51 defence attaches with 40 foreign embassies to China on Monday attended a briefing on a talent-training project of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The briefing is the first of its kind this year organized by the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Chinese Defence Ministry (CDM) to help foreign military officers gain better knowledge of the PLA.
Shi Baohua, a major general and deputy head of cadre branch of PLA General Political Department(GPD), elaborated on the PLA talent strategy program, which was launched in 2003 and covers the period until 2020.
According to Shi, five groups of talents are sought after by the PLA, namely, commanding officers capable of directing informationalized wars, staff officers proficient in planning armed forces building, scientists capable of exploration of key technologies, technicians with thorough understanding of high-tech weapons and non-commissioned officers proficient in using equipments at hand.
A new personnel training and educating system with PLA characteristic will be established, said Shi, adding that 350 million yuan (45 million US dollars) is earmarked for personnel development every year, including subsidies for PLA universities and expenses for overseas military education and visits, high-caliber personnel training in civilian universities as well as talent recruitment.
He said that 116 civilian universities have signed contracts to educate personnel for PLA and 60 percent of newly-recruited officers will come from civilian university graduates by 2010.
Shi also elaborated on the trend of future PLA personnel development.
Austrian Defence Attache Brigadier General Heinrich Winkelmayer said personnel building has always been an important issue for every armed forces.
He said the briefing is "very helpful" for those who wish to know how the PLA has performed in picking up talents.
According to the CDM Foreign Affairs Bureau, more briefings will be held in 2007, covering topics such as China's foreign policy, security policy, Chinese navy and air force, Chinese military doctors' participation in UN peace-keeping activities and the security preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Officers with the Foreign Affairs Bureau said the briefings were aimed at deepening the foreign military attaches' understanding of the national and military conditions of China.