China’s National Defense in 2000
|The turn of the century has opened a new chapter in the development of human society.When we look back on the twentieth century we notice that mankind created enormous material and spiritual wealth never seen before. We also experienced two world wars, hundreds of local wars and the Cold War that lasted for nearly half a century, suffering tremendously from the scourge of wars or the menace of wars. The Chinese nation has gone through many hardships. The Chinese people have fought bravely for their national independence, liberation, democracy and freedom. They have finally brought the country onto the road toward modernization. The Chinese people know full well the value of peace.Humanity is facing a rare chance for development as well as tough challenges in the new century. To safeguard world peace and promote the development of all are the themes of the times and the common aspirations of people all over the world. China is engaged wholeheartedly in its modernization drive. A peaceful international environment and a favorable surrounding environment serve China’s fundamental interests. China steadfastly follows an independent foreign policy of peace and is committed to a new world of peace, stability, prosperity and development. China firmly pursues a defensive national defense policy and is determined to safeguard its state sovereignty, national unity, territorial integrity and security. The Chinese people are ready to work together with other peace-loving people of the world and contribute their wisdom and strength to world peace and development, and a more beautiful future for mankind.
At this important point in history – the turn of the century – we publish this white paper, China’s National Defense in 2000, to express the Chinese people’s sincere aspirations for peace and to help the rest of the world better understand China’s national defense policy and its efforts for the modernization of its national defense.
|Peace and development remain the two major themes in today’s world. The trend toward multi-polarity and economic globalization is gaining momentum, and the international security situation, in general, continues to tend toward relaxation. Relations among big powers are complicated, with many interwoven contradictions and frictions. However, drawing on each other’s strength, cooperating with and checking and constraining each other remain a basic feature of their relationship. The vast number of developing countries, with great potential for growth, are an important force in promoting the establishment of a fair and reasonable new international order, and in safeguarding world peace and development. Science and technology are making progress with each passing day, and economic ties between countries have become ever stronger. Economic development, scientific and technological innovation, and the growth of aggregate national strength remain the priorities for many countries. Worldwide, the forces for peace are prevailing over the forces for war. A new world war will not break out for a fairly long time to come.The security situation in the Asia-Pacific region has been on the whole stable. Many Asian countries, particularly the East Asian countries, have tided over the financial crisis and their economies are steadily recovering with bright prospects. It is the policy options of most countries to rejuvenate their economies, and enhance dialogue and cooperation. They will continue to develop state-to-state relations in accordance with such principles as sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. A number of countries have consistently stood for peaceful settlement of disputes, and engaged themselves in security dialogues in a variety of forms, at different levels and through different channels. All this has helped enhance mutual understanding and trust. The cooperation among ASEAN, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (10+3) is steadily developing in the economic and financial field. The tense situation on the Korean Peninsula is markedly easing off. China and Viet Nam have signed a land border treaty. The situation in the South China Sea remains generally stable.However, in today’s world, factors that may cause instability and uncertainty have markedly increased. The world is far from peaceful. There is a serious disequilibrium in the relative strength of countries. No fundamental change has been made in the old, unfair and irrational international political and economic order. Hegemonism and power politics still exist and are developing further in the international political, economic and security spheres. Certain big powers are pursuing “neo-interventionism,” “neo-gunboat policy” and neo-economic colonialism, which are seriously damaging the sovereignty, inde-pendence and developmental interests of many countries, and threat-ening world peace and security. The United Nations’ authority and role in handling international and regional security affairs are being seriously challenged. Under the pretexts of “humanitarianism” and “human rights,” some countries have frequently resorted to the use or threat of force, in flagrant violation of the UN Charter and other uni-versally recognized principles governing international relations. In particular, the NATO, by-passing the UN Security Council, launched military attacks against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, producing an extremely negative impact on the international situation and relations between countries. A series of negative developments have occurred in the area of arms control and disarmament. In particular, a certain country is still continuing its efforts to develop and introduce the National Missile Defense (NMD) and Theater Missile Defense (TMD) systems, which have undermined the international community’s efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to promote disarmament. As modern science and technology and economic globalization continue to develop, competition among countries has become fiercer than ever before. Financial and economic risks are increasing, and economic security has become a concern for all countries. As the gap in development and the disparity between rich and poor countries continue to widen all over the world, particu-larly between the South and North, polarization has become an increasingly serious problem.
Local wars and armed conflicts have increased again, with conflicts and turbulence caused by ethnic, religious, territorial, resources or other factors cropping up one after the other. Some countries have continued to enlarge military blocs, strengthen military alliances and seek greater military superiority. This has seriously affected world security and stability. Divisive, terrorist and extremist forces of every description have continued to endanger the international community, and global problems such as the environment, narcotic drugs and refugees have become increasingly prominent.
There are new negative developments in the security of the Asia-Pacific region. The United States is further strengthening its military presence and bilateral military alliances in this region, advo-cating the development of the TMD system and planning to deploy it in East Asia. Japan has passed a bill relating to measures in the event of a situation in the areas surrounding Japan. All this goes against the tide of the times. Joint military exercises have increased in the region, to the detriment of trust between countries. The uncertain factors af3fecting security on the Korean Peninsula continue to exist, and the situation in South Asia remains unstable. Encroachments on China’s sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea are not infrequent, and some extra-regional countries are attempting to interfere in this issue.
The Taiwan Straits situation is complicated and grim. Lee Teng-hui flagrantly dished out his “two states” theory in an attempt to split the country. The new leaders of the Taiwan authorities have adopted an evasive and obscure attitude to the one-China principle. Separatist forces in Taiwan are scheming to split the island province from China, in one form or another. This has seriously undermined the preconditions and foundation for peaceful reunification across the Straits. This is the root cause of tension across the Taiwan Straits. The United States has never stopped selling advanced weapons to Taiwan. Some people in the United States have been trying hard to get the Congress to pass the so-called Taiwan Security Enhancement Act. And some are even attempting to incorporate Taiwan into the US TMD system. The newly revised Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation has failed to explicitly undertake to exclude Taiwan from the scope of “the areas surrounding Japan” referred to in the Japanese security bill that could involve military intervention. These actions have inflated the arrogance of the separatist forces in Taiwan, seriously undermined China’s sovereignty and security and imperiled the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
The world is undergoing profound changes which require the discard of the Cold War mentality and the development of a new security concept and a new international political, economic and security order responsive to the needs of our times. The core of the new security concept should be mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. The UN Charter, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and other universally recognized principles governing international relations should serve as the political basis for safeguarding peace while mutually beneficial cooperation and common prosperity its economic guarantee. To conduct dialogue, consultation and negotiation on an equal footing is the right way to solve disputes and safeguard peace. Only by developing a new security concept and establishing a fair and reasonable new international order can world peace and security be fundamentally guaranteed.
China’s fundamental interests lie in its domestic development and stability, the peace and prosperity of its surrounding regions, and the establishment and maintenance of a new regional security order based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China will continue to develop friendly relations and cooperation with all other countries. It will make unswerving efforts to safeguard and promote the peace, stability, prosperity and development of the Asia-Pacific region in particular and the world in general.
|China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the National Defense Law of the PRC, which is enacted in accordance with the Constitution, specify the tasks of the armed forces of the PRC as being to consolidate national defense, resist aggression, defend the motherland, safeguard the people’s peaceful labor, participate in national construction and serve the people wholeheartedly.China has always attached primary importance to safeguarding state sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and security, and has been working hard for a peaceful international and a favorable peripheral environment for China’s socialist modernization drive. The development and powerfulness of China will constitute no threat to anyone, but will rather promote the world peace, stability and development. Never to seek hegemony is the Chinese people’s solemn pledge to the world.China’s defense policy has the following main aspects:
– Consolidating national defense, resisting aggression, curbing armed subversion, and defending state sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and security. China’s efforts in defense modernization are purely for self-defense. China spares no effort to avoid and curb war, and to solve international disputes and questions left over by history through peaceful means. However, in view of the fact that hegemonism and power politics still exist and are further developing, and in particular, the basis for the country’s peaceful reunification is seriously imperiled, China will have to enhance its capability to defend its sovereignty and security by military means.
– Building and consolidating national defense independently and through self-reliance. China stresses self-reliance as the basis for safeguarding state security, and insists on making national defense policies and development strategies independently. China does not seek alliance with any country or bloc of countries, nor does it participate in any military bloc. China builds its defense science, technology and industry and develops its weaponry through self-reliance.
– Building a lean and strong military force the Chinese way. In line with the general requirements of being qualified politically, competent militarily, and having a fine work style, a strong sense of discipline and adequate logistical support, the Chinese armed forces strive to strengthen their overall development and form a revolutionized, modernized and regularized people’s army with Chinese characteristics. China adheres to building the armed forces by enhancing their quality, strengthening the armed forces by relying on science and technology, and managing the armed forces according to law, and is endeavoring to transform its armed forces from a numerically superior to a qualitatively superior type, and from a manpower-intensive to a technology-intensive type, as well as to train high-quality military personnel and improve the modernization level of weaponry in order to comprehensively enhance the armed forces’ combat effectiveness.
