Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (8)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-16 10:31:04

Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (8)

Safeguarding Maritime Rights and Interests

China is a major maritime as well as land country. The seas and oceans provide immense space and abundant resources for China's sustainable development, and thus are of vital importance to the people's wellbeing and China's future. It is an essential national development strategy to exploit, utilize and protect the seas and oceans, and build China into a maritime power. It is an important duty for the PLA to resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests.

In combination with its routine combat readiness activities, the PLAN provides security support for China's maritime law enforcement, fisheries, and oil and gas exploitation. It has established mechanisms to coordinate and cooperate with law-enforcement organs of marine surveillance and fishery administration, as well as a joint military-police-civilian defense mechanism. Further, the PLAN has worked in coordination with relevant local departments to conduct maritime survey and scientific investigation; build systems of maritime meteorological observation, satellite navigation, radio navigation and navigation aids; release timely weather and sea traffic information; and ensure the safe flow of traffic in sea areas of responsibility.

Together with the marine surveillance and fishery administration departments, the PLAN has conducted joint maritime exercises and drills for protecting rights and enforcing laws, and enhanced its capabilities to coordinate command and respond to emergencies in joint military-civilian operations to safeguard maritime rights. The "Donghai Collaboration-2012" joint exercise was held in the East China Sea in October 2012, involving 11 ships and eight planes.

As an important armed maritime law-enforcement body, the border public security force exercises jurisdiction over both violations of laws, rules and regulations relating to public security administration and suspected crimes committed in China's internal waters, territorial seas, contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf. In recent years, the border public security force has endeavored to guarantee the security of sea areas, strengthened patrols, surveillance and management along the sea boundary in the Beibu Gulf and around the Xisha sea areas, and effectively maintained maritime public order and stability.

Protecting Overseas Interests

With the gradual integration of China's economy into the world economic system, overseas interests have become an integral component of China's national interests. Security issues are increasingly prominent, involving overseas energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), and Chinese nationals and legal persons overseas. Vessel protection at sea, evacuation of Chinese nationals overseas, and emergency rescue have become important ways and means for the PLA to safeguard national interests and fulfill China's international obligations.

In line with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (US), and with the consent of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the Chinese government dispatched a combined naval task force to conduct escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia on December 26, 2008. The combined Chinese task forces are mainly charged with safeguarding the security of Chinese ships and personnel traversing those waters and the security of ships delivering humanitarian supplies for the World Food Programme (WFP) and other international organizations, and sheltering passing foreign vessels as far as possible. As of December 2012, the Chinese Navy has dispatched, in 13 task groups, 34 warships, 28 helicopters, and 910 Special Operations Force (SOF) soldiers, escorting 4,984 ships in 532 batches. Among them, 1,510 were Chinese mainland ships, 940 Hong Kong ships, 74 Taiwan ships and one Macao ship. The task forces also rescued two Chinese ships from pirates who had boarded them and 22 which were being chased by pirates.

In February 2011, the turbulent situation in Libya posed grave security threats to Chinese institutions, enterprises and nationals in that country. The Chinese government organized the largest overseas evacuation since the founding of the PRC, and 35,860 Chinese nationals were taken home. The PLA contributed ships and aircraft to the effort. The Chinese Navy's frigate Xuzhou, on escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia at that time, sailed to the waters off Libya and provided support for ships evacuating Chinese nationals stranded there. The PLAAF sent four aircraft at short notice, flew 40 sorties, evacuated 1,655 people (including 240 Nepalese) from Libya to Sudan, and took 287 Chinese nationals from Sudan back home.

V. Safeguarding World Peace and Regional Stability

China's security and development are closely connected with the peace and prosperity of the world as a whole. China's armed forces have always been a staunch force upholding world peace and regional stability, and will continue to increase cooperation and mutual trust with the armed forces of other countries, participate in regional and international security affairs, and play an active role in international political and security fields.

Participating in UN Peacekeeping Operations

China earnestly fulfills its international responsibilities and obligations, and supports and actively participates in UN peacekeeping missions. In accordance with UN resolutions as well as agreements between the Chinese government and the UN, China dispatches peacekeeping troops and specialized peacekeeping personnel to designated countries or regions, who carry out peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN. They are mainly tasked with monitoring ceasefires, disengaging conflicting parties, providing engineering, transportation and medical support, and participating in social reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. (more)

Posted in: Military

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