Embodied in China's defensive national defense policy, 'Great Wall spirit' demonstrates the country's love for peace
Published: Oct 06, 2021 04:07 PM
Lieutenant General He Lei Photo: Xinhua

Lieutenant General He Lei Photo: Xinhua

As the largest military defense project in ancient China, the Great Wall of China is more than just one of the most magnificent architectural miracles in human history. It has crystalized the wisdom of the Chinese nation, carrying Chinese people's cultural traditions. Moreover, the Great Wall shows China's tradition of anti-aggression and the Chinese people's love for peace.

Since ancient times, Chinese culture has advocated peace-loving ideas, including "Harmony is most precious," and "Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you." And ancient Chinese strategists regards "subduing the enemy without fighting" as the best military strategy. 

Deeply rooted in the Chinese way of thinking, the traditional culture of seeking harmony and peace instead of war is also reflected in the spirit of the Great Wall. In other words, the Great Wall embodies the basic spirit of China's national defense.

National defense is the security guarantee for the survival and development of the country and the nation. It is closely related to the safety and security of the country, the destiny of the nation, and the well-being of the people. The first version of the National Defense Law of the People's Republic of China, promulgated and implemented in 1997, profoundly summarizes the experience of China's national defense and military in the revolution, construction, and reform. It gives our construction of national defense a basic legal basis to follow. The law also plays an important role in consolidating China's national defense and promoting the modernization of the Chinese military.

However, since socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, China's National Defense Law also needs to adapt to the new situation, new tasks, and new requirements of national defense and military construction in the new era. Therefore, the law was revised in 2020 and the revised version took effect on January 1, 2021.



This updated legislation is the first National Defense Law in the new era, and there are many innovative changes based on the old version. The most prominent change is that "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" and "Xi Jinping thought on military" have gained the guiding position in China's national defense activities. They are implemented in the whole process of national defense and military construction, as well as reflected in the provisions of each chapter of the new National Defense Law.

To be more specific, the newly revised law confirms that China "pursues a defensive national defense policy." As the basic national defense policy that China has unswervingly adhered to since 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded, this policy is clearly written into the basic legislation for the country's national defense for the first time. It shows China's love for peace, its opposition to aggression and expansion, and its consistent advocacy of opposing the use of force or threat of use of force. It highlights the nature of China as a socialist country, its strategic choice to follow the road of peaceful development, its independent and peaceful foreign policy, and its cultural tradition of "harmony being most precious." In addition, this policy represents the country's solemn commitment and great contribution to world peace.

The connotation of China's defensive national defense policy in the new era is rich and profound. The fundamental goal of the country's national defense in the new era is to resolutely defend its national sovereignty, security, and development interests. According to this policy, China insists on never claiming hegemony, never expanding, or never seeking its spheres of influence. The implementation of the military strategic policy in the new era will guide this policy to firmly walk along the road of strengthening the military with Chinese characteristics. This way, it will eventually help build a community of shared future for mankind on a global scale. In this sense, China's defensive national defense policy reflects the marvelous Great Wall spirit as well.

Today, in the new journey of building a modern socialist country with Chinese characteristics, we should look at the history of the Great Wall from a contemporary perspective to enlighten us about what to do at present as well as in the future. We must inherit and carry forward the marvelous Great Wall spirit so that we can build not only our "Great Wall of Steel" ̶ the People's Liberation Army ̶ stronger and stronger, but also our consolidated national defense more and more impregnable.

The author is a deputy to the 13th NPC, PLA lieutenant general and former vice president of the PLA Academy of Military Sciences. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn