Thursday, 15 November, 2007

China's National Defense Preface issued by the Information Office of the State Council People's Republic of China part 2

Provincial military commands (garrison commands at the same level) are organizations set up by

the PLA in province-level administrative areas, and are under military area commands. They also

serve as departments of Party committees for military work and organs of government for military

service at the level of province (municipality directly under the central government, or

autonomous region). So, they are under the dual leadership of the military area commands and

local Party committees and governments at the same level. The leading body of a provincial

military command consists of the headquarters, the political department and the logistics

department. A provincial military command directs the military, political, logistical and

equipment work of the units under it, and oversees reserve force building, peacetime enlistment

and wartime strength mobilization in its area of responsibility.

Prefectural military commands (garrison commands at the same level) are organizations set up by

the PLA in prefectures (prefecture-level cities, autonomous prefectures or leagues). They are

under provincial military commands, but also serve as departments of Party committees for

military work and organs of government for military service at the level of the prefecture

(prefecture-level city, autonomous prefecture or league). So, they are under the dual leadership

of the provincial military commands and local Party committees and governments at the same level.

The leading body of a prefectural military command consists of the headquarters, the political

department and the logistics department. The main tasks of a prefectural military command are to

oversee the military training, political work and equipment management of the militia and reserve

force, organize and conduct wartime mobilization, and undertake military service registration and

enlistment. Prefectural military commands in border areas are also in charge of the military,

political, logistical and equipment work of border defense troops as well as border defense

duties, talks and meetings, and border management, protection and control.

People's armed forces departments are organizations set up by the PLA in counties (banners,

county-level cities or municipal districts). They are under prefectural military commands, but

also serve as departments of Party committees for military work and organs of government for

military service work at the level of the county (banner, county-level city or municipal

district). So, they are under the dual leadership of the prefectural military commands and local

Party committees and governments at the same level. A people's armed forces department consists

typically of a military affairs section, a political work section and a logistics section. Its

main tasks are to oversee reserve force buildup, combat readiness, military service and

mobilization, and command militia operations. The grass-roots people's armed forces departments

established by the state at the level of township (town) or sub-district are non-active-duty

organizations. They are manned by full-time staff that are under the dual leadership of the local

Party committees and governments at the same level and military organs at higher levels.

In addition, local people's congresses at all levels and the standing committees of local

people's congresses at and above the county level ensure the compliance with and implementation

of laws and regulations relating to national defense in their respective administrative areas.

Local people's governments at all levels, within the authority they enjoy as prescribed by law,

are responsible for enlistment, militia forces, reserve service, national defense education,

mobilization of the economy, civil air defense, national defense traffic, protection of defense

installations, resettlement of servicemen discharged from active service, supporting the PLA and

giving preferential treatment to families of servicemen and martyrs and other related matters in

their respective administrative areas. Local people's governments at various levels and the

military organs stationed there hold joint civil-military meetings as called for to handle

matters concerning national defense in their respective administrative areas.

IV. The People's Liberation Army

To effectively fulfill its historic mission in the new stage of the new century, the PLA is

speeding up the revolution in military affairs with Chinese features and enhancing in an

all-round way its capabilities of defensive operations under conditions of informationization.

Completing the Reduction of 200,000 Troops

In 1985, 1997 and 2003, China announced that it would cut the size of the PLA by one million,

500,000 and 200,000 persons, respectively. By the end of 2005, China had completed reducing the

PLA by 200,000 troops, and the PLA currently has 2.3 million troops. The PLA has made new

progress towards the goal of being proper in size, optimal in structure, streamlined in

organization, swift and flexible in command, and powerful in fighting capacity.

Downsizing the PLA. The Army was the focus of force reduction, and its authorized number of

personnel has been reduced by more than 130,000. Over 60,000 military personnel have been removed

from the headquarters and directly affiliated units of military area commands and provincial

military commands. Through restructuring, the proportion of the Navy, Air Force and Second

Artillery Force in the PLA has been raised by 3.8 percent while that of the Army has been lowered

by 1.5 percent.

Streamlining the headquarters and directly affiliated units as well as educational institutions.

