Document: China’s Military Strategy

May 26, 2015 6:54 AM - Updated: May 26, 2015 12:13 PM
A naval honor guard at the in 2012 on board the Liaoning. Xinhua News Agency Photo
A naval honor guard at the in 2012 on board the Liaoning. Xinhua News Agency Photo

The following is the first public Chinese Military Strategy white paper outlining a new policy of “active defense,” released by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on May 26, 2015.

China’s Military Strategy
The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China

May 2015, Beijing


I. National Security Situation

II. Missions and Strategic Tasks of China’s Armed Forces

III. Strategic Guideline of Active Defense

IV. Building and Development of China’s Armed Forces

V. Preparation for Military Struggle

VI. Military and Security Cooperation


The world today is undergoing unprecedented changes, and China is at a critical stage of reform and development. In their endeavor to realize the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation, the Chinese people aspire to join hands with the rest of the world to maintain peace, pursue development and share prosperity.

China’s destiny is vitally interrelated with that of the world as a whole. A prosperous and stable world would provide China with opportunities, while China’s peaceful development also offers an opportunity for the whole world. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, oppose hegemonism and power politics in all forms, and will never seek hegemony or expansion. China’s armed forces will remain a staunch force in maintaining world peace.

Building a strong national defense and powerful armed forces is a strategic task of China’s modernization drive and a security guarantee for China’s peaceful development. Subordinate to and serving the national strategic goal, China’s military strategy is an overarching guidance for blueprinting and directing the building and employment of the country’s armed forces. At this new historical starting point, China’s armed forces will adapt themselves to new changes in the national security environment, firmly follow the goal of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to build a strong military for the new situation, implement the military strategic guideline of active defense in the new situation, accelerate the modernization of national defense and armed forces, resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and provide a strong guarantee for achieving the national strategic goal of the “two centenaries” and for realizing the Chinese Dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

I. National Security Situation

In today’s world, the global trends toward multi-polarity and economic globalization are intensifying, and an information society is rapidly coming into being. Countries are increasingly bound together in a community of shared destiny. Peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become an irresistible tide of the times.

Profound changes are taking place in the international situation, as manifested in the historic changes in the balance of power, global governance structure, Asia-Pacific geostrategic landscape, and international competition in the economic, scientific and technological, and military fields. The forces for world peace are on the rise, so are the factors against war. In the foreseeable future, a world war is unlikely, and the international situation is expected to remain generally peaceful. There are, however, new threats from hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism. International competition for the redistribution of power, rights and interests is tending to intensify. Terrorist activities are growing increasingly worrisome. Hotspot issues, such as ethnic, religious, border and territorial disputes, are complex and volatile. Small-scale wars, conflicts and crises are recurrent in some regions. Therefore, the world still faces both immediate and potential threats of local wars.

With a generally favorable external environment, China will remain in an important period of strategic opportunities for its development, a period in which much can be achieved. China’s comprehensive national strength, core competitiveness and risk-resistance capacity are notably increasing, and China enjoys growing international standing and influence. Domestically, the Chinese people’s standard of living has remarkably improved, and Chinese society remains stable. China, as a large developing country, still faces multiple and complex security threats, as well as increasing external impediments and challenges. Subsistence and development security concerns, as well as traditional and non-traditional security threats are interwoven. Therefore, China has an arduous task to safeguard its national unification, territorial integrity and development interests.

As the world economic and strategic center of gravity is shifting ever more rapidly to the Asia-Pacific region, the US carries on its “rebalancing” strategy and enhances its military presence and its military alliances in this region. Japan is sparing no effort to dodge the post-war mechanism, overhauling its military and security policies. Such development has caused grave concerns among other countries in the region. On the issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, some of its offshore neighbors take provocative actions and reinforce their military presence on China’s reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied. Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China. It is thus a long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests. Certain disputes over land territory are still smoldering. The Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia are shrouded in instability and uncertainty. Regional terrorism, separatism and extremism are rampant. All these have a negative impact on the security and stability along China’s periphery.

