Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (7)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-16 10:30:50

Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (7)

The PLA, PAPF and people's governments at various levels have established military-civilian joint response mechanisms for natural disasters, set up a mobile command platform for emergency response at the strategic level, pre-stored and pre-positioned in key areas materials and equipment urgently needed for emergency rescue and disaster relief, worked out relevant scenarios for units at and above the regiment level, and organized joint military-civilian exercises and training, thereby enhancing their capabilities for emergency rescue and disaster relief in all respects. So far, China has formed nine state-level professional teams, with a total membership of 50,000. They are emergency-response teams for flood relief, earthquake rescue, NBC defense, emergency airlift, rush repair of transportation and power facilities, maritime search and rescue, mobile communications support, medical aid and epidemic prevention, and meteorological support. In collaboration with relevant provinces (autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government) and based on active and reserve forces, all MACs have joined to set up professional emergency-rescue units at the provincial level, totaling 45,000 members.

In all major emergency-rescue and disaster-relief operations, China's armed forces have always played a vital role. In 2008, some 1.26 million officers and men as well as militia members were sent to counter the disaster of freezing weather, sleet and snowstorms in southern China, and 221,000 to participate in rescue after the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province. In 2010, some 21,000 and 12,000 armed forces members were dispatched respectively to take part in rescue after the Yushu (Qinghai Province) earthquake and the Zhouqu (Gansu Province) mud-rock slide. Since 2011, the PLA and PAPF have contributed a total of 370,000 servicepersons and 197,000 vehicles or other machines of various types, flown over 225 sorties (using fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters), organized 870,000 militiamen and reservists, participated in emergency-rescue and disaster-relief operations in cases of floods, earthquakes, droughts, ice jams, typhoons and fires, rescued or evacuated more than 2.45 million people, and rushed 160,000 tons of goods to disaster areas. Every year, the army aviation flies hundreds of sorties to prevent and fight forest and grassland fires on a regular basis.

Maintaining Social Stability

In accordance with relevant laws and regulations, the armed forces of China participate in social order maintenance, and guard and fight against terrorist activities. The PAPF is the state's backbone and shock force in handling public emergencies and maintaining social stability. The Law of the People's Republic of China on the People's Armed Police Force, promulgated in August 2009, specifies the scope, measures and support of PAPF security missions. With mobile PAPF troops as the mainstay, supplemented by forces pooled from routine duty units, and supported by various police forces and PAPF academies, the PAPF has established a force structure for stability maintenance and emergency response. In addition, a counter-terrorism force structure has been set up, which consists of a counter-terrorism contingent, special-duty squadrons, special-duty platoons and emergency-response squads at state, province, municipality and county levels, respectively. Solid steps have been taken to implement strict security measures for major events, including guard duties, security checks, security of important facilities and areas, checkpoints on major roads, and armed urban patrols. From 2011 to 2012, the PAPF effectively responded to and handled various emergencies, coordinated with public security organs to successfully handle some violent and terrorist attacks, and participated in handling 68 incidents of serious violence, and rescuing 62 hostages. Altogether contributing more than 1.6 million persons, the PAPF has provided security for such important events as the 26th Summer Universiade (Shenzhen, 2011), China-Eurasia Expo (Urumqi, 2011) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Beijing Summit (2012).

The PLA also assists public security and PAPF forces in providing security for major events. The PLAA is mainly tasked with counter-terrorism, NBC and explosive item checks, and medical aid. The PLAN is mainly responsible for guarding against potential maritime threats and terrorist attacks. The PLAAF is mainly charged with providing air security for major event venues and their adjacent areas. In recent years, contributing 145,000 servicepersons, 365 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, 148 ships and 554 sets of radar equipment, the PLA provided security for the Beijing Olympics, celebrations of the PRC's 60th founding anniversary, Shanghai World Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games.

The militia is an important force for maintaining social stability. It assists in the maintenance of social order in accordance with laws and regulations. Under the unified arrangements of local CPC committees and governments as well as the guidance of corresponding military organs, the militia participates in joint defense of public security, integrated social management, and security provision for major events. Each year, more than 90,000 militiamen carry out the task of guarding bridges, tunnels and railways.

Hong Kong and Macao garrison troops are dispatched by the central government to the two special administrative regions (SARs) to perform defense duties according to law. As stipulated by the garrison laws, the governments of Hong Kong and Macao SARs may, if necessary, request the central government for the assistance of the garrison troops in maintaining social order and providing disaster relief. Hong Kong and Macao garrison troops organize joint air-sea patrols, conduct annual exercises and drills, and participate in joint exercises held by the SAR governments for air-sea search and rescue operations. They succeeded in providing security for the Hong Kong venue of the Beijing Olympics (2008) and anniversary celebrations of the SARs' returning to the motherland. (more)

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