More than 3,000 departments of and over 400 units directly affiliated to the headquarters at and

above the regimental level have been cut. A considerable number of agricultural and sideline

production units, cultural and sports units, military representative offices at railway stations

and material supply organs have been closed. The PLA has also closed 15 educational institutions

and 31 training organizations.

Improving the structure of services and arms. The Army has cut a number of combined corps,

divisions and regiments, increased the number of combined corps whose order of battle is corps,

brigade and battalion, and set up units with new and high-tech weaponry and equipment. The Navy

and Air Force have cut some ship groups and aviation divisions, regiments and stations, and set

up some high-tech surface ship, aviation and ground-to-air missile units. A number of reserve

infantry divisions have been dismantled, but the number of divisions (brigades) of other arms has


Reforming the leadership and command system. The leadership and command system of the general

headquarters/departments has been enhanced through adjusting the functions of relevant

departments and improving joint operational command. The Navy has cut the naval aviation

department and converted naval bases into support ones. The Air Force has closed corps (base)

headquarters and set up regional command posts. Following these adjustments, the combat troops of

the Navy and Air Force are now directly under the fleets and the air commands of the military

areas, respectively.

Deepening the reform of the joint logistical support system. The joint logistical support system,

based on military area commands, has been expanded, and overlapping support organizations

reduced. Apart from special-purpose depots and general hospitals under the general

headquarters/departments, the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force, all the other rear

depots, hospitals and recuperation centers have been integrated and reorganized into the joint

logistical support system. A total of eight joint logistical sub-departments (offices), 94 rear

depots, and 47 hospitals and recuperation centers have been closed.

Improving the ratio between officers and men. The PLA has reduced the number of its officers by

170,000. More than 150 officer posts at or above the corps level have been eliminated, nearly

70,000 posts formerly taken by officers are now filled with non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and

over 20,000 posts formerly taken by NCOs are now filled with contract civilians.

Development of the Services and Arms

The Army is speeding up the upgrading and informationization of its active main battle equipment

to build a new type of ground combat force which is lean, combined, agile and multi-functional.

Priority is given to building Army aviation, light mechanized and information countermeasures

units. The share of the armored component in the Army combined combat forces has been further

raised. The artillery and air defense component has fielded new types of cannons, field

antiaircraft missiles, reconnaissance early warning radars, fire-control systems, and

intelligence and command systems, and increased the proportion of ground-to-air missiles to

antiaircraft guns. The engineering component has grown in step with the main combat arms, and

improved its capabilities of accompanying support and precision support. The anti-chemical

component has established a preliminary nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system

tailored to joint operations, and greatly increased its capabilities of rapid NBC protection, NBC

emergency rescue and operations against NBC terrorism. The communications component has enhanced

the building of platforms for general-purpose information transmission and processing, C2 systems

and spectrum management systems, and raised communications and information support capabilities.

Founded in 1986, the Army aviation arm has a three-level (general headquarters/departments,

theaters of war and first-line task groups) administration system. Equipped mainly with armed

helicopters, transport helicopters and service helicopters, it carries out air strike, air

landing, airlifting and battlefield service support operations. The Army aviation arm works to

strengthen its capabilities of rapid power projection, precision strike, long-range assault and


The Navy is working to build itself into a modern maritime force of operation consisting of

combined arms with both nuclear and conventional means of operations. Taking informationization

as the goal and strategic focus in its modernization drive, the Navy gives high priority to the

development of maritime information systems, and new-generation weaponry and equipment. Efforts

are being made to improve maritime battlefield capabilities, with emphasis on the construction of

relevant facilities for new equipment and the development of combat support capabilities. The

Navy is endeavoring to build mobile maritime troops capable of conducting operations under

conditions of informationization, and strengthen its overall capabilities of operations in

coastal waters, joint operations and integrated maritime support. Efforts are being made to

improve and reform training programs and methods to intensify training in joint integrated

maritime operations. The Navy is enhancing research into the theory of naval operations and

exploring the strategy and tactics of maritime people's war under modern conditions.