The Taiwan issue bears on China’s reunification and long-term development, and reunification is an inevitable trend in the course of national rejuvenation. In recent years, cross-Taiwan Straits relations have sustained a sound momentum of peaceful development, but the root cause of instability has not yet been removed, and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and their activities are still the biggest threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. Further, China faces a formidable task to maintain political security and social stability. Separatist forces for “East Turkistan independence” and “Tibet independence” have inflicted serious damage, particularly with escalating violent terrorist activities by “East Turkistan independence” forces. Besides, anti-China forces have never given up their attempt to instigate a “color revolution” in this country. Consequently, China faces more challenges in terms of national security and social stability. With the growth of China’s national interests, its national security is more vulnerable to international and regional turmoil, terrorism, piracy, serious natural disasters and epidemics, and the security of overseas interests concerning energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), as well as institutions, personnel and assets abroad, has become an imminent issue.

The world revolution in military affairs (RMA) is proceeding to a new stage. Long-range, precise, smart, stealthy and unmanned weapons and equipment are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Outer space and cyber space have become new commanding heights in strategic competition among all parties. The form of war is accelerating its evolution to informationization. World major powers are actively adjusting their national security strategies and defense policies, and speeding up their military transformation and force restructuring. The aforementioned revolutionary changes in military technologies and the form of war have not only had a significant impact on the international political and military landscapes, but also posed new and severe challenges to China’s military security.

II. Missions and Strategic Tasks of China’s Armed Forces

China’s national strategic goal is to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021 when the CPC celebrates its centenary; and the building of a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by 2049 when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) marks its centenary. It is a Chinese Dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Chinese Dream is to make the country strong. China’s armed forces take their dream of making the military strong as part of the Chinese Dream. Without a strong military, a country can be neither safe nor strong. In the new historical period, aiming at the CPC’s goal of building a strong military in the new situation, China’s armed forces will unswervingly adhere to the principle of the CPC’s absolute leadership, uphold combat effectiveness as the sole and fundamental standard, carry on their glorious traditions, and work to build themselves into a people’s military that follows the CPC’s commands, can fight and win, and boasts a fine style of work.

In the new circumstances, the national security issues facing China encompass far more subjects, extend over a greater range, and cover a longer time span than at any time in the country’s history. Internally and externally, the factors at play are more complex than ever before. Therefore, it is necessary to uphold a holistic view of national security, balance internal and external security, homeland and citizen security, traditional and non-traditional security, subsistence and development security, and China’s own security and the common security of the world.

To realize China’s national strategic goal and implement the holistic view of national security, new requirements have been raised for innovative development of China’s military strategy and the accomplishment of military missions and tasks. In response to the new requirement of safeguarding national security and development interests, China’s armed forces will work harder to create a favorable strategic posture with more emphasis on the employment of military forces and means, and provide a solid security guarantee for the country’s peaceful development. In response to the new requirement arising from the changing security situation, the armed forces will constantly innovate strategic guidance and operational thoughts so as to ensure the capabilities of fighting and winning. In response to the new requirement arising from the worldwide RMA, the armed forces will pay close attention to the challenges in new security domains, and work hard to seize the strategic initiative in military competition. In response to the new requirement coming from the country’s growing strategic interests, the armed forces will actively participate in both regional and international security cooperation and effectively secure China’s overseas interests. And in response to the new requirement arising from China’s all-round and deepening reform, the armed forces will continue to follow the path of civil-military integration (CMI), actively participate in the country’s economic and social construction, and firmly maintain social stability, so as to remain a staunch force for upholding the CPC’s ruling position and a reliable force for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.

China’s armed forces will effectively perform their missions in the new historical period, resolutely uphold the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, safeguard the important period of strategic opportunities for China’s development, maintain regional and world peace, and strive to provide a strong guarantee for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

China’s armed forces mainly shoulder the following strategic tasks:

— To deal with a wide range of emergencies and military threats, and effectively safeguard the sovereignty and security of China’s territorial land, air and sea;

— To resolutely safeguard the unification of the motherland;

— To safeguard China’s security and interests in new domains;

— To safeguard the security of China’s overseas interests;

— To maintain strategic deterrence and carry out nuclear counterattack;
— To participate in regional and international security cooperation and maintain regional and world peace;

— To strengthen efforts in operations against infiltration, separatism and terrorism so as to maintain China’s political security and social stability; and

— To perform such tasks as emergency rescue and disaster relief, rights and interests protection, guard duties, and support for national economic and social development.

III. Strategic Guideline of Active Defense

The strategic concept of active defense is the essence of the CPC’s military strategic thought. From the long-term practice of revolutionary wars, the people’s armed forces have developed a complete set of strategic concepts of active defense, which boils down to: adherence to the unity of strategic defense and operational and tactical offense; adherence to the principles of defense, self-defense and post-emptive strike; and adherence to the stance that “We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.”

