume different levels of readiness (Level III, Level II and Level I, from the lowest degree of alertness to the highest).
The routine combat readiness work of the PLAA serves to maintain normal order in border areas and protect national development achievements. Relying on the operational command organs and command information system, it strengthens the integration of combat readiness duty elements, explores joint duty probability within a theater, and optimizes the combat readiness duty system in operational troops at and above the regiment level. It ensures the implementation of combat readiness work through institutionalized systems and mechanisms. It creates a combat readiness system with inter-connected strategic directions, combined arms and systematized operational support. Thus, the PLAA keeps sound combat readiness with agile maneuvers and effective response. The routine combat readiness work of the PLAN serves to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. It carries out diversified patrols and provides whole-area surveillance in a cost-effective way. The PLAN organizes and performs regular combat readiness patrols, and maintains a military presence in relevant sea areas. All fleets maintain the necessary number of ships patrolling in areas under their respective command, beef up naval aviation reconnaissance patrols, and organize mobile forces to conduct patrols and surveillance in relevant sea areas, as required. The PLAAF focuses its daily combat readiness on territorial air defense. It follows the principles of applicability in both peacetime and wartime, all-dimension response and full territorial reach, and maintains a vigilant and efficient combat readiness. It organizes air alert patrols on a regular basis to verify abnormal and unidentified air situations promptly. The PLAAF command alert system takes PLAAF command posts as the core, field command posts as the basis, and aviation and ground air defense forces on combat duty as the pillar.
The PLASAF keeps an appropriate level of readiness in peacetime. It pursues the principles of combining peacetime needs with wartime needs, maintaining vigilance all the time and being ready to fight. It has formed a complete system for combat readiness and set up an integrated, functional, agile and efficient operational duty system to ensure rapid and effective responses to war threats and emergencies. If China comes under a nuclear threat, the nuclear missile force will act upon the orders of the CMC, go into a higher level of readiness, and get ready for a nuclear counterattack to deter the enemy from using nuclear weapons against China. If China comes under a nuclear attack, the nuclear missile force of the PLASAF will use nuclear missiles to launch a resolute counterattack either independently or together with the nuclear forces of other services. The conventional missile force is able to shift instantly from peacetime to wartime readiness, and conduct conventional medium- and long-range precision strikes.
Carrying out Scenario-based Exercises and Drills
The PLA takes scenario-based exercises and drills as the basic means to accelerate the transition in military training and raise combat capabilities. It widely practices in training such operational concepts in conditions of informationization as information dominance, confrontation between different systems, precision strike, fusion, integration and jointness. It organizes training based on real combat needs, formations and procedures. It pays special attention to confrontational command training, live independent force-on-force training and training in complex battlefield environments. Thus, the warfighting capabilities based on information systems have been thoroughly improved.
Carrying out trans-MAC training. To develop rapid-response and joint-operation capabilities in unfamiliar environments and complex conditions, the divisions and brigades of the same specialty with similar tasks and tailored operational environments are organized to carry out a series of trans-MAC live verification-oriented exercises and drills in the combined tactical training bases. In 2009, the Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou MACs each sent one division to join long-distance maneuvers and confrontational drills. Since 2010, a series of campaign-level exercises and drills code-named “Mission Action” for trans-MAC maneuvers have been carried out. Specifically, in 2010 the Beijing, Lanzhou and Chengdu MACs each sent one division (brigade) led by corps headquarters, together with some PLAAF units, to participate in the exercise. In 2011, relevant troops from the Chengdu and Jinan MACs were organized and carried out the exercise in plateau areas. In 2012, the Chengdu, Jinan and Lanzhou MACs and relevant PLAAF troops were organized and carried out the exercise in southwestern China.