The Air Force is working to build an informationized air fighting force with both offensive and

defensive capabilities. It is reducing the number of combat aircraft, giving priority to the

development of new fighters as well as air and missile defense weapons. It is working to enhance

command and control systems. It stresses mission-oriented and confrontational training,

increasing combined tactical training of different arms and aircraft types, and conducts training

in flying refitted new aircraft and using new weaponry and equipment in an active and stable way.

Air Force pilot training is conducted at flying colleges, training bases and combat units in five

phases, namely, basic education, primary flying, advanced flying, refitted combat aircraft flying

and tactical flying. Aviation units mainly conduct training in counter-air operations,

air-to-ground attacks and joint operations. Pilots fly training hours are commensurate with the

tasks assigned to pilots.

The Second Artillery Force is striving to build a streamlined and effective strategic force with

both nuclear and conventional capabilities. It is quickening its steps to raise the

informationization level of its weaponry and equipment systems, build an agile and efficient

operational command and control system, and increase its capabilities of land-based strategic

nuclear counterstrikes and precision strikes with conventional missiles. It is improving the

construction of its battlefield system, and associated logistics and equipment, and raising the

cost-effectiveness of integrated support. It is deepening the reform of training, enhancing

integrated training, using scientific and technological achievements to raise training quality.

It is strengthening the safety management and control mechanism of nuclear missiles, and

improving the relevant rules and regulations and technical preventive measures as well as

emergency steps for handling nuclear accidents. The Second Artillery Force is equipped with

surface-to-surface strategic missiles and tactical operational missiles of various types.

Military Training

The PLA regards military training as a basic means to raise its combat effectiveness in

peacetime, as well as an important method to foster and administer troops. It takes vigorous

steps to accelerate the transition from military training under conditions of mechanization to

military training under conditions of informationization. At the PLA-wide military training

conference held in June 2006, the General Staff Headquarters put forward a comprehensive plan for

carrying out military training in a creative way for the new stage in the new century. It called

on all PLA troops to set high and strict standards, base their training on actual combat, use

scientific and technological means in training, advance the reform of training, and elevate

military training to a higher level.

The PLA conducts training in strict accordance with the requirements for winning local wars under

conditions of informationization. It conducts basic technical and tactical training, combined

tactical training, and strategic and operational training. The PLA conducts training and

integration to boost its combat capabilities level by level. It conducts training with live

ammunition and holds exercises with opposing players in a realistic manner to temper troops in

near-real-war environment. The PLA conducts training by scientific and technological means,

employs modern training methods and means, and develops on-base, simulated and networked

training. It is increasing the use of scientific and technological means with focus on improving

the quality and effect of training.

The PLA focuses on enhancing joint training to improve the integrated joint operational

capabilities of various services and arms. It gives priority to the training of joint campaign

commanders and command organs, joint field exercises and the training of different support forces

in integrated support. It works to enhance the commanding and organizing capabilities of

strategic and operational commanders and command organs, and the joint operational capabilities

of the services and arms. Keeping in mind the future informationized battlefield, the PLA closely

follows the emerging trend of integrated joint operations, conducts integrated training in an

innovative way, and actively explores training approaches for the internal integration of

fighting units, systems integration of fighting elements and comprehensive integration of

fighting systems.

The PLA conducts training in strict accordance with pre-set plans, and is strengthening the

scientific management of the overall processes and all the aspects of training. It is exploring

new modes for organizing and managing training under conditions of informationization, and

intensifying precise and mission-oriented management according to law to keep training processes

standardized. It is improving training procedures, making strict training assessments, and

setting and improving training standards to meet the requirements of informationized operations.

Priority is given to the training of command organs and collective training. The PLA uses

live-ammunition exercises and means such as exercise assessment systems for a comprehensive

evaluation of the training and combat capabilities of the troops.