– Subordinating national defense to, and placing it in the service of, the nation’s overall economic construction, and achieving their coordinated development. Developing the economy and strengthening national defense are two strategic tasks in China’s modernization efforts. The Chinese government insists that economic development be taken as the center, while defense work be subordinate to and in the service of the nation’s overall economic construction. Meanwhile, along with economic development, the state strives to enhance its national defense strength, to effec2tively support the armed forces in their efforts to improve their quality and to form a mechanism which enables national defense and economic development to promote each other and develop in harmony.
China possesses a small number of nuclear weapons entirely for self-defense. China undertakes not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states. China does not participate in any nuclear arms race, and never deploys any nuclear weapons beyond its borders. China maintains a small but effective nuclear counterattacking force in order to deter possible nuclear attacks by other countries. Any such attack will inevitably result in a retaliatory nuclear counterstrike by China. China has always kept the number of its nuclear weapons at a low level. The scale, composition and development of China’s nuclear force are in line with China’s military strategy of active defense. China’s nuclear force is under the direct command of the Central Military Commission (CMC). China is extremely cautious and responsible in the management of its nuclear weapons, and has established strict rules and regulations and taken effective measures to ensure the safety and security of its nuclear weapons.
Settlement of the Taiwan issue and realization of the complete re-unification of China embodies the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. The Chinese government upholds the basic principle of “peaceful reunification, and one country, two systems” for settling the Taiwan issue, carrying forward the eight propositions on the devel-opment of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits and the promotion of the peaceful reunification of China. The Chinese government has consistently adhered to the one-China principle and will never give in or compromise on the fundamental issues concern-ing state sovereignty and territorial integrity. The change of the Taian regional leaders can not change the fact that Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory. Settlement of the Taiwan issue is entirely an internal affair of China. The Chinese government firmly opposes any country selling arms to Taiwan, or entering into military alliances in any form with Taiwan, as well as outside interference in any way. The Chinese government will do its utmost to achieve peaceful reunification, and advocates settling differences through dialogues and negotiations on the basis of the one-China principle. However, if a grave turn of events occurs leading to the separation of Taiwan from China in any name, or if Taiwan is invaded and occupied by foreign countries, or if the Taiwan authorities refuse, sine die, the peaceful settlement of cross-Straits reunification through negotiations, then the Chinese government will have no choice but to adopt all drastic measures possible, including the use of force, to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and achieve the great cause of reunification. The “Taiwan independence” means provoking war again, and fomenting splits means relinquishing peace across the Straits. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unswervingly takes the will of the state as its supreme will and the national interests as its supreme interests. It has the absolute determination, confidence, ability and means to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will never tolerate, condone or remain indifferent to the realization of any scheme to divide the motherland.
|Structure and Organization of the Armed ForcesThe armed forces of the PRC are composed of the PLA, both the active and reserve components, the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force and the militia. The CMC of the PRC directs and assumes unified command of the nation’s armed forces. The Ministry of National Defense under the State Council directs and administers national de-fense work.The active components of the PLA are the country’s standing army, which mainly undertake the task of defensive military operations, and help to maintain social order, if necessary, in accordance with the law. Its basic organizational structures can be categorized into the general headquarters/departments, the services and arms and the military area commands.
– The general headquarters/departments. The PLA’s general headquarters/departments system is composed of the General Staff Headquarters, the General Political Department, the General Logistics Department and the General Armaments Department, which are placed under the leadership of the CMC. The CMC, through these four general headquar-ters/departments, directs and commands all the military area commands and the services and arms. The routine work of the Ministry of National Defense is handled, respectively, by these four general headquarters/departments. The General Staff Headquarters is the leading organ of all military work of the nation’s armed forces. It organizes and leads the military construction of the nation’s armed forces, and or-ganizes and commands their military operations. Under it there are departments in charge of operations, intelligence, training, adjutant and force structure, mobilization, etc. The General Political Department is the leading organ of all po-litical work of the nation’s armed forces. It administers the armed forces’ Party work, and organizes their political work. Under it there are departments in charge of Party affairs, personnel, publicity, security, etc. The General Logistics Department organizes and directs the armed forces’ logistics construction and logistical support. Under it there are departments in charge of financial affairs, quartermaster, health administration, military transportation, materials and POLs, capital construction and barracks, auditing, etc. The General Armaments Department organizes and directs the weaponry and equipment construction work of the armed forces. Under it there are departments in charge of planning; armaments for Navy, military aviation and strategic equipment; Army equipment research, development and procurement; general equipment support; electronics and information infrastructure, equipment and technology coop-eration, etc.
– The services and arms. The PLA is composed of three services – the Army, Navy and Air Force – and an independent arm, the Second Artillery Force. The Army has such arms as the infantry, artillery, armor, engineering, communications, anti-chemical warfare and Army aviation, as well as other specialized units. The Navy has such arms as the surface, submarine, naval aviation, coastal defense and marine corps, as well as other specialized units. The Air Force has such arms as the aviation, surface-to-air missile and antiaircraft artillery, radar, and airborne, as well as other specialized units. The Second Artillery Force is composed of the strategic missile, conventional missile, and other specialized units.
The PLA has the Academy of Military Science (AMS), the National Defense University (NDU), and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). The AMS is the PLA’s highest-level research institute and center of military science. The NDU and the NUDT are the two institutions of higher learning directly under the CMC. The former is mainly responsible for the education and training of senior commanding and staff officers and researchers, while the latter is mainly responsible for the education and training of senior scientists and engineers, and specialized commanding officers.
The PLA’s reserve force is a force with its preset organizational structure, with the reserve personnel as the base and active personnel as the backbone. The reserve force, which is incorporated into the PLA’s order of battle, receives military training in peacetime according to relevant regulations, and helps to maintain social order, if necessary, in accordance with the law. In wartime, it may be called into active service in pursuance of a state mobilization order.
The Chinese People’s Armed Police Force undertakes the task of maintenance of security entrusted by the state. It is under the dual leadership of the State Council and the CMC, and consists of internal security forces, and gold mine, forest, water and power, and transportation security forces.
The militia is a component of the state’s armed forces. The militiamen and women, under the command of military organs, perform combat readiness support and defensive operations, and help to maintain social order. The General Staff Headquarters is in charge of nationwide militia work. Each military area command is responsible for the militia work under its jurisdiction. Each provincial command exercises leadership and command over the militia in its region.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) decides on general or partial mobilization, and the State Council and the CMC jointly direct mobilization preparation and implementation. In November 1994, the State Commission for National Defense Mobilization was established. The Commission is a consultant and coordinating body in charge of nationwide defense mobilization under the leadership of the State Council and the CMC. Its major tasks are to carry out the military strategy of active defense, organize and implement the state’s defense mobilization, and coordinate the relations between economic and military affairs, the armed forces and the government, and manpower and materials support in defense mobilization, so as to enhance national defense strength and the ability to shift from a peacetime to a wartime footing.
In peacetime the state conducts mobilization preparation and integrates mobilization of the armed forces, the national economy, civil air defense, national defense transportation and other fields into the state’s overall development plan and program. Mobilization of the armed forces entails the measures and actions taken by the state to turn the armed forces from a peacetime to a wartime footing. Mobilization of the national economy entails the measures and actions taken by the state, in a well-organized and planned way, to shift the economic sectors and related institutions from a peacetime to a wartime footing. The major tasks of civil air defense mobilization include the directing, building and management of civil air defense projects; command, communications and warning systems, and evacuation areas; the protection of key economic targets; the conduct of civil air defense publicity and education; and the management of civil air defense funds and assets. The Air Defense Law of the PRC went into force on January 1, 1997. Defense transportation mobilization provides organizational, material and technological support to transportation and communications and construction during peacetime, and organizes and implements transportation and communications support during wartime.
All the state organs and armed forces, all political parties and mass organizations, and all enterprises, institutions and citizens, must fulfill the mobilization obligations during peacetime according to regulations stipulated by laws, and fulfill the prescribed mobilization tasks after the state has proclaimed a mobilization order. At present, in line with the principle of combining a peacetime with a wartime footing and the military with the civilian sectors, and having reserve soldiers among the people, China continues to perfect its defense mobilization system, strengthen its mobilization potential and capacity, and promote the modernization of defense mobilization work.
China’s defense education is guided by the principle which com-bines regular education with intensive education, universal education with advanced education, and textbook education with conduct education. Education in defense theories, spirit, and knowledge and skills is provided for all citizens. This aims to improve the citizens’ under-standing and knowledge of national defense, to develop their spirit of patriotism and to help them perform defense duties conscientiously.
According to the National Defense Law of the PRC, all state organs and armed forces, all political parties and mass organizations, and all enterprises and institutions are responsible for organizing and carrying out defense education in their respective regions, departments or units. The state and society at large launch defense education and publicity activities in various forms using mass media and other means. The armed forces make use of their military museums, military history exhibitions, halls of fame and memorial halls of heroes as bases for patriotism and defense education among the people. Schools and colleges, with the assistance of military organs, offer appropriate defense courses according to their levels and types, or add defense education to related courses. The state has made national defense education part of the education of the whole people, gradually bringing it into a socialized, diversified, regularized and institutionalized pattern.