Highlighting force-on-force training. The various services and arms are intensifying confrontational and verification-oriented exercises and drills. Based on different scenarios, they organize live force-on-force exercises, online confrontational exercises and computer-simulation confrontational exercises. The PLAAF creates complex battlefield environments based on its training bases, organizes confrontational exercises on “Red-Blue” war systems under informationized conditions, either between MAC air forces or between a combined “Blue Team” and MAC air force (”Red Team”). The Second Artillery Forces carry out confrontational training of reconnaissance vs. counter-reconnaissance, jamming vs. counter-jamming, and precision strikes vs. protection and counterattack, in complex battlefield environments. They are strengthening safety protection and operational skills training under nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) threats. Units of different missile types are organized to conduct live-firing launching tasks annually.
Intensifying blue water training. The PLAN is improving the training mode of task force formation in blue water. It organizes the training of different formations of combined task forces composed of new types of destroyers, frigates, ocean-going replenishment ships and shipborne helicopters. It is increasing its research and training on tasks in complex battlefield environments, highlighting the training of remote early warning, comprehensive control, open sea interception, long-range raid, anti-submarine warfare and vessel protection at distant sea. The PLAN organizes relevant coastal forces to carry out live force-on-force training for air defense, anti-submarine, anti-mine, anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, coastal defense, and island and reef sabotage raids. Since 2007, the PLAN has conducted training in the distant sea waters of the Western Pacific involving over 90 ships in nearly 20 batches. During the training, the PLAN took effective measures to respond to foreign close-in reconnaissance and illegal interference activities by military ships and aircraft. From April to September 2012, the training vessel Zhenghe completed global-voyage training, paying port calls to 14 countries and regions.
IV. Supporting National Economic and Social Development
The Constitution and relevant laws entrust China’s armed forces with the important tasks of safeguarding the peaceful labor of the Chinese people, taking part in national development and serving the people wholeheartedly. Subordinate to and serving the overall situation of national reform and development, the armed forces of China actively participate in national development, emergency rescue and disaster relief, maintain social harmony and stability according to law, and endeavor to protect national development interests.
Participating in National Development
Under the precondition of accomplishing such tasks as education, training, combat readiness duties, and scientific research and experiments, the PLA and PAPF center their efforts on national and local plans and arrangements for economic and social development; persist in combining PLA and PAPF capabilities with local governments’ needs and local people’s expectations; make full use of their resources and advantages in personnel, equipment, technology and infrastructure; actively support local key infrastructure projects, ecological environment conservation and new socialist rural area development; and take solid steps to support poverty-alleviation initiatives, give financial aid to education and provide medical service support. They thereby make significant contributions to promoting local economic development, social harmony and the improvement of people’s livelihood.
Supporting key infrastructure projects. China’s armed forces bring into full play the advantages of hydroelectric, transportation, engineering and cartographic units, and support national and local infrastructure construction related to national economy and people’s livelihood in such areas as transportation, water conservancy, energy and communications. Since 2011, the PLA and PAPF have contributed more than 15 million work days and over 1.2 million motor vehicles and machines, and have been involved in more than 350 major province-level (and above) projects of building airports, highways, railways and water conservancy facilities. The PAPF hydroelectric units have partaken in the construction of 115 projects concerning water conservancy, hydropower, railways and gas pipelines in Nuozhadu (Yunnan), Jinping (Sichuan) and Pangduo (Tibet). In addition, PAPF transportation units have undertaken the construction of 172 projects, including highways in the Tianshan Mountains in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the double-deck viaduct bridge over the Luotang River in Gansu Province and the Galungla Tunnel along the Medog Highway in the Tibet Autonomous Region, with a total length of 3,250 km.
Promoting ecological progress and protecting the environment. The PLA, militia and reserve organic troops are organized to help afforest barren hills, control desertification and preserve wetlands. Specifically, they have supported the construction of key national reserves and ecological engineering projects such as controlling the sources of sandstorms affecting Beijing and Tianjin, afforesting the periphery of the Taklimakan Desert, protecting the ecological environment of the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtse and Yellow rivers, and harnessing the Yarlung Zangbo, Lhasa and Nyangqu rivers in Tibet. Over the past two years, the PLA and PAPF have planted over 14 million trees, and afforested above three million mu of barren hills and beaches by large-scale planting and aerial seeding. Besides, technical units specializing in cartography, meteorology, and water supply provide such services as cartographic surveying, weather and hydrological forecasting, and water source exploration for local people.