Political Work

The basic tasks of the PLA's political work are as follows: ensuring the success of the reform

and opening-up of the country and the building of a moderately prosperous society in an all-round

way, as well as promoting the socialist modernization; advancing the revolution in military

affairs with Chinese features, as well as the revolutionization, modernization and regularization

of the PLA; guaranteeing --politically, ideologically and organizationally -- the nature of the

people's army under the absolute leadership of the Party; upholding the PLA's socialist ethical

standards, the goal of which is to cultivate military personnel with lofty ideals, high moral

standards, a wide range of knowledge and a keen sense of discipline; ensuring the PLA's internal

unity, unity between the PLA and the government, and unity between the PLA and the people; and

ensuring the PLA's combat effectiveness and the accomplishment of the PLA's tasks.

In the long years of fighting revolutionary wars and seeking modernization, a fine tradition of

democracy has taken root and a complete democratic system has developed within the PLA. The

conference of servicemen's representatives at the levels of the brigade and regiment is part of

this democratic system, which ensures the practice of democracy and the right of servicemen to

exercise their democratic rights and participate in troop management. The conference of

servicemen's representatives is mainly tasked with reviewing the work reports of their

commanders, supervising their units' compliance with and implementation of regulations, orders

and directives from the above, voicing servicemen's opinions, raising demands on their behalf and

monitoring the use of funds in their units. Guided by Party committees and political organs at

the same level, units at the levels of brigade and regiment hold annual conferences of

servicemen's representatives. The representatives are selected through bottom-up democratic

elections from among active servicemen and employees on the PLA payroll. Led by Party branches or

grass-roots Party committees and directed by military and political chiefs, the servicemen's

committee is an organization through which companies and company-level units practice democracy

in political, economic and military affairs, ensure servicemen's democratic rights and conduct

servicemen's activities.

The PLA conducts political work in a creative way to raise the overall performance of its

officers and men. The PLA educates its officers and men in its historic mission, ideals, beliefs,

fighting spirit, and the socialist concept of honor and disgrace, to raise mission awareness,

foster revolutionary ideals, strengthen the will to fight, draw a clear line between right and

wrong, and arouse enthusiasm for training. The PLA conducts psychological training and studies on

psychological operations, and has in place a mechanism involving both political and medical

institutions to provide psychological education, catharsis and health service. The CMC and the

general headquarters/departments have formulated a series of policies and regulations to

strengthen the building of grass-roots units. Most of the commanding organs at and above the

regiment level have mechanisms to coordinate grass-roots work. In the course of implementing the

Outline for Armed Forces Building at the Grass-Roots Level, a large number of advanced

grass-roots units and excellent soldiers have come to the fore.

Logistical Support

To ensure the cost-effectiveness of logistical support, the PLA is enhancing the management and

reform of logistical support in an effort to build a modern logistics system.

Upgrading logistics management. The PLA is speeding up the formulation of logistical rules,

regulations and standards to establish a standardized system covering supply, consumption and

management. During the period of the Tenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social

Development (2001-2005) (hereinafter referred to as the Tenth Five-Year Plan), the PLA conducted

a comprehensive review of its logistical regulations and standards. Over 200 standards were

adopted or revised, and more than 240 regulations were enacted. During the period of the Eleventh

Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2006-2010) (hereinafter referred to

as the Eleventh Five-Year Plan), the PLA is giving priority to standardizing logistical supply

and establishing a mechanism for the dynamic adjustment of supply and support standards. It is

strengthening the management of logistics and ensuring the overall sound implementation of the

military budget. In addition, it is enforcing financial and economic discipline through strict

auditing supervision.

Improving the material life conditions of the officers and men. The PLA has adopted the practice

of serving separate portions of food to improve hygienic conditions. Some organic battalions have

begun to provide battalion-based food service. Board expenses of enlisted men have been increased

substantially since January 1, 2005, and now the food supply for officers and men aims at

providing sufficient nutrition rather than just serving enough food. From July 1, 2006, the

salaries for service people have been increased by a wide margin. The PLA has issued new types of

uniforms to the enlisted and Air Force officers and men, new types of special-purpose fatigue

clothing to troops other than those of the Army, and new types of plateau cold-proof uniforms to

some troops stationed in Xinjiang and Tibet.

