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UPDATED: 12:36, May 06, 2004
China's military industry enterprises come out of mountains to world market
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��The military industry enterprises located in China's southwest mountainous areas now are becoming a new thrust for the country to broaden its international market.

Changhong Electronics Group in western China's Sichuan Province, which has its origin in a defense enterprise, has become the largest manufacturer of color TV sets in the country, successfully exporting its TV sets, air conditioners and audiovisual sets to over 40 countries and regions, including southeastern Asia, Africa, Europe and America.

In Chongqing, the unique municipality in southwest China, groups of military enterprises are selling their civilian products, such as car parts, motorbike components and color TV sets to Vietnam, Indonesia and other Asian countries.

Chongqing Chang'an Group has been the biggest producer of minicars and owned overseas product lines. The company now is considering how to expand the international market, especially in the developing countries.

"Chang'an autos should appear in every corner of the world," said Yin Jiaxu, president of the group.

Since the 1950s, massive amounts of money had been spent constructing what was called the "Third Front," a strategic rear base in central and southwestern China with numerous new weapons factories, mostly located in mountainous areas.

By the end of 1978, China's defense industry had a huge amount of assets and its factories were fed by orders from a huge army.

Since early 1980s, the defense industry was called upon to turn to civilian production for survival and self-development when China reduced its defense forces and cut down on procurement of military products.

The central government encouraged the shift from military to civilian production by allowing them to move out of valleys and into cities so that their products would be more accessible to the market.

Thanks to a massive effort to turn swords into ploughshares, the Chinese people are now able to enjoy all the material benefits brought by a converting defense industry.

In fact, the civilian products now account for 80 percent of the total output value generated by the military industry, covering the fields of communication, transportation, energy, light industry, medicine, textile, engineering and construction.

Along with the development of defense conversion, China's military industry enterprises have established wide trade connections and technical cooperation with thousands of companies or manufacturers scattered in dozens of countries and regions.

Production of Boeing and Airbus components has been subcontracted to such kind of enterprises, which have launched more than 20 commercial satellites for other countries.

In the tentative idea of defense conversion, the Chinese government then considered encouraging and organizing the military industry enterprises, which were in good condition, to broaden overseas markets, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

China will continue to encourage and help create conditions for defense conversion enterprises to establish factories abroad and export their products and technologies, according to the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The defense industry, focusing on high-technology and name-brand products, is also expected to claim a bigger share of both domestic and overseas merchandise markets because of its long-term good reputation for quality and credibility.

Source: Xinhua

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