Shortly after the founding of the PRC in 1949, the Central Military Commission (CMC) established the military strategic guideline of active defense, and later, in line with the developments and changes in the national security situation, had made a number of major revisions of it. In 1993 the military strategic guideline of the new era was formulated, which took winning local wars in conditions of modern technology, particularly high technology, as the basic point in making preparation for military struggle (PMS). In 2004, the guideline was further substantiated, and the basic point for PMS was modified to winning local wars under conditions of informationization.

China’s socialist nature, fundamental national interests and the objective requirement of taking the path of peaceful development all demand that China unswervingly adhere to and enrich the strategic concept of active defense. Guided by national security and development strategies, and required by the situation and their tasks in the new historical period, China’s armed forces will continue to implement the military strategic guideline of active defense and enhance military strategic guidance as the times so require. They will further broaden strategic vision, update strategic thinking and make strategic guidance more forward-looking. A holistic approach will be taken to balance war preparation and war prevention, rights protection and stability maintenance, deterrence and warfighting, and operations in wartime and employment of military forces in peacetime. They will lay stress on farsighted planning and management to create a favorable posture, comprehensively manage crises, and resolutely deter and win wars.

To implement the military strategic guideline of active defense in the new situation, China’s armed forces will adjust the basic point for PMS. In line with the evolving form of war and national security situation, the basic point for PMS will be placed on winning informationized local wars, highlighting maritime military struggle and maritime PMS. The armed forces will work to effectively control major crises, properly handle possible chain reactions, and firmly safeguard the country’s territorial sovereignty, integrity and security.

To implement the military strategic guideline of active defense in the new situation, China’s armed forces will innovate basic operational doctrines. In response to security threats from different directions and in line with their current capabilities, the armed forces will adhere to the principles of flexibility, mobility and self-dependence so that “you fight your way and I fight my way.” Integrated combat forces will be employed to prevail in system-vs-system operations featuring information dominance, precision strikes and joint operations.

To implement the military strategic guideline of active defense in the new situation, China’s armed forces will optimize the military strategic layout. In view of China’s geostrategic environment, the security threats it faces and the strategic tasks they shoulder, the armed forces will make overall planning for strategic deployment and military disposition, in order to clearly divide areas of responsibility for their troops, and enable them to support each other and act as an organic whole. Threats from such new security domains as outer space and cyber space will be dealt with to maintain the common security of the world community. China’s armed forces will strengthen international security cooperation in areas crucially related to China’s overseas interests, to ensure the security of such interests.

To implement the military strategic guideline of active defense in the new situation, China’s armed forces will uphold the following principles:
— To be subordinate to and in the service of the national strategic goal, implement the holistic view of national security, strengthen PMS, prevent crises, deter and win wars;

— To foster a strategic posture favorable to China’s peaceful development, adhere to the national defense policy that is defensive in nature, persevere in close coordination of political, military, economic and diplomatic work, and positively cope with comprehensive security threats the country possibly encounters;

— To strike a balance between rights protection and stability maintenance, and make overall planning for both, safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and maintain security and stability along China’s periphery;

— To endeavor to seize the strategic initiative in military struggle, proactively plan for military struggle in all directions and domains, and grasp the opportunities to accelerate military building, reform and development;

— To employ strategies and tactics featuring flexibility and mobility, give full play to the overall effectiveness of joint operations, concentrate superior forces, and make integrated use of all operational means and methods;

— To make serious preparations to cope with the most complex and difficult scenarios, uphold bottom-line thinking, and do a solid job in all aspects so as to ensure proper responses to such scenarios with ease at any time and in any circumstances;

— To bring into full play the unique political advantages of the people’s armed forces, uphold the CPC’s absolute leadership over the military, accentuate the cultivation of fighting spirit, enforce strict discipline, improve the professionalism and strength of the troops, build closer relations between the government and the military as well as between the people and the military, and boost the morale of officers and men;

— To give full play to the overall power of the concept of people’s war, persist in employing it as an ace weapon to triumph over the enemy, enrich the contents, ways and means of the concept of people’s war, and press forward with the shift of the focus of war mobilization from human resources to science and technology; and

— To actively expand military and security cooperation, deepen military relations with major powers, neighboring countries and other developing countries, and promote the establishment of a regional framework for security and cooperation.