The Chinese government has consistently stuck to the principle of strict control, management and supervision of defense spending. It has established a complete administrative and regulatory system. China’s defense budget and final accounts are examined and approved by the NPC. The state and armed forces’ auditing organs exercise auditing and supervision of the total defense budget, itemized budgets and the budgets for various departments, as well as the entire process of execution of these budgets.
China’s defense expenditure falls into the following categories: personnel expenses, costs for maintenance of activities, and costs for equipment. Personnel expenses mainly cover the pay, food and clothing of officers, non-ranking cadres, enlisted men and civilian employees. Costs for maintenance of activities mainly cover training, construction and maintenance of facilities and running expenses. Costs for equipment mainly cover research, experimentation, procurement, maintenance, transportation and storage. China’s defense expenditure covers not only the active forces, but also the militia and reserve forces. Support for some retired officers, the education of the children of military personnel, and other social spendings are also provided in the defense expenditure.
China’s annual defense expenditures in 1998 and 1999 were RMB 93.47 billion yuan and 107.67 billion yuan, respectively, and that for 2000 is RMB 121.29 billion yuan (see Table below). The annual increase in defense expenses went or will go for the most part to cover the increased spending for carrying out their routine duties and operations after the armed forces have ceased commercial activities; increased spending for the placement of retired officers and their pensions; increased spending for pay and subsidy raises for military personnel to keep their living standards in step with the nation’s social and economic development and with the increase of the per capita in-comes of urban and rural residents; and increased spending for maintaining a garrison in Macao.
Overall, China’s defense expenditure has remained at a fairly low level. In 1998 and 1999, the proportion of defense spending in the total state financial expenditure was 8.66% and 8.20%, respectively, and that in 2000 is 8.29%, all lower than those in 1997 or earlier (see Chart 1). In terms of US dollars, China’s annual defense expenditure in 2000 is US$ 14.60 billion, which is only 5% of the USA’s defense spending, 30% of Japan’s, 40% of UK’s, 48% of France’s, and 64% of Germany’s (see Chart 2). In addition, the percentage of China’s defense spending in its gross domestic product (GDP) is also lower than those of the USA, the Republic of Korea (ROK), India, UK, France and some other countries (See Chart 3).
Chart 1 The Percentage of China’s Defense Expenditure in the Total State Fi-nancial Expenditure 1995-2000
Chart 2 Comparison of Defense Expenditures of Some Countries in 2000
Note: The exchange rate used here is based on that announced by China’s State Admini-stration of Exchange Control this year, which is US$ 1.0≈RMB 8.28 yuan.
Chart 3 The Percentage of Defense Expenditure in the GDP of Some Countries in 1999
Note: The above data are taken from defense, financial or other government reports pub-lished by the said countries.
Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense
China’s fundamental aim in developing science, technology and industry for national defense is to satisfy the basic demands of national defense, guarantee the production and supply of military equipment, and raise the level of national defense modernization.
Since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, the country, with a relatively small input and within a relatively short period of time, has built a comparatively complete defense science, technology and industry system independently through self-reliance, basically meeting the requirements for transforming the PLA from a simple ground force into an integrated armed service comprising the Army, Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force. In the field of sophisticated technology, the successful development of atomic bombs, missiles and man-made satellites has made China one of the few countries in the world with its own nuclear weapons and space technology. In the field of conventional equipment, China has made a fundamental shift from copying to independent production, giving a powerful boost to the modernization of the PLA’s weaponry.
To meet the demands of the development of the socialist market economy, and set up a new defense science, technology and industry system with topnotch efficiency, China has carried out foundamental structural reforms. In March 1998, a new Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense was set up, to act as the leading department of the State Council in this regard, responsible for carrying out disciplinary management like policies, laws and regulations, plans, standards, and supervision in defense science, technology and industry. In July 1999, the corporations of five military industries, involved in nuclear, astronautics, aeronautics, ship-building and weapons sectors respectively, were reorganized into ten corporations, namely, China National Nuclear Corporation, China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, China Aerospace Machinery and Electronics Corporation, China Aviation Industry Corporation I, China Aviation Industry Corporation II, China State Shipbuilding Corporation, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, China North Industries Group Corporation and China South Industries Group Corporation. Through this reform, the market competition mechanism has been introduced into China’s national defense science, technology and industry, the structure and layout of which have been gradually improved. In addition, the contingents of military industry have been streamlined, the capability of shifting from a peacetime to a wartime footing has been enhanced and strenuous efforts have been made to establish a new military industry system of an open type.
In developing its defense science, technology and industry, China adheres to the principle of reliance on science and education, makes full use of the country’s scientific and technological capacity to develop military research and production, strengthens cooperation and exchanges in this field with other countries worldwide, promotes development of new and high technology weapons and equipment, accelerates the pace of application of scientific research findings, and strives to supply arms of high performance, reliable quality and complete sets. Meanwhile, China’s defense science, technology and industry, by strongly promoting the peaceful use of military industry technology and bringing the advantages of military industry into full play, gives priority to the development of civilian-use nuclear energy, aerospace, aviation, and shipbuilding industries, and thereby forms a benign circle of mutual military-civilian progress. Now, China’s defense science, technology and industry has become an important force in the country’s national economic development.
China’s land borders total more than 22,000 km in length; its mainland coastline stretches for some 18,000 km; and it neighbors more than 20 countries, either contiguous or separated by stretches of sea. The Chinese government pursues a policy of good neighborliness and friendship. It defends and administers its land borders and territorial seas, safeguards the country’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and secures both its land and sea borders, strictly in accordance with treaties and agreements it has signed with its neighboring countries, and the United Nations maritime conventions. China advocates settling pending and unresolved border and maritime demarcation issues through negotiations, attaches importance to the setting up of a mutual confidence-building mechanism in border regions, and opposes the use of force or provocative acts. China has solved or basically solved boundary issues left over by history with most of its adjacent countries. In the 1960s, China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and Myanmar settled their border issues through negotiations. In the 1990s, China signed new border treaties or agreements with Laos, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Viet Nam, re-demarcating or basically demarcating the respective boundaries. The borders between China and Laos and Russia were resurveyed; the field survey of the border between China and Kazakhstan has been completed; the survey of the border between China and Kyrgyzstan has started, and the survey of the border between China and Viet Nam is about to commence. China has signed treaties, agreements and un-derstandings respectively with the DPRK, Mongolia, Russia, Myan-mar, Viet Nam and Laos on border control measures, setting up confidence-building measures, preventing dangerous military activities and promoting border cooperation, jointly maintaining frontier order within a bilateral or multilateral legal framework and preserving peace and stability on the borders. In the course of its vigorous development of various kinds of cooperative relations with its neighboring countries, China has opened more than 200 ports along its land and sea frontiers.
China exercises a joint military-civilian land and sea border man-agement system, headed by the military and with a sharing of responsibilities between the military and the local authorities. The State Council and the CMC exercise unified leadership over land and sea border defense. The Chinese government places the utmost importance on the formulation of laws concerning frontier defense. It has enacted a series of laws and regulations, and corresponding local laws and regulations have been put in place by concerned provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government. The concerned departments of the state have promulgated special regulations with regard to exit and entry control and the management of land and sea ports. Border control departments conduct publicity and education activities aimed at enlightening the people of the frontier areas as to the nature of the boundaries, the concept of frontier defense, and border policies and laws. They also wage special battles to crack down on smuggling and narcotics, and hit hard at transnational, trans-border criminal activities in accordance with the law.
The Macao Garrison
Following the Chinese government’s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, on December 20, 1999, it resumed sovereignty over Macao, an important symbol of which is the stationing of a PLA garrison in Macao to fulfill defense duties. It is also an important guarantee for safeguarding national sovereignty and security, as well as the long-term peace and stability of Macao.
The stationing of the PLA garrison in Macao was carried out strictly in accordance with the provisions of the law. The Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) of the PRC, passed by the First Session of the Eighth NPC in March 1993, clearly states that the Central People’s Government of China is responsible for the defense of the MSAR. In June 1999, the Tenth Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth NPC deliberated and passed the Garrison Law of the MSAR of the PRC, which officially went into effect on December 20, 1999. The provisions of the Garrison Law state that the Macao Garrison will not interfere in the local affairs of the MSAR, but if the government of the MSAR, in a time of need, requests the Central People’s Government for the assistance of the Macao Garrison in the maintenance of social order or in case of disaster, the Garrison is obligated to render the necessary assistance in complince with the instructions of the CMC. The Garrison’s tasks are to fulfill defense duties, manage military installations, handle matters concerning foreign military affairs, and ensure Macao’s security and stability. The expenses of the Macao Garrison are undertaken by the Central People’s Government. The Macao Garrison practices a per-sonnel rotation system. The Garrison Law also contains regulations governing the obligations and discipline of the members of the Garrison, as well as judicial jurisdiction.
