Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (6)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-16 10:29:17

Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (6)

IV. Supporting National Economic and Social Development

The Constitution and relevant laws entrust China's armed forces with the important tasks of safeguarding the peaceful labor of the Chinese people, taking part in national development and serving the people wholeheartedly. Subordinate to and serving the overall situation of national reform and development, the armed forces of China actively participate in national development, emergency rescue and disaster relief, maintain social harmony and stability according to law, and endeavor to protect national development interests.

Participating in National Development

Under the precondition of accomplishing such tasks as education, training, combat readiness duties, and scientific research and experiments, the PLA and PAPF center their efforts on national and local plans and arrangements for economic and social development; persist in combining PLA and PAPF capabilities with local governments' needs and local people's expectations; make full use of their resources and advantages in personnel, equipment, technology and infrastructure; actively support local key infrastructure projects, ecological environment conservation and new socialist rural area development; and take solid steps to support poverty-alleviation initiatives, give financial aid to education and provide medical service support. They thereby make significant contributions to promoting local economic development, social harmony and the improvement of people's livelihood.

Supporting key infrastructure projects. China's armed forces bring into full play the advantages of hydroelectric, transportation, engineering and cartographic units, and support national and local infrastructure construction related to national economy and people's livelihood in such areas as transportation, water conservancy, energy and communications. Since 2011, the PLA and PAPF have contributed more than 15 million work days and over 1.2 million motor vehicles and machines, and have been involved in more than 350 major province-level (and above) projects of building airports, highways, railways and water conservancy facilities. The PAPF hydroelectric units have partaken in the construction of 115 projects concerning water conservancy, hydropower, railways and gas pipelines in Nuozhadu (Yunnan), Jinping (Sichuan) and Pangduo (Tibet). In addition, PAPF transportation units have undertaken the construction of 172 projects, including highways in the Tianshan Mountains in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the double-deck viaduct bridge over the Luotang River in Gansu Province and the Galungla Tunnel along the Medog Highway in the Tibet Autonomous Region, with a total length of 3,250 km.

Promoting ecological progress and protecting the environment. The PLA, militia and reserve organic troops are organized to help afforest barren hills, control desertification and preserve wetlands. Specifically, they have supported the construction of key national reserves and ecological engineering projects such as controlling the sources of sandstorms affecting Beijing and Tianjin, afforesting the periphery of the Taklimakan Desert, protecting the ecological environment of the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtse and Yellow rivers, and harnessing the Yarlung Zangbo, Lhasa and Nyangqu rivers in Tibet. Over the past two years, the PLA and PAPF have planted over 14 million trees, and afforested above three million mu of barren hills and beaches by large-scale planting and aerial seeding. Besides, technical units specializing in cartography, meteorology, and water supply provide such services as cartographic surveying, weather and hydrological forecasting, and water source exploration for local people.

Contributing to poverty-alleviation initiatives and helping build new rural areas. The PLA and PAPF have paired up with 63 poverty-stricken counties and 547 poverty-stricken towns and townships; set up 26,000 places of contact for poverty reduction; supported over 20,000 small projects such as constructing irrigation and water-conservancy facilities, building rural roads, and improving small river valley areas; aided the development of more than 1,000 industries; and helped over 400,000 needy people shake off poverty. The Beijing Military Area Command's water-supply engineering regiment has helped local governments to search for water and dig wells in Yunnan, Shandong, Hebei and Guizhou provinces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and dug 358 wells, solving the domestic water shortage for 960,000 people and the problem of irrigation for 85,000 mu of farmland. Implementing the project of "digging wells to enrich farmers," the Lanzhou Military Area Command's water-supply engineering regiment has explored water sources and dug 192 wells in the arid zone in the middle and southern parts of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and alleviated drinking water shortages for 390,000 people and 570,000 head of livestock and the problem of irrigation for 37,000 mu of farmland.

Supporting scientific and technological, educational, cultural and health undertakings. From 2011 to 2012, military academies, research institutions and specialized technical units undertook more than 200 research subjects including national major projects and key technology R&D programs; participated in 220 projects tackling key scientific and technological problems; and transferred 180 technologies. A total of 108 PLA and PAPF hospitals have paired up with 130 county-level hospitals in poverty-stricken areas in the western parts of the country, while medical and health units below the corps level have paired up with 1,283 clinics and health centers in towns and townships. From 2009 to 2012, the armed forces financed and built 57 "August 1" schools particularly in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities in the western parts of the country, such as Xinjiang and Tibet, providing schooling for over 30,000 children.

Participating in Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief

China is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. With more varieties, wide distribution and high frequency, natural disasters endanger China's economic and social development as well as the lives and property of many Chinese people. The armed forces of China have always acted as the shock force in emergency rescue and disaster relief, and always undertaken the most urgent, arduous and hazardous rescue tasks. According to the Regulations on the PLA's Participation in Disaster Rescue promulgated in 2005, the PLA and PAPF are mainly tasked with rescuing and evacuating the trapped; ensuring the security of important facilities and areas; salvaging and transporting important materials; participating in specialized operations such as rush repairs of roads, bridges and tunnels, maritime search and rescue, NBC rescue, epidemic control, and medical aid; eliminating or controlling other major dangers and disasters; and assisting local governments in post-disaster reconstruction. (more)

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