IV. Building and Development of China’s Armed Forces

In the implementation of the military strategic guideline in the new situation, China’s armed forces must closely center around the CPC’s goal of building a strong military, respond to the state’s core security needs, aim at building an informationized military and winning informationized wars, deepen the reform of national defense and the armed forces in an all-round way, build a modern system of military forces with Chinese characteristics, and constantly enhance their capabilities for addressing various security threats and accomplishing diversified military tasks.

Development of the Services and Arms of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF)

In line with the strategic requirement of mobile operations and multi-dimensional offense and defense, the PLA Army (PLAA) will continue to reorient from theater defense to trans-theater mobility. In the process of building small, multi-functional and modular units, the PLAA will adapt itself to tasks in different regions, develop the capacity of its combat forces for different purposes, and construct a combat force structure for joint operations. The PLAA will elevate its capabilities for precise, multi-dimensional, trans-theater, multi-functional and sustainable operations.

In line with the strategic requirement of offshore waters defense and open seas protection, the PLA Navy (PLAN) will gradually shift its focus from “offshore waters defense” to the combination of “offshore waters defense” with “open seas protection,” and build a combined, multi-functional and efficient marine combat force structure. The PLAN will enhance its capabilities for strategic deterrence and counterattack, maritime maneuvers, joint operations at sea, comprehensive defense and comprehensive support.

In line with the strategic requirement of building air-space capabilities and conducting offensive and defensive operations, the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) will endeavor to shift its focus from territorial air defense to both defense and offense, and build an air-space defense force structure that can meet the requirements of informationized operations. The PLAAF will boost its capabilities for strategic early warning, air strike, air and missile defense, information countermeasures, airborne operations, strategic projection and comprehensive support.

In line with the strategic requirement of being lean and effective and possessing both nuclear and conventional missiles, the PLA Second Artillery Force (PLASAF) will strive to transform itself in the direction of informationization, press forward with independent innovations in weaponry and equipment by reliance on science and technology, enhance the safety, reliability and effectiveness of missile systems, and improve the force structure featuring a combination of both nuclear and conventional capabilities. The PLASAF will strengthen its capabilities for strategic deterrence and nuclear counterattack, and medium- and long-range precision strikes.

In line with the strategic requirement of performing multiple functions and effectively maintaining social stability, the PAPF will continue to develop its forces for guard and security, contingency response, stability maintenance, counter-terrorism operations, emergency rescue and disaster relief, emergency support and air support, and work to improve a force structure which highlights guard duty, contingency response, counter-terrorism and stability maintenance. The PAPF will enhance its capabilities for performing diversified tasks centering on guard duty and contingency response in informationized conditions.

Force Development in Critical Security Domains

The seas and oceans bear on the enduring peace, lasting stability and sustainable development of China. The traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned, and great importance has to be attached to managing the seas and oceans and protecting maritime rights and interests. It is necessary for China to develop a modern maritime military force structure commensurate with its national security and development interests, safeguard its national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, protect the security of strategic SLOCs and overseas interests, and participate in international maritime cooperation, so as to provide strategic support for building itself into a maritime power.

Outer space has become a commanding height in international strategic competition. Countries concerned are developing their space forces and instruments, and the first signs of weaponization of outer space have appeared. China has all along advocated the peaceful use of outer space, opposed the weaponization of and arms race in outer space, and taken an active part in international space cooperation. China will keep abreast of the dynamics of outer space, deal with security threats and challenges in that domain, and secure its space assets to serve its national economic and social development, and maintain outer space security.

Cyberspace has become a new pillar of economic and social development, and a new domain of national security. As international strategic competition in cyberspace has been turning increasingly fiercer, quite a few countries are developing their cyber military forces. Being one of the major victims of hacker attacks, China is confronted with grave security threats to its cyber infrastructure. As cyberspace weighs more in military security, China will expedite the development of a cyber force, and enhance its capabilities of cyberspace situation awareness, cyber defense, support for the country’s endeavors in cyberspace and participation in international cyber cooperation, so as to stem major cyber crises, ensure national network and information security, and maintain national security and social stability.