The PLA Macao Garrison, subordinate to the leadership of the CMC, is mainly composed of ground forces, with some naval and air force personnel on its staff. In carrying out its defense duties, the Ma-cao Garrison must observe the national laws as well as those of the MSAR, and uphold the rules and regulations of the PLA. Following its stationing in Macao, the Macao Garrison has strictly adhered to the law in the aspects of its garrisoning, administration, conduct and man-agement, undertaken arduous training, observed strict discipline, and strengthened in an all-round way the building of the force along the line of regularization. By adhering to the regulations of the Garrison Law, the Garrison has set up normal working relations with the government of the Special Region and has timely established channels for contacts with Macao society, thereby promoting the Macao people’s understanding of and trust in the Garrison.
The PLA Macao Garrison will persevere in the guideline of “one country, two systems,” fulfill its defense responsibilities efficiently and perform every item of its duties under the Garrison Law, so as to contribute to the country’s security and Macao’s stability and development.
|Military Legal SystemIt is stipulated in the National Defense Law of the PRC that the armed forces of the PRC shall abide by the Constitution and laws. To meet the requirements of the development of the country’s legal system building, China’s armed forces have implemented the guideline of governing the armed forces according to law, strengthened military legal system building and gradually brought the building of national defense and armed forces onto the track of the legal system.China’s military legislation has significantly accelerated since 1998. The NPC Standing Committee has enacted the Law of the PRC on Garrisoning the Macao Special Administrative Region, providing legal basis for the Macao Garrison to station its troops and perform its defense duties according to law. The revision of the Law of the PRC on Military Service System has further improved China’s military service system. The State Council and the CMC have revised the Regulations on the Service of the PLA Soldiers on Active Service, and the CMC has stipulated more than 40 items of military regulations such as the Regulations of the PLA on Institutional Education and the Regulations of the PLA on Border Defense Duties, providing full legal guarantee for the strengthening of the building of national defense and armed forces, the promotion of various military reforms and the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of the officers and soldiers. The PLA general headquarters/departments, the services and arms and the military area commands have formulated over 300 items of military rules, further advancing the course of governing the armed forces according to law.
Based on the relevant laws of the state, China’s armed forces have formed a military judicial system which is composed of the military courts, military procuratorates and internal security organs, respectively exercising the trial, procuratorial and investigating powers in accordance with the law with regard to criminal cases within the armed forces. The military courts are special people’s courts set up by the state in the armed forces and consist of three levels: the PLA, the military area command and the corps. The military courts independently exercise trial power in accordance with the law. The trial procedures are the same as those for ordinary people’s courts. A military court at the next higher level is the court of appeal for that at the next lower level. The military courts accept criminal cases within the armed forces and may accept other cases with authorization from the Supreme People’s Court. The military procuratorates are special people’s procuratorates set up by the state in the armed forces and consist of three levels, which are the same as those for the military courts. They independently exercise procuratorial power in accordance with the law. A military procuratorate at a higher level directs the procuratorial work of that at a lower level. The military procuratorates, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedures Law, assume the responsibility of examining criminal cases investigated by the internal security organs and deciding whether to approve an arrest or to initiate a prosecution; directly accepting and investigating criminal cases involving crimes committed by taking office advantage and deciding whether to make an arrest or to initiate a prosecution; exercising supervision over the legality of the investigatory and judicial activities of the internal security organs and the military courts. The president of the PLA Military Court and the procurator-general of the PLA Military Procuratorate are appointed or removed by the NPC Standing Committee. The internal security organs, set up in the political organs of the PLA units at or above the regiment level, carry out investigation of criminal cases within the armed forces in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedures Law. China’s military judicial organs shall render criminal punishment, in accordance with the Criminal Law of the PRC revised in 1997 and the four Geneva conventions and the two 1977 additional protocols to which China has all acceded, on military servicemen for their acts in violation of international humanitarian law such as maltreating prisoners of war, injuring, killing or plundering innocent residents in times of war.
The military lawyers in the armed forces and their legal services are administered in line with the national lawyers system. Military lawyers must obtain state-set qualifications after passing uniform national examinations. The armed forces are manned with military lawyers at three levels: the corps, the division and the brigade. At present, there are 272 military legal advisory sections with 1,688 full-time or part-time lawyers. Military lawyers serve as legal advisors to the commanding officers and organs in their decision-making, act as defender when accepting authorization by criminal defendants or act as agent when accepting authorization by military units or servicemen.
Military legal knowledge has been incorporated into the military education and training of the PLA units and the curriculum of military academies and schools. In accordance with the unified national plan, China’s armed forces have launched three five-year campaigns from 1986 to 2000 to popularize legal knowledge. Law courses are taught to cadets and officers in various military academies and schools, covering national laws, military regulations and rules, fundamental legal knowledge and international humanitarian law.
In September 1997, China announced an additional reduction of 500,000 military personnel over the next three years. By the end of 1999, this reduction had been achieved, and the adjustment and reform of the structure and organization of the armed forces had been basically completed.
Reducing military personnel by compressing the scale of the armed forces. The PLA was reduced to less than 2.5 million by downsizing the Army, restructuring the naval and air units, deactivating some units with outdated equipment, restructuring logistical support and equipment management systems, military academies and schools and training establishments, and dismantling and merging internal organs of the units at and above the corps level to cut a total of 500,000 persons. Of all the services, the Army was cut by 18.6%; the Navy, 11.4%; the Air Force, 12.6%; and the Second Artillery Force, 2.9%.
Making the leading organs at and above the corps level leaner by streamlining the organizational structure. By undergoing readjustment of functions, and cutting and merging departments, internal bodies and personnel are reduced. By dismantling and merging subdivisions in the PLA general headquarters/departments, military area commands and services and arms, both the subordinate sections of the specialized organs and personnel were reduced by about 20%. Following this, the total number of organs at and above the corps level was reduced by over 1,500, making the command structure leaner, more agile and efficient. Over 290 business management bodies engaged in commercial activities were either completely dismantled or handed over to local governments.
Optimizing the PLA’s structure through readjustment. The Army field troops deactivated some corps headquarters and a number of divisions and regiments, thus further improving the organizational structure. The Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force dismantled or merged some of their organic units through elimination of outdated equipment and restructuring. After readjustment, the Army field troops have become more integrated, smaller, lighter and more versatile. The services and arms featuring higher technology make up a higher percentage of the armed forces. Their structure is further optimized.
Straightening out relations within the PLA through structural reform. The General Armament Department has been set up to readjust the weaponry and equipment administration system. Centralized management for the major items of weaponry has been achieved. The weaponry and equipment construction has been placed under unified leadership and the across-the-board and life-cycle management strengthened. The logistical support system has been readjusted. A joint logistical support system based on military area commands, which combines area support with organic support and general supply with specialized supply, has been established. These have greatly enhanced the all-service integrated and intensive support capability. The reform of educational and training institutions has resulted in the reduction of military academies and schools, expansion in the scope of individual institutions, upgrading in officer training and greater percentages of officers selected for training. The military academies and schools are moving in the new direction of enlarged scale, modernized instruction, standardized management and socialized logistical support.
The Chinese armed forces have all along given priority to ideological and political work. In the new historical conditions, the tasks in this regard are: To provide powerful spiritual motivation to win in future high-tech wars, and to provide a reliable political guarantee for preserving the nature of the people’s army, its distinctive character and style of work.
The ideological and political work in the Chinese armed forces aims at raising the overall quality of the officers and men and producing a new generation of officers and men, who are strong ideologically and politically, competent militarily, knowledgeable in science and culture, and fit physically and mentally. To achieve this, the improvement of political quality must be integrated with the improvement of overall quality; the study of advanced ideology with the grasp of general knowledge; the educational guidance with practice; and the strict discipline with greater self-control. To win future wars, the Chinese armed forces resolutely give play to their power in ideological and political work, educate officers and men with correct ideological theory, encourage them with a lofty revolutionary spirit, nurture them in a good political environment, and discipline them strictly with rules and regulations. The Chinese armed forces constantly strive to increase the ideological consciousness, dauntless spirit, sturdy style of work and iron discipline of their officers and men, and to increase their awareness of modernization, science and technology and creativity, and to raise the all-round fighting capability of the armed forces.
The Chinese armed forces adhere to the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China and persist in making it their aim to serve the people heart and soul, placing the interests of the state and people above everything else and carrying forward the patriotism and revolutionary heroism of the rank and file. They cultivate in their officers and men a firm faith in revolutionary ideals and a spirit of sacrifice and dedication, foster in them a correct outlook on the world, life and values, educate them to support the reform, to have a correct regard for the interests adjustment arising in the reform, to persist in building the armed forces through diligence and thrift, and to always maintain the armed forces’ true political qualities of arduous struggle.
The PLA has always attached strategic importance to military training. Proceeding from the needs of real fighting, the PLA conducts arduous and strict training of its troops. Through decades of development and continuous reforms and carrying forward its good traditions, a unique and relatively complete system of troop training and institutional education has taken shape.