Contributing to poverty-alleviation initiatives and helping build new rural areas. The PLA and PAPF have paired up with 63 poverty-stricken counties and 547 poverty-stricken towns and townships; set up 26,000 places of contact for poverty reduction; supported over 20,000 small projects such as constructing irrigation and water-conservancy facilities, building rural roads, and improving small river valley areas; aided the development of more than 1,000 industries; and helped over 400,000 needy people shake off poverty. The Beijing Military Area Command’s water-supply engineering regiment has helped local governments to search for water and dig wells in Yunnan, Shandong, Hebei and Guizhou provinces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and dug 358 wells, solving the domestic water shortage for 960,000 people and the problem of irrigation for 85,000 mu of farmland. Implementing the project of “digging wells to enrich farmers,” the Lanzhou Military Area Command’s water-supply engineering regiment has explored water sources and dug 192 wells in the arid zone in the middle and southern parts of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and alleviated drinking water shortages for 390,000 people and 570,000 head of livestock and the problem of irrigation for 37,000 mu of farmland.
Supporting scientific and technological, educational, cultural and health undertakings. From 2011 to 2012, military academies, research institutions and specialized technical units undertook more than 200 research subjects including national major projects and key technology R&D programs; participated in 220 projects tackling key scientific and technological problems; and transferred 180 technologies. A total of 108 PLA and PAPF hospitals have paired up with 130 county-level hospitals in poverty-stricken areas in the western parts of the country, while medical and health units below the corps level have paired up with 1,283 clinics and health centers in towns and townships. From 2009 to 2012, the armed forces financed and built 57 “August 1” schools particularly in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities in the western parts of the country, such as Xinjiang and Tibet, providing schooling for over 30,000 children.
Participating in Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief
China is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. With more varieties, wide distribution and high frequency, natural disasters endanger China’s economic and social development as well as the lives and property of many Chinese people. The armed forces of China have always acted as the shock force in emergency rescue and disaster relief, and always undertaken the most urgent, arduous and hazardous rescue tasks. According to the Regulations on the PLA’s Participation in Disaster Rescue promulgated in 2005, the PLA and PAPF are mainly tasked with rescuing and evacuating the trapped; ensuring the security of important facilities and areas; salvaging and transporting important materials; participating in specialized operations such as rush repairs of roads, bridges and tunnels, maritime search and rescue, NBC rescue, epidemic control, and medical aid; eliminating or controlling other major dangers and disasters; and assisting local governments in post-disaster reconstruction.
The PLA, PAPF and people’s governments at various levels have established military-civilian joint response mechanisms for natural disasters, set up a mobile command platform for emergency response at the strategic level, pre-stored and pre-positioned in key areas materials and equipment urgently needed for emergency rescue and disaster relief, worked out relevant scenarios for units at and above the regiment level, and organized joint military-civilian exercises and training, thereby enhancing their capabilities for emergency rescue and disaster relief in all respects. So far, China has formed nine state-level professional teams, with a total membership of 50,000. They are emergency-response teams for flood relief, earthquake rescue, NBC defense, emergency airlift, rush repair of transportation and power facilities, maritime search and rescue, mobile communications support, medical aid and epidemic prevention, and meteorological support. In collaboration with relevant provinces (autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government) and based on active and reserve forces, all MACs have joined to set up professional emergency-rescue units at the provincial level, totaling 45,000 members.
