China says it pursues a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature, according to a White Paper on China's National Defense in 2006 issued in Beijing Friday.
The White Paper, issued by the Information Office of the State Council, says China's national defense provides the guarantee for maintaining China's security and unity, and realizing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.
"To build a powerful and fortified national defense is a strategic task of China's modernization drive," the White Paper says.
The White Paper says China pursues a three-step development strategy in modernizing its national defense and armed forces in accordance with the state's overall plan to realize modernization.
The first step is to lay a solid foundation by 2010, the second is to make major progress around 2020, and the third is to basically reach the strategic goal of building informationized armed forces and being capable of winning informationized wars by the mid-21st century.
China's national defense policy for the new stage in the new century is defined as follows:
-- Upholding national security and unity, and ensure the interests of national development. This includes guarding against and resisting aggression, defending against violation of China's territorial sea and air space, and borders; opposing and containing the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence" and their activities, taking precautions against and cracking down on terrorism, separatism and extremism in all forms.
-- Achieving the all-round, coordinated and sustainable development of China's national defense and armed forces. China pursues a policy of coordinated development of national defense and economy. It keeps the modernization of China's national defense and armed forces as an integral part of its social and economic development, so as to ensure that the modernization of its national defense and armed forces advance in step with the national modernization drive.
-- Enhancing the performance of the armed forces with informationization as the major measuring criterion. The PLA, taking mechanization as the foundation and informationization as the driving force, promotes the composite development of informationization and mechanization to achieve overall capability improvement in the fields of firepower, assault, mobility, protection and information.
-- Implementing the military strategy of active defense. The PLA ensures that it is well prepared for military struggle, with winning local wars under conditions of informationization and enhancing national sovereignty, security, and interests of development as its objective. Taking joint operations as the basic form, the PLA aims to bring the operational strengths of different services and arms into full play.
-- Pursuing a self-defensive nuclear strategy. Its fundamental goal is to deter other countries from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against China. China remains firmly committed to the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances. It unconditionally undertakes not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and stands for the comprehensive prohibition and complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
-- Fostering a security environment conducive to China's peaceful development. China maintains military contacts with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and develops cooperative military relations that are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party. It plays an active part in maintaining global and regional peace and stability.