In the late 1990s, the PLA, in order to adapt to profound changes in the world’s military affairs and win high-tech local wars, actively engaged in military training featuring new technology, and energetically carried out military training reforms. In the development and innovation of military theories, new conditions and characteristics of high-tech local wars have been studied in depth. New disciplines in military training have been set up. Operational training theories, especially for combined operations, have been continuously improved. Newly-revised doctrines for operations and battles have been promulgated to adapt to the new situation. In updating training programs, emphasis has been laid on the learning of and training in new knowledge, skills, equipment and warfare. A new training program system has taken shape, with the focus on enhancing the level of difficulty and intensity of training. In improving training methods and means, the practice of base training, and simulated and network training have been actively promoted. A combined tactical training base system suitable for various combat training requirements has been established, and the linking of campaign and tactical models with weapon system simulators as well as a network linking models of services and arms and specialized models have been basically completed. In addition, a distributive interactive operational command and control simulation system, new equipment operation training simulators and a computer-aided training system have been widely applied. A military training information network covering all the major units and academies and schools of the PLA has been set up. To improve the training management mechanism, efforts have been made to strictly carry out the PLA’s Military Training Regulations and other training statutes, conduct regularized training, and enhance the organization, leadership and administration of military training consonant with the new situation arising from the state and armed forces’ reform. In recent years, joint and combined arms exercises have been meticulously organized in the Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing and Guangzhou military area commands, greatly raising the comprehensive quality of officers and men and the overall fighting capability of the troops under high-tech conditions.
With the basic objective of training new high-quality military personnel, and bearing in mind the needs of defense and armed forces modernization in the 21st century, the PLA has set up an institutional education system with Chinese characteristics. In the structural reform in 1999, the PLA’s system of academies and schools underwent a structural reform, canceling, merging and reconstructing some institutions. As a result, the original two categories of institutions for training commanding and technical officers have been replaced by two categories of institutions for training officer candidates and in-service officers. Five universities have been established – the universities of national defense science and technology, information engineering, science and engineering, naval engineering, and air force engineering. Officer training has shifted to a two-track system-this is to gradually realize the targets of the military providing such training while being supported by national education. The training of its postgraduates is increasing on a yearly basis. The PLA is making an effort to have all officer candidates receive higher education by 2010. Some officer candidates, who have received regular (four-year) college education and basic military training at comprehensive educational institutions, will then receive professional training at specialized institutions in accordance with their future posts. New specialties have been brought into being by integrating highly technical command specialties with relevant specialties, and some officers will receive integrated command and technical training. Middle-level commanding officers will receive integrated military and political training. Commanding and staff officers will receive training in the same institutions, and medical and political officers throughout the PLA will receive unified training. Through readjustment and reform, the total number of military academies and schools has been reduced by about one-third, their structure has become more comprehensive and their scale has been expanded, and the training level, quality and benefits have been markedly improved.
The PLA regards logistical construction as an important part of the effort toward comprehensively enhancing combat effectiveness and meeting the needs of modern warfare. On the principle of combining a peacetime with a wartime footing, combining the army with the people, overall planning, emphasis on key points, scientific management, and diligence and thrift, it strives to provide adequate logistical support for army building, operations and other activities.
Since the founding of New China, the logistical work of the Chinese armed forces has been making progress constantly. Logistics for the Army alone has evolved into combined logistics for all the services and arms. Simple and backward logistical equipment has evolved into diversified equipment backed by modern technology and some high technology. Logistical support capability for military operations in ordinary conditions has evolved into that under modern, especially high-tech, conditions.
In the 1990s, the logistical work of the Chinese armed forces focused on meeting the needs of providing logistical support during local wars in high-tech conditions and strengthening the logistical operational readiness. Logistical work supporting emergency mobile forces has been quickened. Logistical support forces for emergency mobile operations has been organized. And the logistical support capabilities for crisis response have been enhanced. Investment in war preparation projects has been increased. The scope, distribution and structure of war material reserves have been properly adjusted. And by reliance on science and technology, logistical support has been invigorated, so as to continuously raise the level of the modernization in logistical support. Marked progress has been made in the research and development of highly technical and specialized logistical equipment to provide the armed forces with flexible and effective field facilities for logistical supply, sustainment support, medical aid and emergency repair, surface replenishment, air refueling and maneuverability support for the Second Artillery Force. In January 2000, the Chinese armed forces started to practice the joint logistics system, which is based on military area commands by the combination of regional support with organic system support and the combination of general supply support with special supply support. Unified general-purpose material supply and service support are provided by military area commands, and special material supply and service support are provided by the services and arms through their organic channels.
To keep pace with the development of the socialist market economy and meet the needs of the armed forces’ quality construction, the Chinese armed forces have carried out a series of reforms in logistical work. In December 1998, the PLA and the Armed Police Force ceased to engage in commercial activities. Most of the more than 6,000 enterprises run by the military were closed down or handed over to local authorities. In July 1998, in conformity with the requirements of the military insurance system stipulated in the Na-tional Defense Law of the PRC, the State Council and the CMC jointly promulgated the Program for the Implementation of the Military Insurance System. A military insurance system with Chinese characteristics is gradually taking shape. In addition, the soldiers’ casualty insurance system and the demobilized soldiers’ medical insurance system were implemented in 1998 and 1999, respectively. In recent years, the Chinese armed forces have endeavored, through continuous explorations, to realize a socialized service system by contracting out certain logistical support items, utilizing market resources and streamlining military support establishments, so as to raise the cost-effectiveness of defense expenditure. From January 2000, mess management, barracks maintenance and post exchange service will be gradually contracted out in organizations at or above the corps level and military academies and hospitals in large- and medium-sized cities.
Weaponry and Equipment
Consistently placing weaponry construction in a prominent position, the Chinese armed forces strive to modernize military equipment and enhance their operational capability for self-defense.
Since 1949 China has adhered to the principle of focussing on self-reliance while actively drawing on advanced foreign military technology. It has made great achievements in modernizing its weap-onry, providing a powerful support for building a modernized army and safeguarding state sovereignty and security. The basic realization of standardization and serialization of the Army and general-purpose armaments has enhanced the capabilities of fire repression, ground assault, battlefield manoeuverability, battlefield intelligence and reconnaisance, operational command and protection, and has thus met the demand for combined operations. The Navy has made great pro-gress in enhancing missile availability, three-dimensional operation capability and information capability, and it thus has acquired the ca-pability of offshore defensive operations. The Air Force has acquired an all-weather, all-aerospace and round-the-clock operational capability of a rather high level, and is being equipped with certain high-tech weaponry. The Second Artillery Force has been equipped with short-range, medium-range, long-range and intercontinental missile systems, and has the capability of rapid reaction and mobile operations.
To meet the requirements of an evolving socialist market economy and the restructuring of government organs, the PLA has gradually set up a new weaponry management system since 1998. Based on the strategy of invigorating the armed forces by reliance on science and technology, Chinese armed forces are quickening the pace of new weapon R and D and pushing the development of their armaments by means of scientific and technological innovations. They attach importance to giving play to the role of the market mechanism by encouraging appropriate competition. They are gradually improving their equipment ordering system, and building and improving the research and acquisition contracting system. A system featuring across-the-board and life-cycle management will be gradually practiced, which would raise the quality and control the life-cycle cost of high-tech weapons, and increase the overall effectiveness of weaponry construction. In addition, laws and regulations concerning equipment administration and procedures for equipment work will be improved that fit in with the new management system so that the equipment work will be accomplished in an orderly, coordinated and highly efficient way.
Faced with the world’s military developments and the characteristics of modern warfare, the Chinese armed forces will, in the course of modernizing their weaponry, devote themselves to transforming semi-mechanized and mechanized weapon systems to automatized and informationized systems as soon as possible, so that they can possess weapons as advanced as possible and assure the accomplishment of the sacred missions assigned to them by the nation.
China is a country vulnerable to natural disasters. To help cope with floods from big rivers, droughts and storms in some areas, and mud-rock flows and landslides along railways and highways, the PLA takes an active part in disaster alleviation projects organized by the local governments. During the past two years, it has participated in building over 20,000 km flood-prevention dikes, over 30 reservoirs, over 300 km anti-tide dams, and more than 300 irrigation and drainage pumping stations, including such comprehensive projects as the Xiaolangdi on the Yellow River, the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River Valley, rainfall flow concentration in Gansu Province, and sand prevention and control in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It has played a positive role in supporting the national economy and sustainable social development. To participate in disaster relief work, the general headquarters/departments, military area commands, provincial military commands and lower-level commands have all assigned personnel to the national and local rescue and relief command organs, to coordinate the command relationship between the military and local governments, formulate rescue and relief measures, establish disaster situation reporting systems, manage relief assets, and implement organization and coordination of disaster relief in a flexible, rapid, efficient and accurate way. The participating units all have their own rescue plans. Routine rescue rehearsals are conducted to keep boats, planes, motor vehicles and other disaster relief assets in readiness for immediate action in case of any disaster. The past two years have witnessed more than 500,000 PLA officers and men participating in more than 100 rescue and relief operations. In particular, in the fight against the floods from the Yangtze, Nenjiang and Songhua rivers in 1998, the PLA contributed more than 300,000 officers and men, as well as 12,500 motor vehicles, 1,170 boats and ships and over 200 planes, repaired or reinforced dikes and dams over 10,000 km long, closed breaches and remove dangers at more than 14,000 places. They also rescued and evacuated more than three million victims, making outstanding contributions to the protection of the people’s lives and the state property. The PLA, while engaging in disaster relief, has also taken an active part in post-disaster rehabilitation by raising donations and helping disaster-stricken people to resume production, rebuild homes and overcome difficulties. In the past two years, the armed forces have helped disaster-stricken people to build more than 40,000 houses, and donated over 26 million items of clothing and quilts and other materials worth more than RMB 30 million yuan.
|Military ExchangesChina handles its military relations independently, and conducts military exchanges and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Military diplomacy should serve the state’s overall diplomacy and the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. In pursuance of this purpose the PLA has actively engaged in external contacts and exchanges in a flexible and practical manner, and made sustained efforts for enhanced mutual trust, friendship and cooperation with armed forces of other countries, and for regional and world peace, stability and development.Over the past two years, China has sent more than 70 high-level military delegations to over 60 countries, and hosted some 160 high-level foreign military delegations. In addition, the Chinese military has conducted friendly and mutually beneficial exchanges and cooperation with its foreign counterparts in the technical and other specialized fields. In this regard it has dispatched more than 150 technical or other specialized delegations abroad, while over 180 foreign military delegations of the similar nature have visited China.