In all major emergency-rescue and disaster-relief operations, China’s armed forces have always played a vital role. In 2008, some 1.26 million officers and men as well as militia members were sent to counter the disaster of freezing weather, sleet and snowstorms in southern China, and 221,000 to participate in rescue after the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province. In 2010, some 21,000 and 12,000 armed forces members were dispatched respectively to take part in rescue after the Yushu (Qinghai Province) earthquake and the Zhouqu (Gansu Province) mud-rock slide. Since 2011, the PLA and PAPF have contributed a total of 370,000 servicepersons and 197,000 vehicles or other machines of various types, flown over 225 sorties (using fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters), organized 870,000 militiamen and reservists, participated in emergency-rescue and disaster-relief operations in cases of floods, earthquakes, droughts, ice jams, typhoons and fires, rescued or evacuated more than 2.45 million people, and rushed 160,000 tons of goods to disaster areas. Every year, the army aviation flies hundreds of sorties to prevent and fight forest and grassland fires on a regular basis.
Maintaining Social Stability
In accordance with relevant laws and regulations, the armed forces of China participate in social order maintenance, and guard and fight against terrorist activities. The PAPF is the state’s backbone and shock force in handling public emergencies and maintaining social stability. The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the People’s Armed Police Force, promulgated in August 2009, specifies the scope, measures and support of PAPF security missions. With mobile PAPF troops as the mainstay, supplemented by forces pooled from routine duty units, and supported by various police forces and PAPF academies, the PAPF has established a force structure for stability maintenance and emergency response. In addition, a counter-terrorism force structure has been set up, which consists of a counter-terrorism contingent, special-duty squadrons, special-duty platoons and emergency-response squads at state, province, municipality and county levels, respectively. Solid steps have been taken to implement strict security measures for major events, including guard duties, security checks, security of important facilities and areas, checkpoints on major roads, and armed urban patrols. From 2011 to 2012, the PAPF effectively responded to and handled various emergencies, coordinated with public security organs to successfully handle some violent and terrorist attacks, and participated in handling 68 incidents of serious violence, and rescuing 62 hostages. Altogether contributing more than 1.6 million persons, the PAPF has provided security for such important events as the 26th Summer Universiade (Shenzhen, 2011), China-Eurasia Expo (Urumqi, 2011) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Beijing Summit (2012).
The PLA also assists public security and PAPF forces in providing security for major events. The PLAA is mainly tasked with counter-terrorism, NBC and explosive item checks, and medical aid. The PLAN is mainly responsible for guarding against potential maritime threats and terrorist attacks. The PLAAF is mainly charged with providing air security for major event venues and their adjacent areas. In recent years, contributing 145,000 servicepersons, 365 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, 148 ships and 554 sets of radar equipment, the PLA provided security for the Beijing Olympics, celebrations of the PRC’s 60th founding anniversary, Shanghai World Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games.
The militia is an important force for maintaining social stability. It assists in the maintenance of social order in accordance with laws and regulations. Under the unified arrangements of local CPC committees and governments as well as the guidance of corresponding military organs, the militia participates in joint defense of public security, integrated social management, and security provision for major events. Each year, more than 90,000 militiamen carry out the task of guarding bridges, tunnels and railways.
Hong Kong and Macao garrison troops are dispatched by the central government to the two special administrative regions (SARs) to perform defense duties according to law. As stipulated by the garrison laws, the governments of Hong Kong and Macao SARs may, if necessary, request the central government for the assistance of the garrison troops in maintaining social order and providing disaster relief. Hong Kong and Macao garrison troops organize joint air-sea patrols, conduct annual exercises and drills, and participate in joint exercises held by the SAR governments for air-sea search and rescue operations. They succeeded in providing security for the Hong Kong venue of the Beijing Olympics (2008) and anniversary celebrations of the SARs’ returning to the motherland.
Safeguarding Maritime Rights and Interests
China is a major maritime as well as land country. The seas and oceans provide immense space and abundant resources for China’s sustainable development, and thus are of vital importance to the people’s wellbeing and China’s future. It is an essential national development strategy to exploit, utilize and protect the seas and oceans, and build China into a maritime power. It is an important duty for the PLA to resolutely safeguard China’s maritime rights and interests.