The nuclear force is a strategic cornerstone for safeguarding national sovereignty and security. China has always pursued the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons and adhered to a self-defensive nuclear strategy that is defensive in nature. China will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or in nuclear-weapon-free zones, and will never enter into a nuclear arms race with any other country. China has always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for maintaining its national security. China will optimize its nuclear force structure, improve strategic early warning, command and control, missile penetration, rapid reaction, and survivability and protection, and deter other countries from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against China.

Military Force Building Measures

Strengthening ideological and political work. China’s armed forces always treat ideological and political building as the first priority, and have endeavored to reinforce and improve their political work in the new situation. They will continue to practice and carry forward the Core Socialist Values, cultivate the Core Values of Contemporary Revolutionary Service Personnel, and carry forward their glorious traditions and fine styles. Moreover, the armed forces will uphold a series of fundamental principles for and institutions of the CPC’s absolute leadership over the military, enhance the creativity, cohesion and combat effectiveness of their CPC organizations at all levels, make great efforts to cultivate a new generation of revolutionary service personnel of noble soul, competence, courage, uprightness and virtue, and ensure that the armed forces will resolutely follow the commands of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC at all times and under all conditions, and consistently retain the nature and purpose of the people’s armed forces.

Pushing ahead with logistics modernization. China’s armed forces will deepen logistics reform in relevant policies, institutions and support forces, and optimize strategic logistics deployment. They will innovate the modes of support, develop new support means, augment war reserves, integrate logistics information systems, improve rules and standards, and meticulously organize supply and support, so as to build a logistics system that can provide support for fighting and winning modern wars, serve the modernization of the armed forces, and transform towards informationization.

Developing advanced weaponry and equipment. Persevering in information dominance, systems building, independent innovation, sustainable development, overall planning, and emphasis on priorities, China’s armed forces will speed up to upgrade weaponry and equipment, and work to develop a weaponry and equipment system which can effectively respond to informationized warfare and help fulfill the missions and tasks.

Cultivating new-type military personnel. China’s armed forces will continue with the strategic project for personnel training and perfect the system for military human resources. They will deepen the reform of military educational institutions and improve the triad training system for new-type military personnel – institutional education, unit training and military professional education, so as to pool more talented people and cultivate more personnel who can meet the demands of informationized warfare.

Intensifying efforts in running the armed forces with strict discipline and in accordance with the law. Aiming at strengthening the revolutionization, modernization and regularization of the armed forces in all respects, China will innovate and develop theories and practice in relation to running the armed forces in accordance with the law, establish a well-knit military law system with Chinese characteristics, so as to elevate the level of rule by law of national defense and armed forces building.

Innovating military theories. Under the guidance of the CPC’s innovative theories, China’s armed forces will intensify their studies of military operations, probe into the mechanisms of winning modern wars, innovate strategies and tactics featuring mobility and flexibility, and develop theories on military building in the new situation, so as to bring into place a system of advanced military theories commensurate with the requirement of winning future wars.

Improving strategic management. It is necessary to optimize the functions and institutions of the CMC and the general headquarters/departments, improve the leadership and management system of the services and arms, and adhere to demand-based planning and plan-based resource allocation. China’s armed forces will set up a system and a working mechanism for overall and coordinated programming and planning. They will also intensify overall supervision and management of strategic resources, strengthen the in-process supervision and risk control of major projects, improve mechanisms for strategic assessment, and set up and improve relevant assessment systems and complementary standards and codes.

In-depth Development of Civil-Military Integration (CMI)

Following the guiding principle of integrating military with civilian purposes and combining military efforts with civilian support, China will forge further ahead with CMI by constantly bettering the mechanisms, diversifying the forms, expanding the scope and elevating the level of the integration, so as to endeavor to bring into place an all-element, multi-domain and cost-efficient pattern of CMI.

Accelerating CMI in key sectors. With stronger policy support, China will work to establish uniform military and civilian standards for infrastructure, key technological areas and major industries, explore the ways and means for training military personnel in civilian educational institutions, developing weaponry and equipment by national defense industries, and outsourcing logistics support to civilian support systems. China encourages joint building and utilization of military and civilian infrastructure, joint exploration of the sea, outer space and air, and shared use of such resources as surveying and mapping, navigation, meteorology and frequency spectra. Accordingly, military and civilian resources can be more compatible, complementary and mutually accessible.