China has improved its military relations with its neighbouring countries. With active high-level military contacts, the bilateral military relations between China and Russia have developed smoothly. Chinese armed forces have made great efforts to promote ties with the armed forces of Northeast Asian countries, and made positive contributions to the stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia as a whole. China’s military contacts with countries in Southeast, South and Central Asia have maintained their momentum. At the same time, China has further strengthened its military relations with countries in West Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania, as well as those in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Chinese armed forces have continued to provide assistance to their counterparts in developing countries in personnel training, equipment, logistical materials, and medical care, and will seek to widen the scope of contacts in the future.
In May 1999, China postponed its high-level military exchange programs with the United States in response to the serious incident of bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by the US-led NATO. Following the gradual improvement of the relations between the two countries, normal military contacts between China and the US have resumed. The defense ministries of the two countries held defense consultations at the vice-ministerial level in January 2000. The US defense secretary visited China in July of the same year. China has always attached importance to the development of military relations with European countries, and has exchanged or maintained high-level visits and conducted military exchanges with them at various levels.
The past two years have seen good-will visits by Chinese naval vessels to New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Tanzania and South Africa, and visits to China by naval vessels from France, Russia, Australia, Malaysia, Belgium, Canada and Turkey. In addition, China has sent many delegations or groups of military experts to other countries for visits, training, study or research, and hosted many similar foreign delegations or groups. These exchanges of visits have covered many fields, ranging from military education, training and management to scientific research, academic study, culture and sports, and medical care. In August 1999, the PLA participated in the Second World Military Games held in Croatia.
New progress has been made in cooperation between the PLA and foreign armed forces in military education and training. In the past two years, more than 200 Chinese military personnel have been sent to study in Russia, Germany, France, Britain, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Kuwait, while nearly 1,000 military personnel from Africa, Latin America and Europe and other Asian countries have come to study in China.
Regional Security Cooperation
China supports regional security dialogue and cooperation at different levels, through various channels, in different forms and in a step-by-step manner pursuant to the principles of participation on an equal footing and reaching consensus through consultation in the spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences. China main-tains that the multilateral security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region should be oriented toward and characterised by mutual respect instead of the strong bullying the weak, cooperation instead of confrontation, and seeking consensus instead of imposing one’s own will on others. China has participated in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region (CSCAP), Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), Academic Symposium of China, the United States and Japan, and other activities for multilateral security dialogue and cooperation. China stands for enhancing mutual understanding and trust between countries and promoting regional peace and stability through these important governmental and non-governmental channels of discussions on security issues.
The ARF is the only pan-Asia-Pacific official multilateral security dialogue and cooperation forum at present. Representatives of the Chinese ministries of foreign affairs and national defense have attended all the ARF foreign ministers and senior officials’ meetings. They have also attended official or unofficial meetings on confidence-building measures, peace-keeping, maritime search and rescue, emergency rescue and disaster relief, preventive diplomacy, non-proliferation, and guiding principles within the framework of the ARF. In the past two years, China has hosted, successively in Beijing, the ARF Seminar on Tropical Hygiene and Prevention and Treatment of Tropical Infectious Diseases, the ARF Professional Training Program on China’s Security Policy, the 4th ARF Meeting of Heads of Defense Colleges, and the ARF Seminar on Defense Conversion Cooperation.
China holds that the ARF should continue to focus on confidence-building measures, explore new security concepts and methods, and discuss the question of preventive diplomacy. At the same time, it believes that the parties concerned should have a full discussion first on the concept, definition, principles and scope of preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region and reach consensus in this regard. China has actively advocated the development of multilateral cooperation in military medicine, military law and the conversion of military technologies and facilities for civilian use within the framework of the ARF. It has proposed to establish an ARF marine information and data center, encouraged exchange of high-level military visits and port calls by naval vessels, as well as exchanges of military personnel, and supported cooperation in emergency rescue and disaster relief, safety in maritime navigation and marine environmental protection.
China has been an active participant in the process of the CICA initiated by Kazakhstan, believing the purpose of the CICA as generally consistent with its security goals in Asia. It is of the view that the CICA should develop step by step with full consideration given to the regional peculiarities and diversities in Asia.
In 1996, China formally joined the CSCAP, and in 1997 established the CSCAP China Committee. And it has actively participated in the CSCAP activities.
Since the establishment of the NEACD in 1993, China has attended all its meetings, and in 1996 and 1999, hosted the fourth and ninth NEACD meetings in Beijing. China has also worked with other member states and succeeded in getting the NEACD to reach agreement on the guiding principles for cooperation between Northeast Asian countries.
China has established, with Russia, the United States, France, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some neighbouring countries and regional organizations, mechanisms for regular or irregular consultations on the issues of security, defense and arms control. Desirous of maintaining lasting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, officials and scholars from China’s Ministry of National Defense and other departments concerned have involved themselves more extensively and deeply in symposiums and other activities on Asia-Pacific security. This has promoted mutual understanding and trust between China and the countries concerned.
The Chinese government has always attached importance to confidence-building measures with neighbouring countries and has worked hard for their adoption. It has energetically advocated the conclusion of border treaties or agreements through talks between the parties concerned on an equal footing in accordance with the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and refraining from directing at any third party and threatening or harming other countries’ security and stability, so as to safeguard equal security for all the parties concerned, and regional peace and stability.
In April 1996, the heads of state of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan met in Shanghai for the first time and signed the Agreement on Confidence-Building in the Military Field Along the Border Areas. In April 1997, the heads of state of the five countries met again in Moscow and signed the Agreement on Mutual Reduction of Military Forces in the Border Areas. The agreement stipulates that each country should reduce its military forces deployed in the border areas to such a minimum level as to be compatible with the good-neighborly relations it enjoys with the other four countries in accordance with the principle of equal security. It reiterates that none of the contracting parties should use or threaten to use force against the others, nor should any of them seek military superiority unilaterally; that the military forces of one party deployed in the border areas shall not engage in any military activity to threaten any other party or prejudice the peace and stability of the border areas; and that the number of military personnel and the quantity of the main categories of weaponry and military technical equipment in the geographical areas as defined in the agreement should be reduced or restricted. In July 1998 and August 1999, respectively, the heads of state of the five countries met for the third and fourth times in Alma-Ata in Kazakhstan and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, where they signed joint state-ments. In July 2000, the heads of state of the five countries met for the fifth time in Dushanbe of Tajikistan. The President of Uzbekistan attended the meeting as an observer. The Dushanbe Statement signed after the meeting points out that the five countries are playing an increasingly important and positive role in safeguarding regional security and stability and are committed to making the “Shanghai Five” a regional mechanism for their multilateral cooperation in all fields. The five countries have decided to deepen cooperation in the political, diplomatic, economic and trade, military, military technology and other fields to consolidate regional security and stability, and to effectively implement all the clauses of the agreements they have signed concerning confidence-building in the military field and the mutual reduction of military forces along the border areas. They have made it clear that they will never allow any country to use their territory to conduct any activities detrimental to the sovereignty, security and public order of any of the five countries, and that they will support each other’s efforts in safeguarding their national independence, state sovereignty, territorial integrity and social stability.
In March 2000, the defense ministers of the five countries met in Astara of Kazakhstan for the first time. The joint communiqué signed after the meeting reiterates the determination of the five countries to develop their military and political relations and conduct friendly cooperation based on equality and mutual trust with due consideration to the interests of all the parties and their neighboring areas. It points out that such cooperation is not exclusive, nor is it directed at any third country or bloc of countries. The five countries stressed their firm opposition to interference in other countries’ internal affairs on the excuse of protecting ethnic or religious interests, or human rights. They declared that they would never tolerate national separatism, religious extremism or terrorism, and that they would resolutely oppose any activity by such forces on their respective territory against other countries. They pledged to jointly take effective measures to crack down on such activities so as to safeguard regional peace and stability. The five agreed that they would further study the possibility of strengthening confidence-building measures in the military field, promote cooperation between frontier departments, and jointly combat transnational crimes, stage joint exercises in preventing dangerous military activities, combating international terrorists and carrying out emergency rescue and disaster relief, share peace-keeping experiences and coordinate with each other in their peace-keeping operations.
