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China issues white paper on national defense

2006-12-29

    BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- China published a white paper on national defense Friday, pledging to pursue a road of peaceful development and work with other nations to build a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious world.

    The white paper, the fifth of its kind the Chinese government has issued since 1998, gives a comprehensive picture of China's national defense ranging from the security environment, the national defense policy, to the People's Liberation Army and people's armed police force.

    "China pursues a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature," says the paper, "China's national defense provides the guarantee for maintaining China's security and unity, and realizing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way."

    The paper promises that "China is pursuing a self-defensive nuclear strategy. It remains firmly committed to the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances."

    "China will not engage in any arms race or pose a military threat to any other country," the white paper adds.

    The White Paper says the growing interconnections between domestic and international factors and interconnected traditional and non-traditional factors have made maintaining national security a more challenging task. The struggle to oppose and contain the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence" and their activities remains a hard one.

    China is endeavoring to make its border and coastal defense unified, effective, solid and informationized, the white paper says, by adhering to the principles of conducting overall planning, placing equal emphasis on land and sea, giving priority to defense, and integrating defense and administration.

    China works to promote good-neighborliness, mutual benefit and win-win policies, and endeavors to advance international security cooperation and strengthen military relations with other countries, the white paper says.

    Since 2002, China has held 16 joint military exercises with 11 countries and established military ties with over 150 countries.

    China has actively participated in UN peacekeeping operations and international disaster relief operations.

    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.

    Since the early 1990s, China has gradually increased its defense expenditure on the basis of its economic development to safeguard its sovereignty, security and unity, and to keep pace with the global revolution in military affairs.

    By the end of 2005, China had reduced the PLA by 200,000 troops as announced in 2003, and the PLA currently has 2.3 million troops.

    China's national defense and military modernization, conducted on the basis of steady economic development, is the requirement of keeping up with new trends in the global revolution and development in military affairs, and of maintaining China's national security and development in military affairs, and of maintaining China's national security and development.

    It also contains introductions to China's national defense mobilization policy and reserve force, border and coastal defense, science, technology and industry for national defense, defense expenditure and international security cooperation.

    The white paper, with about 26,000 Chinese characters, was released by the Information Office of the State Council.

    "At the new stage in the new century, we will take the scientific development outlook as an important guiding principle for the building of national defense and military affairs, vigorously advance the revolution in military affairs with Chinese features, and strive to realize an all-round, coordinated and sustainable development in our country's national defense and military capabilities," the white paper said.

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