Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (4)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-16 10:28:19

Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (4)

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. (more)

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