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


11:22, April 16, 2013

Participating in Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief

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

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

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

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YanMeng、Wang Jinxue)

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