Building a mechanism for operating CMI. At the state level, it is necessary to establish a mechanism for CMI development, featuring unified leadership, military-civilian coordination, abutment of military and civilian needs, and resource sharing. Furthermore, it is necessary to improve the management responsibilities of relevant military and civilian institutions, improve the general standards for both the military and the civilian sectors, make studies on the establishment of a policy system in which the government makes the investment, offers tax incentives and financial support, and expedites legislation promoting military-civilian coordinated development, so as to form a pattern featuring overall military-civilian planning and coordinated development. It is also necessary to push forward with the shared utilization of military capabilities and those of other sectors, and establish a mechanism for joint civil-military response to major crises and emergencies.

Improving the systems and mechanisms of national defense mobilization. China will enhance education in national defense and boost the awareness of the general public in relation to national defense. It will continue to strengthen the building of the reserve force, optimize its structure, and increase its proportion in the PLAN, PLAAF and PLASAF as well as in combat support forces. The ways to organize and employ reserve forces will be more diversified. China will devote more efforts to science and technology in national defense mobilization, be more readily prepared for the requisition of information resources, and build specialized support forces. China aims to build a national defense mobilization system that can meet the requirements of winning informationized wars and responding to both emergencies and wars.

V. Preparation for Military Struggle

Preparation for military struggle (PMS) is a basic military practice and an important guarantee for safeguarding peace, containing crises and winning wars. To expand and intensify PMS, China’s armed forces must meet the requirement of being capable of fighting and winning, focus on solving major problems and difficulties, and do solid work and make relentless efforts in practical preparations, in order to enhance their overall capabilities for deterrence and warfighting.

Enhancing capabilities for system-vs-system operations based on information systems. China’s armed forces will quicken their steps to transform the generating mode of combat effectiveness, work to use information systems to integrate a wide range of operational forces, modules and elements into overall operational capacity, and gradually establish an integrated joint operational system in which all elements are seamlessly linked and various operational platforms perform independently and in coordination. China’s armed forces will endeavor to address the pressing problems constraining the capabilities for system-vs-system operations. They will make further exploration and more efficient utilization of information resources, strengthen the building of the systems of reconnaissance, early-warning and command and control, develop medium- and long-range precision strike capabilities, and improve the comprehensive support systems. In accordance with the requirement of being authoritative, streamlined, agile and efficient, they will strive to establish and improve the CMC command organ and theater-level command systems for joint operations.

Pushing ahead with PMS in all directions and domains. Due to its complex geostrategic environment, China faces various threats and challenges in all its strategic directions and security domains. Therefore, PMS must be carried out in a well-planned, prioritized, comprehensive and coordinated way, so as to maintain the balance and stability of the overall strategic situation. China’s armed forces will make overall planning for PMS in both traditional and new security domains, and get ready to safeguard national sovereignty and security, protect the country’s maritime rights and interests, and deal with armed conflicts and emergencies. To adapt to the upgrading of weaponry and equipment as well as changes of operational patterns, China’s armed forces will further optimize battlefield disposition and strengthen strategic prepositioning.

Maintaining constant combat readiness. China’s armed forces will continue to improve its routine combat readiness, maintain a posture of high alertness, and conscientiously organize border, coastal and air defense patrols and guard duties. The PLAA will improve its combat readiness system with inter-connected strategic directions, combined arms and systematized operational support, so as to ensure agile maneuvers and effective response. The PLAN will continue to organize and perform regular combat readiness patrols and maintain a military presence in relevant sea areas. The PLAAF will continue to observe the principles of applicability in peacetime and wartime, all-dimensional response and full territorial reach, and maintain vigilant and efficient combat readiness. The PLASAF will continue to keep an appropriate level of vigilance in peacetime. By observing the principles of combining peacetime and wartime demands, maintaining all time vigilance and being action-ready, it will prefect the integrated, functional, agile and efficient operational duty system.

Enhancing realistic military training. The PLA will continue to attach strategic importance to combat training in realistic conditions, and strictly temper the troops according to the Outline of Military Training and Evaluation (OMTE). It will constantly innovate operational and training methods, improve military training criteria and regulations, and work to build large-scale comprehensive training bases in an effort to provide real-combat environments for training. The PLA will continue to conduct live-setting training, IT-based simulated training, and face-on-face confrontation training in line with real-combat criteria, and strengthen command post training and joint and combined training. It will intensify training in complex electro-magnetic environments, complex and unfamiliar terrains, and complex weather conditions. It will also set up a training supervision and inspection system, so as to incorporate real-combat requirements into training.