In combination with its routine combat readiness activities, the PLAN provides security support for China’s maritime law enforcement, fisheries, and oil and gas exploitation. It has established mechanisms to coordinate and cooperate with law-enforcement organs of marine surveillance and fishery administration, as well as a joint military-police-civilian defense mechanism. Further, the PLAN has worked in coordination with relevant local departments to conduct maritime survey and scientific investigation; build systems of maritime meteorological observation, satellite navigation, radio navigation and navigation aids; release timely weather and sea traffic information; and ensure the safe flow of traffic in sea areas of responsibility.
Together with the marine surveillance and fishery administration departments, the PLAN has conducted joint maritime exercises and drills for protecting rights and enforcing laws, and enhanced its capabilities to coordinate command and respond to emergencies in joint military-civilian operations to safeguard maritime rights. The “Donghai Collaboration-2012” joint exercise was held in the East China Sea in October 2012, involving 11 ships and eight planes.
As an important armed maritime law-enforcement body, the border public security force exercises jurisdiction over both violations of laws, rules and regulations relating to public security administration and suspected crimes committed in China’s internal waters, territorial seas, contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf. In recent years, the border public security force has endeavored to guarantee the security of sea areas, strengthened patrols, surveillance and management along the sea boundary in the Beibu Gulf and around the Xisha sea areas, and effectively maintained maritime public order and stability.
Protecting Overseas Interests
With the gradual integration of China’s economy into the world economic system, overseas interests have become an integral component of China’s national interests. Security issues are increasingly prominent, involving overseas energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), and Chinese nationals and legal persons overseas. Vessel protection at sea, evacuation of Chinese nationals overseas, and emergency rescue have become important ways and means for the PLA to safeguard national interests and fulfill China’s international obligations.
In line with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and with the consent of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the Chinese government dispatched a combined naval task force to conduct escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia on December 26, 2008. The combined Chinese task forces are mainly charged with safeguarding the security of Chinese ships and personnel traversing those waters and the security of ships delivering humanitarian supplies for the World Food Programme (WFP) and other international organizations, and sheltering passing foreign vessels as far as possible. As of December 2012, the Chinese Navy has dispatched, in 13 task groups, 34 warships, 28 helicopters, and 910 Special Operations Force (SOF) soldiers, escorting 4,984 ships in 532 batches. Among them, 1,510 were Chinese mainland ships, 940 Hong Kong ships, 74 Taiwan ships and one Macao ship. The task forces also rescued two Chinese ships from pirates who had boarded them and 22 which were being chased by pirates.
In February 2011, the turbulent situation in Libya posed grave security threats to Chinese institutions, enterprises and nationals in that country. The Chinese government organized the largest overseas evacuation since the founding of the PRC, and 35,860 Chinese nationals were taken home. The PLA contributed ships and aircraft to the effort. The Chinese Navy’ s frigate Xuzhou, on escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia at that time, sailed to the waters off Libya and provided support for ships evacuating Chinese nationals stranded there. The PLAAF sent four aircraft at short notice, flew 40 sorties, evacuated 1,655 people (including 240 Nepalese) from Libya to Sudan, and took 287 Chinese nationals from Sudan back home.
V. Safeguarding World Peace and Regional Stability
China’s security and development are closely connected with the peace and prosperity of the world as a whole. China’s armed forces have always been a staunch force upholding world peace and regional stability, and will continue to increase cooperation and mutual trust with the armed forces of other countries, participate in regional and international security affairs, and play an active role in international political and security fields.
Participating in UN Peacekeeping Operations
China earnestly fulfills its international responsibilities and obligations, and supports and actively participates in UN peacekeeping missions. In accordance with UN resolutions as well as agreements between the Chinese government and the UN, China dispatches peacekeeping troops and specialized peacekeeping personnel to designated countries or regions, who carry out peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN. They are mainly tasked with monitoring ceasefires, disengaging conflicting parties, providing engineering, transportation and medical support, and participating in social reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.
