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Home >> China
UPDATED: 13:27, December 27, 2004
China strengthens building Navy, Air Force, Second Artillery
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While continuing to attach importance to the building of the Army, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) gives priority to the building of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force, says a white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council on Monday.

China will also optimize the composition of the services and arms of the PLA and the make-up of troops and the size of the services and arms will be optimized with an increasing proportion of new- and high-tech units, said the white paper on China's national defense in 2004.

Xiong Yuxiang, a military expert who participated in the drafting of the white paper, said that with the incessant development of new- and high- tech military technologies, the factors of modern wars have changed a lot.

"We must change according to the modern warfare status," said Xiong. "In the future, the military will be improved in the direction of making the troops smaller and better, as well as more integrated and efficient."

The white paper also gives details about the development of China's Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery.

The Navy has expanded the space and extended the depth for offshore defensive operations. Preparation for maritime battlefield is intensified and improved while the integrated combat capabilities are enhanced in conducting offshore campaigns,and the capability of nuclear counter-attacks is also enhanced.

In accordance with the principle of smaller but more efficient troops, the PLA Navy compresses the chain of command and reorganizes the combat forces in a more scientific way while giving prominence to the building of maritime combat forces, especially amphibious combat forces.

The Navy also speeds up the process of updating its weaponry and equipment and the weaponry is increasingly informationalized and long-range precision strike capability raised.

It takes part in joint exercises to enhance its joint operational capabilities and integrated maritime support capabilities, says the white paper.

In order to meet the requirements of informationalized air operations, the Air Force has gradually shifted from one of territorial air defense to one of both offensive and defensive operations.

Emphasis is placed on the development of new fighters, air defense and anti-missile weapons, means of information operations and Air Force automated command systems. The training of inter-disciplinary personnel is being accelerated for informationalized air operations.

Combined arms and multi-type aircraft combat training is intensified to improve the capabilities in operations like air strikes, air defense, information counter-measures, early warning and reconnaissance, strategic mobility and integrated support, says the white paper.

By upgrading missiles, stepping up the R&D of missiles, and promoting the informationalization of missiles and supporting equipment for command, communications and reconnaissance, the Second Artillery Force has built in its initial form a weaponry and equipment system that comprises both nuclear and conventional missiles, covers different ranges, and possesses markedly increased power and efficiency.

The PLA Second Artillery Force boasts a contingent of talents mainly composed of academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and missile specialists.

High-tech means are used to reform its training and shorten the cycle for new weaponry and equipment to be combat-ready. It conducts missile-launching training and readiness exercises in near-real conditions and constantly enhances its quick-response and precision-strike capabilities, said the white paper.

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