Steadily advancing logistics reform. Adhering to the principles of the incorporation of

tri-service components into joint logistical organs, joint management and employment of support

entities, and unified organization of supply and support, the PLA is conducting experimental

reforms in joint logistics in the Jinan Theatre. This marks an important step towards the goal of

building an integrated tri-service logistical support system. It involves comprehensive efforts

to expand the reform of the centralized payment system to establish a support mode of fund

settlement with single financial accounts as the basis and centraliz ed payment as the main form.

The reform of the military medical support system is being smoothly carried out, with priority

given to ensuring the medical care of military personnel. Over 70 percent of the PLA's employees

are covered by the social medical insurance system. The housing system reform has made progress,

and a housing system for military personnel has taken shape which combines military support with

social support, government houses with self-owned houses, and supply in kind with supply in


In October 2004, the General Staff Headquarters, General Political Department and General

Logistics Department jointly issued the Circular on Further Promoting the Reform of Military

Materials Procurement under the Corps Level. The PLA has basically established a three-level

(logistical organs of the general headquarters/departments, major units, and units) materials

procurement and management system and a system of centralized procurement. During the Tenth

Five-Year Plan period, the PLA's centralized procurement reached RMB 45 billion, enabling it to

save RMB 3.15 billion and spend 7 percent less on average.

Weaponry and Equipment

With the backing of China's economic development and scientific and technological achievements,

the PLA is accelerating its weaponry and equipment modernization drive mainly by relying on its

own efforts.

Planning long-term weaponry and equipment development in a scientific way. Based on the military

strategic guidelines of the new era and the outline for the building and development of the

military, the PLA is making efforts to correctly handle the relationship between the needs of

equipment development and the availability of funds. As required by comprehensive integration of

the Army, Navy and Air Force, joint operation and systems building, the PLA has conducted studies

and feasibility assessments of its weaponry and equipment development strategy, adopted the

outline and the Eleventh Five-Year Plan for weaponry and equipment development, and set the

direction, goals and priorities of its future weaponry and equipment development.

Enhancing the capability of independent weaponry and equipment innovation. The PLA is

strengthening applied and basic research as well as research on key defense technologies,

ensuring the application of technological achievements and raising its capabilities of original

innovation, integrated innovation, and innovation through digesting and absorbing introduced

technologies. It is improving the innovation mechanism for defense-related science and

technology, and weaponry and equipment to support the independent, leapfrogging and sustainable

development of new and high-tech weaponry and equipment.

Optimizing the system of weaponry and equipment. The PLA gives priority to developing new types

of equipment which are advanced and reliable in technical performance, and effective in

operations. It is speeding up the development of integrated electronic information systems,

enhancing the comprehensive integration of various types of weapon systems and support systems,

and facilitating information sharing and fusion. The PLA is accelerating the retirement of

redundant equipment, carrying out the prioritized, selective and phased retrofitting of equipment

and informationization of equipment on active service, and tapping the potential of existing

equipment. It is strengthening the systematic development of equipment to form a complete system

of equipment, weaponry and equipment support.

Increasing the capability of integrated equipment support. The PLA is strict with equipment

management and carries out scientific, institutionalized and regular evaluation on such

management in order to maintain and improve the operability of existing equipment. The PLA has

established and improved mechanisms for integrated civilian-military equipment support. It is

developing new and high maintenance technologies, widening their application and enhancing the

capabilities of equipment maintenance, emergency rescue and repair, and remote technical support.

It is strengthening equipment support force building, equipment support training, pre-field

training and training of qualified equipment personnel, to promote the organic and systematic

development of operational and support capabilities of equipment.

Actively advancing the reform of the equipment procurement system. In December 2005, the CMC

approved and issued the Opinions on Some Issues Concerning the Deepening of the Equipment

Procurement System Reform. In the past two years, the General Armaments Department has improved

the review and approval of equipment procurement modes, and gradually enlarged the scope of

competitive procurement, raising the percentage of funds for such procurement from 10 percent to

20 percent. The General Armaments Department has strengthened the management of the centralized

procurement of equipment of the same kind for the whole PLA, formulated related rules,

regulations and standards, and substantially increased the quantities and varieties of equipment

procured in a centralized way, saving eight percent of the planned funds and greatly improving

the efficiency of fund use.

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