In 1990, the PLA sent five military observers to the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - the first time China had taken part in UN peacekeeping missions. In 1992, it dispatched an engineering corps of 400 officers and men to the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) - the first time China had sent an organic military unit on a peacekeeping mission. To date, the PLA has dispatched 22,000 military personnel to 23 UN peacekeeping missions. All of them have been awarded the UN peace medals. Three officers and six soldiers have laid down their lives performing such duties and were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold medal. So far, China is the biggest troop and police contributor among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. It also dispatches the most numbers of troops for engineering, transportation and medical support among all the 115 contributing countries. China pays and contributes the largest share of UN peacekeeping costs among all developing countries.
As of December 2012, a total of 1,842 PLA officers and men are implementing peacekeeping tasks in nine UN mission areas. Among them, 78 are military observers and staff officers, 218 are engineering and medical personnel for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), 558 are engineering, transportation and medical personnel for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), 335 are engineering and medical personnel for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), 338 are engineering and medical personnel for the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and 315 are engineering personnel for the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
Tough, brave and devoted, Chinese peacekeepers accomplish all their tasks in an exemplary manner. Over the past 22 years, Chinese peacekeepers have built and repaired over 10,000 km of roads and 284 bridges, cleared over 9,000 mines and various types of unexploded ordnance (UXO), transported over one million tons of cargo across a total distance of 11 million km and treated 120,000 patients. The staff officers and military observers have displayed a high degree of professionalism in their work at the headquarters and in the tasks of patrol, ceasefire monitoring, liaison and negotiation. The Chinese engineering units to the Democratic Republic of the Congo worked day and night to level an area of 16,000 square meters littered with volcanic rocks. The Chinese transportation units to Liberia have worked throughout the country and served as the transportation support center for nearly 50 peacekeeping troops there. Chinese peacekeepers also build roads and bridges, repair vehicles and transport materials for, as well as deliver medical assistance and impart agricultural technology to local people. The Chinese engineering units to Lebanon invented the method of “tilted cross positioning” in minesweeping, which has greatly raised the safety and efficiency of such operations. They can now cover an average of over 500 square meters per day with this method. During the Lebanon-Israel conflict in 2006, over 3,500 unexploded bombs were defused and disposed of. The Chinese engineering units to Darfur, Sudan, dug 13 wells in areas where well digging was deemed impossible. The Chinese engineering units to South Sudan built the first interim training center for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) at a high standard, making a positive contribution to the local peace process.
Chinese peacekeepers strictly abide by the code of personal conduct for UN peacekeepers, rules of engagement and laws of host countries. They respect local religious beliefs and customs, and conscientiously observe the mission regulations and rules for the Chinese peacekeeping troops, thereby winning trust from the local people.
International Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid
China’s armed forces take an active part in international disaster relief and humanitarian aid operations organized by the government. They provide relief supplies and medical aid, dispatch specialized rescue teams to disaster-stricken countries, provide mine-sweeping assistance and carry out international exchanges of rescue and disaster reduction.
Since 2002 the PLA has undertaken 36 urgent international humanitarian aid missions, and transported relief materials worth more than RMB1.25 billion to 27 disaster-stricken countries. Since 2001, the Chinese International Search and Rescue (CISAR) Team, composed of officers and men from the engineering regiment of the Beijing Military Area Command, medical personnel from the PAPF General Hospital and experts from the China Earthquake Administration, has participated in eight international rescue operations. Since 2010, PLA medical assistance teams have been sent three times to Haiti and Pakistan to carry out international humanitarian medical rescue operations, and the helicopter rescue team of the army aviation has been sent to Pakistan to assist flood-relief operations there.
In March 2011 a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. The CISAR rushed to Japan and participated in the search-and-rescue operations. In July 2011 heavy floods battered Thailand. The PLAAF sent four aircraft to transport to Bangkok more than 90 tons of relief materials provided by China’s Ministry of National Defense to the Thai armed forces. In September 2011, when disastrous floods struck Pakistan, the PLAAF dispatched five aircraft to deliver 7,000 tents to Karachi, and the Lanzhou Military Area Command sent a medical-care and epidemic-prevention team to Kunri, the worst-hit area.
