China’s military achievements benefit national interests, world order

By Li Daguang Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/17 19:48:39

China's military has made remarkable progress since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012.

The Central Military Commission (CMC),  chaired by Xi Jinping has consistently pushed forward military reform under the rule of law and civil-military integration. China's armed forces have made great strides in building a strong army with Chinese characteristics.

China has implemented significant military reforms to strengthen its armed forces, especially in terms of system and policy, and civil-military integration during the past five years.

On December 31, 2015, Xi inaugurated a general command unit for the People's Liberation Army (PLA), a rocket force and a strategic support force, as part of reforms to modernize its military.

On January 11, 2016, the CMC announced that the PLA's four general departments - the organizations responsible for recruiting troops, procuring weapons, providing logistics and ensuring political supervision - had been split up, streamlined and absorbed into the commission. On February 1, Xi reclassified seven military area commands into five theater commands - the East, West, South, North and Middle battle zones. On September 13, the CMC established a joint logistics support force.

The CMC has been committed to the reshuffling of military research institutions, including the PLA Academy of Military Science, National Defense University of the PLA and the National University of Defense Technology.

Xi has given top priority to innovations in military science and technology to build a world-leading first-class army. On July 31, 2017, China held a military parade at the Zhurihe military training base in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region where more than 600 pieces of military equipment were displayed. China's latest J-20 stealth fighter and Y-20 heavy transport aircraft were among the hardware making their debut. Land and information operations at nine combat groups were shown to the  public. Over 40 percent of naval hardware were on display for the first time. A large number of newly-developed weapons have been in service or under construction.

The innovative civil-military integration has buttressed China's army building and ensured remarkable breakthroughs in the country's national defense industry. The past five years have witnessed a profound integration of the national defense sector, personnel training and military logistic system on a commercial basis, as well as the blending of maritime, space and cyberspace areas.

The CPC Central Committee, since the 18th CPC National Congress, has shown its unswerving determination to combat corrupt behavior that undermine the armed forces. Former senior military officials Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou had weakened the CMC chairman responsibility system, putting the army in an extremely dangerous position. They are two of more than 100 senior officers from the PLA above the rank of senior colonel who have been removed for corruption since 2012.

China's armed forces are tasked to defend the national interests and world peace. China resorts to peaceful solutions to violations of maritime interests in the East and South China Sea by adjacent countries. China has expressed its resolve to maintain regional peace and stability through such efforts as its solemn position of non-acceptance of and non-participation in the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines; the establishment of China's Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, and its regular military air patrols over disputed islands and shoals in the South China Sea.

The global governance vision China has championed, such as "building a community of shared future for mankind" proposed by Xi, are consistent with the three objectives of the United Nations, namely, to safeguard world peace and security, promote global economic development and cooperation, and foster harmonious state-to-state relations. Achieving these objectives ensures a community of common destiny.

China is pursuing a peaceful rise and opposes the zero-sum game and Cold War mentality. China has participated in many missions, like international peacekeeping, overseas escorts, humanitarian rescue and disaster relief.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said China has been playing a leading role in maintaining world peace and stability, fulfilling the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and helping developing countries enhance their capabilities.

The author is a professor at the National Defense University of the PLA.


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