Preparing for military operations other than war (MOOTWs). As a necessary requirement for China’s armed forces to fulfill their responsibilities and missions in the new period as well as an important approach to enhancing their operational capabilities, the armed forces will continue to conduct such MOOTWs as emergency rescue and disaster relief, counter-terrorism and stability maintenance, rights and interests protection, guard duty, international peacekeeping, and international humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). They will work to incorporate MOOTW capacity building into military modernization and PMS, and pay special attention to establishing emergency command mechanisms, building emergency forces, training professionals, supporting task-specific equipment, and formulating relevant policies and regulations. Military emergency-response command systems will be tuned into state emergency management mechanisms. China’s armed forces will persist in unified organization and command, scientific employment of forces, rapid and efficient actions, and strict observation of related policies and regulations.

VI. Military and Security Cooperation

Pursuing a security concept featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, China’s armed forces will continue to develop military-to-military relations that are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party. They will strive to establish fair and effective collective security mechanisms and military confidence-building measures (CBMs), expand military and security cooperation, and create a security environment favorable to China’s peaceful development.

Developing all-round military-to-military relations. China’s armed forces will further their exchanges and cooperation with the Russian military within the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia, and foster a comprehensive, diverse and sustainable framework to promote military relations in more fields and at more levels. China’s armed forces will continue to foster a new model of military relationship with the US armed forces that conforms to the new model of major-country relations between the two countries, strengthen defense dialogues, exchanges and cooperation, and improve the CBM mechanism for the notification of major military activities as well as the rules of behavior for safety of air and maritime encounters, so as to strengthen mutual trust, prevent risks and manage crises. In the spirit of neighborhood diplomacy of friendship, sincerity, reciprocity and inclusiveness, China’s armed forces will further develop relations with their counterparts in neighboring countries. Also, they will work to raise the level of military relations with European counterparts, continue the traditional friendly military ties with their African, Latin American and Southern Pacific counterparts. China’s armed forces will work to further defense and security cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and continue to participate in multilateral dialogues and cooperation mechanisms such as the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD), Jakarta International Defence Dialogue (JIDD) and Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS). The Chinese military will continue to host multilateral events like the Xiangshan Forum, striving to establish a new framework for security and cooperation conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pushing ahead with pragmatic military cooperation. On the basis of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and all-win cooperation, China’s armed forces will continue to carry out pragmatic cooperation with their counterparts in various countries of the world. In response to the changing situation, China’s armed forces will constantly explore new fields, new contents and new models of cooperation with other militaries, so as to jointly deal with a diverse range of security threats and challenges. Extensive dialogues and exchanges will be conducted with foreign militaries on defense policy, services and arms building, institutional education, logistics and other subjects to promote mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual learning. The Chinese military will also strengthen cooperation with related countries in personnel training, material assistance, equipment and technology, so as to strengthen mutual support and enhance respective defensive capabilities. Bilateral and multilateral joint exercises and training, involving various services and arms, will be conducted at multiple levels and in various domains to enhance joint operational capabilities. The Chinese military will work to extend the subjects of such training and exercises from non-traditional to traditional security areas. It will actively participate in international maritime security dialogues and cooperation, and jointly deal with traditional and non-traditional maritime security threats.

Fulfilling international responsibilities and obligations. China’s armed forces will continue to participate in UN peacekeeping missions, strictly observe the mandates of the UN Security Council, maintain its commitment to the peaceful settlement of conflicts, promote development and reconstruction, and safeguard regional peace and security. China’s armed forces will continue to take an active part in international disaster rescue and humanitarian assistance, dispatch professional rescue teams to disaster-stricken areas for relief and disaster reduction, provide relief materials and medical aid, and strengthen international exchanges in the fields of rescue and disaster reduction. Through the aforementioned operations, the armed forces can also enhance their own capabilities and expertise. Faithfully fulfilling China’s international obligations, the country’s armed forces will continue to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and other sea areas as required, enhance exchanges and cooperation with naval task forces of other countries, and jointly secure international SLOCs. China’s armed forces will engage in extensive regional and international security affairs, and promote the establishment of the mechanisms of emergency notification, military risk precaution, crisis management and conflict control. With the growth of national strength, China’s armed forces will gradually intensify their participation in such operations as international peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, and do their utmost to shoulder more international responsibilities and obligations, provide more public security goods, and contribute more to world peace and common development.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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