China’s armed forces actively provide medical care and aid to developing countries, and participate in international medical exchanges and cooperation, thus strengthening friendship and mutual trust with them. From 2010 to 2011, PLAN’s hospital ship Peace Ark visited five countries in Asia and Africa and four countries in Latin America to provide “Harmonious Mission” humanitarian medical service. In 193 days the voyage covered 42,000 nautical miles, and nearly 50,000 people received medical services. In recent years, the PLA medical team has also provided medical service to local people in Gabon, Peru and Indonesia while participating in joint humanitarian medical drills.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the solution of humanitarian problems caused by landmines. It actively supports and participates in international de-mining efforts. Since 1999, the PLA, in collaboration with relevant departments of the PRC government, has provided de-mining assistance to nearly 40 Asian, African and Latin American countries through offering training courses, sending experts to give on-site instruction, and donating de-mining equipment. As a result, the PLA has trained more than 400 mine-clearance personnel for foreign countries, guided the clearance of more than 200,000 square meters of land-mine areas and donated mine-clearance equipment worth RMB 60 million.
Safeguarding the Security of International SLOCs
To fulfill China’s international obligations, the Chinese navy carries out regular escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia. It conducts exchanges and cooperation with other escort forces to jointly safeguard the security of the international SLOCs. As of December 2012, Chinese navy task groups have provided protection for four WFP ships and 2,455 foreign ships, accounting for 49% of the total of escorted ships. They helped four foreign ships, recovered four ships released from captivity and saved 20 foreign ships from pursuit by pirates.
Chinese navy escort task forces have maintained smooth communication with other navies in the areas of joint escort, information sharing, coordination and liaison. They have conducted joint escorts with their Russian counterparts, carried out joint anti-piracy drills with naval ships of the ROK, Pakistan and the US, and coordinated with the European Union to protect WFP ships. It has exchanged boarding visits of commanders with task forces from the EU, NATO, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the ROK, Japan and Singapore. It has exchanged officers for onboard observations with the navy of the Netherlands. China takes an active part in the conferences of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and “Shared Awareness and Deconfliction” (SHADE) meetings on international merchant shipping protection.
Since January 2012, independent deployers such as China, India and Japan have strengthened their convoy coordination. They have adjusted their escort schedules on a quarterly basis, optimized available assets, and thereby enhanced escort efficiency. China, as the reference country for the first round of convoy coordination, submitted its escort timetable for the first quarter of 2012 in good time. India and Japan’s escort task forces adjusted their convoy arrangements accordingly, thereby formulating a well-scheduled escort timetable. The ROK joined these efforts in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Joint Exercises and Training with Foreign Armed Forces
In adherence to the principles of being non-aligned, non-confrontational, and not directed against any third party, as well as the guidelines of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity, the PLA has held, together with other countries, bilateral and multilateral exercises and training featuring multiple levels, domains, services and arms. Since 2002, the PLA has held 28 joint exercises and 34 joint training sessions with 31 countries in accordance with relevant agreements or arrangements. This is conducive to promoting mutual trust in the political and military fields, safeguarding regional security and stability, and accelerating the PLA’s modernization.
Joint anti-terrorism military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have become more institutionalized. To date, China and other SCO member states have conducted nine bilateral and multilateral military exercises. Since 2005, they have carried out a series of “Peace Mission” joint exercises at the campaign level with strategic impact. They were the “Peace Mission-2005” China-Russia joint military exercise, “Peace Mission-2007” joint anti-terrorism military exercise by SCO members, “Peace Mission-2009” China-Russia joint anti-terrorism military exercise, “Peace Mission-2010” joint anti-terrorism military exercise by SCO members and “Peace Mission-2012” joint anti-terrorism military exercise by SCO members. The aforementioned exercises served to warn and deter terrorist, secessionist and extremist forces. The capabilities of the SCO members are constantly being enhanced to jointly deal with new challenges and new threats.