In August 1995, China’s Ministry of National Defense and the Frontier Defense General Administration of the Federation of Russia signed the Sino-Russian Agreement on Frontier Defense Cooperation. Under the Agreement, the two sides shall cooperate with each other in frontier defense and make every effort to turn the boundary between China and Russia into one of peace, tranquility and friendship; exchange information in the interest of frontier defense cooperation; coordinate their measures to effectively guard their boundary and maintain order there; prevent accidental incidents or conflicts in the border areas; coordinate with each other in taking measures against illegal activities in the border areas; assist in the search for, detention and timely transfer of people crossing boundaries illegally, together with their transportation means and belongings; exchange experiences on organizing and implementing the defense of their national boundaries; and help each other with technical equipment for the defense of their national boundaries.
In November 1999, China’s Ministry of National Defense and the Frontier Guards Administrative Bureau of Mongolia signed the Sino-Mongolian Agreement on Cooperation in Frontier Defense. The Agreement stipulates that the two sides shall promote cooperation in frontier defense and make efforts to keep peace and stability on the boundary between China and Mongolia; exchange information in the interest of maintaining normal order in the border areas and other related information; discuss measures and share experiences in guarding and managing the border and maintaining normal order there; prevent accidental incidents or disputes in the border areas; crack down on illegal activities across the border, such as smuggling of weapons, trafficking in narcotics and other contrabands, robbery and theft; strengthen cooperation between boundary representative bodies of the two countries in handling border incidents through consultation, and assist each other in the search for and timely transfer of the people crossing boundaries illegally, together with their transportation means, livestock and other belongings; and inform each other of any possible natural disasters or epidemic diseases which may cause losses to the other and measures to be adopted to prevent them from crossing the boundary.
The relevant government departments and frontier forces of China have faithfully implemented the stipulations of the treaties and agreements, and actively promoted exchanges and cooperation with their counterparts of neighboring countries. They have dealt with boundary affairs in a timely manner and cracked down on illegal activities in the border areas together with their counterparts through communication and consultation mechanism, and frontier talks and meetings. With the gradual establishment and implementation of confidence-building measures, there has been a visible decrease in the number of boundary disputes and incidents, a normal order in the border areas has been effectively maintained, and a peaceful and friendly atmosphere has gradually prevailed along the boundary.
According to the UN Charter, the UN Security Council is conferred primary responsibility for the maintenance of world peace and security. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been committed to the maintenance of international peace and security. It attaches great importance to the United Nations and supports it in playing its due role in maintaining international peace and security under the guidance of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
In order to guarantee their success and sound development, UN peace-keeping operations must strictly adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, especially the principles of respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. No UN peace-keeping operations should be launched without the prior consent of the countries concerned. All UN peace-keeping forces should strictly observe neutrality and non-use of force except for self-defense. Peaceful means, rather than coercive measures, should be sought to settle disputes, such as mediation, good offices and negotiation. Double standards and military interference under the name of the UN should be rejected. Any decision on launching UN peace-keeping operations must be based on practicability and capabilities, and no peace-keeping operation should be launched when conditions are not ripe. Peace-keeping forces should not become a party to a conflict, which would be a deviation from the basic purpose of peace-keeping operations.
Adhering to the above principles, China has participated actively in UN peace-keeping activities. So far China has sent 522 military observers, liaison officers or advisers and 800 men in two batches from engineering units to the UN peace-keeping operations, including the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ), United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL), United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) and United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).
At the moment, 38 Chinese military observers are still serving with UNTSO, UNIKOM, MINURSO and UNAMSIL. In January 2000, at the request of the United Nations, the Chinese government dispatched 15 civilian policemen to the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor, the first time for China to send civilian policemen to UN peace-keeping operations. In addition, the Chinese government has continued to take part in the UN’s stand-by arrangements.
Meanwhile, four Chinese have laid down their lives, and dozens have been wounded in UN peace-keeping operations in order to support the United Nations in fulfilling the mission entrusted to it by the UN Charter.
|Recent years have witnessed a series of negative developments in the area of international arms control and disarmament, which have undermined the sound momentum international disarmament efforts had gathered following the end of the Cold War. The international community is confronted with grave challenges in its efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and promote disarmament, and with the emerging danger of a new arms race, which has become a cause for serious concern.The Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of arms control and disarmament, and works hard to promote the sound development of the international disarmament process. It believes that fair and rational arms control and disarmament efforts are conducive to the relaxation of the international situation, thereby constituting a vital means of safeguarding world peace and enhancing international security. At the same time, the Chinese government resolutely opposes the attempts of some countries to use arms control and disarmament as a tool to weaken other countries and reinforce their own military superiority for the purpose of seeking regional or global hegemony.
Nuclear Weapons and Missile DefenseChina has consistently advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and has made unremitting efforts to this end. On the very first day it came into possession of nu-clear weapons, China solemnly declared that it would not be the first to use such weapons, no matter what the time or the circumstances. Later, China undertook unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. In May 2000, China, together with four other nuclear-weapon states, issued a joint statement declaring that their nuclear weapons are not targeted at any country.
China vigorously supports the efforts of the countries concerned to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones on a voluntary basis, and has undertaken to provide both positive and negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones. In July 1999, China reached an agreement with ASEAN on the text of the Protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and became the first among the five nuclear-weapon states to commit itself to signing the Protocol once its revised text is open for signature.
As the most universal international arms control treaty, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has laid a solid legal foundation for international efforts to stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons, promote nuclear disarmament and enhance the peaceful use of nuclear energy. China supports all efforts to consolidate and strengthen the international mechanism of nuclear non-proliferation, and has faithfully fulfilled its obligations under the NPT. This position of China’s will remain unchanged. In December 1998, China signed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the Additional Protocol aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the IAEA safeguard system, undertaking to report to the IAEA China’s nuclear cooperation with non-nuclear-weapon states.
The CTBT is an important milestone in the process of international nuclear disarmament. As one of the first countries to sign the CTBT, China has been actively participating in the work of the Preparatory Commission of the Treaty Organization, and earnestly carrying out preparatory work for the implementation of the Treaty in China. Being a nuclear-weapon state, China is fully aware of its responsibilities concerning the entry into force of the Treaty. Therefore, the Chinese government is still committed to the early ratification of the Treaty, despite such negative developments in the past two years as the nuclear tests in India and Pakistan and the US Senate’s refusal to ratify the CTBT. Now, the Chinese government has already com-pleted the necessary preparations and formally submitted the Treaty to the NPC for review and ratification.
China has all along adopted a positive attitude to the negotiation of a convention that prohibits the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons purposes, known as the FMCT. The Chinese government maintains that progress on the issue of the FMCT negotiations is, and will continue to be, closely related to the global peace and security situation. In view of the fact that the US is accelerating its efforts for the development and possible deployment of a national missile defense system and space weapons, and that the US and Russia still possess nuclear arsenals large enough to destroy the world many times over, it is China’s position that continued nuclear dis-armament and the prevention of an arms race in outer space are multilateral fora of arms control that should be given more priority than the FMCT negotiations. Therefore, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva should not emphasize the importance of only the FMCT negotiations to the neglect of the issues of nuclear disarmament and the prevention of an arms race in outer space, and should, at the minimum, give equal attention to all three issues by carrying out its substantive work in a balanced manner.
The Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (hereafter referred to as the ABM Treaty) plays a very important role in maintaining the global strategic balance and stability, promoting nuclear disarmament and enhancing international security. However, in recent years the United States has accelerated its development of a national missile defense system in disregard of the relevant provisions of the ABM Treaty and the opposition of the international community. China expresses its strong opposition to such moves on the part of the United States, for they will undermine the global strategic balance, severely hamper the nuclear disarmament process and international non-proliferation efforts, jeopardize global peace and regional stability, and may even touch off a new round of arms race.
The Resolution on the Preservation of and Compliance with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, co-sponsored by China, Russia and Belarus, and adopted at the 54th Session of the UN General Assembly with an overwhelming majority, called upon the parties to the ABM Treaty to refrain from the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems for the defense of their territories. It also expressed support for further efforts by the international community to safeguard the inviolability and integrity of the ABM Treaty. The Resolution is a clear manifestation of the international community’s opposition to US efforts to develop and deploy missile defense systems, and of its will to safeguard the ABM Treaty. On July 18, 2000, President Jiang Zemin of the PRC and President Putin of the Russian Federation signed a joint statement on anti-missile defense. In the statement, the Presidents reaffirm that the ABM Treaty remains the cornerstone of global strategic stability and international security, and constitutes the basis for a framework of the key international agreements designed to reduce and limit offensive strategic weapons and to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Emphasizing that it is totally untenable to press for amending the ABM Treaty on the pretext of socalled missile threats from some countries, the Presidents point out that to amend the text of the ABM Treaty is tantamount to an act of undermining the ABM Treaty and will inevitably bring about a series of negative consequences, and that the country which presses for amending this treaty will have to bear the full responsibility for all these consequences. The Presidents also reiterate that under the current strategic situation, it is of great practical significance to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the ABM Treaty. The United States government should earnestly heed the appeal of the international community and stop the development and deployment of missile defense systems that may undermine global strategic stability.
The joint research and development of the theater missile defense (TMD) system by the United States and Japan with a view to deploying it in East Asia will enhance the overall offensive and defensive capability of the US-Japan military alliance to an unprecedented level, which will also far exceed the defensive needs of Japan. This will touch off a regional arms race and jeopardize security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China expresses its profound concern over such a development.
China is strongly opposed to the provision of the TMD system, its components and technology, and any such assistance to Taiwan. China is also strongly against any attempt to incorporate Taiwan in any form into the TMD system by any country.
Chemical and Biological Weapons
China does not possess chemical weapons and has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of such weapons. As a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), China has faithfully fulfilled all its obligations under the Convention. It has submitted its initial declaration and annual declarations in time and in their entirety, and accepted several inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It has also participated in each session of the Executive Council and the Conference of State Parties. China has been active in supporting the work of the OPCW and has cosponsored, along with the OPCW, a regional seminar on implementation of the Convention, as well as several training courses for inspectors. In June 1998, the State Administration of the Petroleum and Chemical Industry of China added ten chemicals to the third category of the List of Controlled Chemicals.
It is the view of the Chinese government that the implementation of the Convention has been, on the whole, satisfactory, since it entered into force three years ago. However, there are problems which should not be ignored: The universality of the Convention leaves a lot to be desired; a certain State Party has made de facto reservations regarding the provisions of the Convention in the form of domestic legislation; and some State Parties have been very slow destroying their chemical weapons stockpiles. These problems should be put right as soon as possible.
China has been a victim of chemical warfare. Large quantities of chemical weapons abandoned by the Japanese invaders remain on Chinese soil to this day. These weapons still seriously threaten the lives of the local people and have caused serious damage to the ecological environment. In July 1999, the Chinese and Japanese governments signed the Memorandum on the Destruction of the Chemical Weapons abandoned by Japan in China, in which the Japanese government explicitly admits the fact of the abandoning of chemical weapons, and undertakes to earnestly fulfill the obligation and duty of destroying these weapons. China urges Japan to start the substantive destruction conscientiously and at the earliest date possible, in accordance with the principles and provisions set forth in the Memorandum.
China does not possess biological weapons, and was once a victim of such weapons. China stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of biological weapons, and strongly opposes the development, production and stockpiling of biological weapons by any country, as well as the proliferation of such weapons and related technology in any form by any country. As a State Party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), China has fully and conscientiously fulfilled its obligations under the Convention and has, on an annual basis, provided the United Nations with information on confidence-building measures in this regard.
China supports the enhancement of the effectiveness of the BWC in a comprehensive manner. Upon its accession to the BWC, China pointed out the absence of concrete and effective measures for verification. China holds that, in order to strengthen the effectiveness of the BWC, a necessary verification mechanism should be established. In view of the complexity of biological weapons and bio-technology, the verification mechanism to be established must be rational, just and feasible. In order to protect the legitimate security and commercial interests of State Parties, concrete measures aimed at preventing the abuse of verification should be provided for. At the same time, there should be concrete measures to promote international cooperation and exchanges among State Parties in the field of bio-technology for purposes not prohibited by the Convention. These measures will be conducive to enhancing the universality of the Con-vention and the future Protocol.
China is strongly opposed to an arms race in outer space. China maintains that the exploration and utilization of outer space should be for the sole purpose of promoting the economic, scientific and cultural development of all countries, and benefiting all mankind.
Such activities as the testing, deployment or use of weapons, weapon systems or their components should be banned in outer space, in order to prevent the militarization of and an arms race in outer space. At present, there are intentions, plans and actions to pursue unilateral military and strategic superiority in, and control of, outer space. They are not only real but also growing. Therefore, it is realistic and urgent that the international community takes effective measures to stop such negative developments.
Over a period of years, the international community has, for the purpose of promoting the peaceful uses of outer space and preventing an arms race there, drawn up a series of multilateral or bilateral legal instruments regulating State Parties’ space activities. However, these instruments have not reflected the development of the most advanced aerospace technology today, and therefore are unable to effectively prevent the militarization of or an arms race in outer space. China believes that the most direct and effective way to achieve this purpose in the new century is to negotiate and bring into being a new international legal instrument, in addition to continued strict compliance with the existing ones.
The 54th Session of the UN General Assembly adopted once again the Resolution on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, with an overwhelming majority. The Resolution stresses that the negotiation and conclusion of an international agreement or agreements on the prevention of an arms race in outer space remains the top priority of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Conference on Disarmament on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space. This reflects a universal aspiration and an urgent demand of the international community for the prevention of such an arms race. The Conference on Disarmament in Geneva has an important role to play in this respect. It should immediately reestablish the Ad Hoc Committee with a mandate to negotiate a new international legal instrument on the prevention of the militarization of or an arms race in outer space.
The Chinese government has always paid a great deal of attention to the accidental injuries to civilians caused by anti-personnel landmines (APL). Since its ratification of the Amended Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in 1998, the Chinese government and its armed forces have strictly complied with and earnestly implemented the provisions of the Protocol, and have stopped exporting APLs that are not in conformity with the standards set out in the Protocol. In October 1999, China submitted its national report on the implementation of the Protocol to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In addition, the Chinese government has made strenuous efforts in mine clearance, both domestically and internationally. From early 1992 to August 1999, the Chinese government launched two large-scale demining operations on Chinese territory along the Sino-Vietnamese border. Over 2.2 million landmines and explosive devices of various kinds were removed, and more than 700 tons of abandoned ammunition and explosive devices were destroyed. An area of over 300 square kilometers was cleared. Some 290 border trade paths and ports of entry and exit were reopened, and 60,000 hectares of deserted farmland, pastures and forests were restored to their original state. Thus, the threat posed to the local people by the landmines left over from the border conflict has been eliminated. The Chinese government has also, in conformity with the requirements of technological cooperation and assistance as prescribed in the Protocol, provided every possible assistance to mine-affected countries by contributing to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Mine Clearance Assistance and donating mine-clearance equipment directly to these countries. In 1998, the Chinese government donated US$ 100,000 to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for mine clearance operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In October 1999 and May 2000, China sponsored two international mine clearance training courses in collaboration with the UN. Forty trainees from seven mine-affected countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Rwanda) attended the courses, the contents of which ranged from mine-clearance techniques to operational methods and organizational procedures, with satisfactory results.
The Chinese government is of the view that, in addressing the issue of accidental injury to civilians from mines, a two-pronged approach should be adopted, i.e., restrictions on the use of landmines and mine clearance. The Amended Protocol, if universally acceded to and effectively carried out, should be able to satisfactorily resolve the problem of abuse and control of landmines. As far as the humanitarian aspect of the issue is concerned, the most urgent task, and the most effective approach, is to clear the landmines scattered in many parts of the world.
China participated in the UN Register of Conventional Arms from 1992 to 1997. However, since 1996, a certain country, in disregard of relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, began to register its arms sales to Taiwan in the form of a footnote to its national report. It is obvious that the arms sales to Taiwan are not arms transfers between sovereign states. Furthermore, they constitute infringements upon China’s sovereignty and interference in China’s internal affairs. To place arms sales to Taiwan on the Register is inconsistent with the nature of the Register as a record of legitimate arms transfers between sovereign states. It can only politicize the Register, and as a result, seriously undermine its integrity and authority. This has forced China to suspend its participation in the Register since 1998. It is China’s hope that the party concerned can take immediate and feasible measures to rectify its erroneous practice, so that the seriousness and integrity of the Register can be restored and maintained.
China actively supports international efforts to address the issue of small arms. It is in favor of taking necessary measures to combat illicit activities related to small arms, and prevent the proliferation and excessive accumulation of such arms, so as to mitigate the armed conflicts and turbulences in the countries concerned and curb the further spread of terrorism and drug trafficking. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is of the view that small arms by themselves are not the root cause of the problem. For most countries, small arms are still an indispensable means of safeguarding their national defense and social order. In addressing the issue of small arms, the sovereignty of the relevant countries should be fully respected, and the specific conditions of different countries and regions should be taken into consideration. It should also be noted that the right of countries to the legitimate possession of and normal trade in small arms should not be affected.
China participated in the 1998 UN Group of Governmental Experts on Small Arms. It supports the convening of the International Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects in 2001. China also took part in the negotiation of the Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition at the UN Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crimes with a view to joining the international efforts to combat transnational organized crimes of illicit manufacture of and trafficking in firearms.
China takes a responsible attitude toward the manufacture and transfer of small arms, having strict laws and administrative control measures in this regard. The Law of the PRC on the Control of Fire-arms and The Regulations of the PRC on the Administration of Arms Exports contain detailed stipulations on the manufacture, transportation, sales, equipment and entry and exit of firearms and ammunition, and stipulate stringent penalties for violations.