Joint maritime exercises and training are being expanded. In recent years, the Chinese navy has taken part in the “Peace-07,” “Peace-09” and “Peace-11” multinational maritime exercises hosted by Pakistan on the Arabian Sea. The PLA and Russian navies held the “Maritime Cooperation-2012” military drill in the Yellow Sea off China’s east coast focusing on joint defense of maritime traffic arteries. Chinese and Thai marine corps held the “Blue Strike-2010” and “Blue Strike-2012” joint training exercises. During mutual port calls and other activities, the Chinese navy also carried out bilateral or multilateral maritime exercises and training in such tasks as communications, formation movement, maritime replenishment, cross-deck helicopter landing, firing at surface, underwater and air targets, joint escort, boarding and inspection, joint search and rescue and diving with its counterparts of India, France, the UK, Australia, Thailand, the US, Russia, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.
Joint army training is gradually being increased in breadth and depth. Since 2007, the PLAA has conducted a number of joint training sessions with its counterparts of other countries. The PLAA joined the “Hand-in-Hand 2007” and “Hand-in-Hand 2008” joint anti-terrorism training sessions with the Indian army, “Peacekeeping Mission-2009” joint peacekeeping exercise with the Mongolian army, “Cooperation-2009” and “Cooperation-2010” joint security training exercises with Singapore, “Friendship Operation-2009” and “Friendship Operation-2010” joint military training of mountain troops with the Romanian army, and joint SOF unit training with the Turkish army. The PLAA special forces held the “Strike-2007,” “Strike-2008” and “Strike-2010” joint anti-terrorism training with their Thai counterparts, “Sharp Knife-2011” and “Sharp Knife-2012” joint anti-terrorism training with their Indonesian counterparts, “Friendship-2010” and “Friendship-2011” joint anti-terrorism training with their Pakistani counterparts, and “Cooperation-2012” joint anti-terrorism training with their Colombian counterparts. In November 2012, joint anti-terrorism training was held with the Jordanian special forces and a joint humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief tabletop exercise with the US army.
Joint air force training is also making progress. The PLAAF contingent held the “Shaheen-1” joint training of operational aerial maneuvers with its Pakistani counterpart in March 2011. China’ s airborne commandos and their Venezuelan counterparts held the “Cooperation-2011” urban joint anti-terrorism training in October of the same year. China’s airborne troops joined their Belarusian counterparts in the joint training code-named “Divine Eagle-2011” and “Divine Eagle-2012” respectively in July 2011 and November 2012.
Joint training in providing health services is being developed steadily. From 2009 to 2011, PLA medical teams held the “Peace Angel” joint operations for humanitarian medical assistance in Gabon and Peru, and participated in a disaster-relief exercise of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Indonesia. The PLA health service team staged a joint exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief code-named “Cooperation Spirit-2012” with its counterparts of Australia and New Zealand in October 2012.
At the new stage in this new century, China’s armed forces have effectively fulfilled their new historical missions, and enhanced their capabilities of accomplishing diversified military tasks, the most important of which is to win local wars under informationized conditions. They have resolutely defended national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, strongly guaranteed national economic and social development and ensured that the people can live and work in peace and stability. Their accomplishment of a host of urgent, difficult, dangerous and arduous tasks has been remarkable, and through their staging of major exercises and training for combat readiness they have won the full trust of and high praise from the people.
At this new historical starting point, China’s armed forces are undertaking missions which are noble and lofty, and assuming responsibilities which are paramount and honorable. They will constantly place above all else the protection of national sovereignty and security as well as the interests of the Chinese people. They will persistently regard maintaining world peace and promoting common development as their important missions, and accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. They will continue to actively participate in international security cooperation, and endeavor to foster, together with the armed forces of other countries, an international security environment of peace, stability, equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation.
(EDS: Please refer to Xinhua’s Photographic News Department for figures and graphics in the report.)