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National security needed for peaceful development

(People's Daily)

16:15, September 21, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

The overall goal of China's pursuit of peaceful development is to achieve modernization and common prosperity for the Chinese people, according to a recently released white paper titled "China's Peaceful Development."

The report said the medium-to-long-term goal of its pursuit of peaceful development is to build a higher-level well-off society that benefits more than 1 billion Chinese people, while the goal in the short term is to implement the 12th Five-Year Plan. Firm adherence to a defensive military policy is a precondition for achieving the three goals and creating a peaceful international environment as well as favorable external conditions.

China's defensive military policy is built around the following goals: promoting the modernization of the country's armed forces; safeguarding national sovereignty, security and developmental interests; maintaining social domestic harmony and stability, and ensuring world peace and stability. The defensive policy features the integration of protecting national interests and opposing military expansion; of resolving disputes through peaceful means and safeguarding core interests, and of promoting military modernization and boosting regional security cooperation.

Now that China has made great strides toward modernizing its national defense and armed forces in recent years, certain people have started playing up the “China military threat theory” and have expressed doubts about China's defensive military policy and groundlessly criticizing China for a lack of transparency in military budget.

China has every right to modernize its national defense and armed forces to protect itself and pursue peaceful development. China's security situation is generally stable, but due to growing uncertainties, the country is facing considerable real and potential threats. The three evil forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism still exist, and transnational criminal activity has increased to some degree.

China faces various complicated traditional and non-traditional security challenges and has a more complex geopolitical environment than other countries cross the globe. The fundamental purpose of China’s defense modernization is to safeguard its sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and the interests of national development.

China adheres to the principle of coordinated development of national defense and economy. The country plans its military budget based on the demands of national defense and economic development, and manages and uses its defense funds in accordance with the law. The increase of China's defense expenditures has been kept at a reasonable and appropriate level that is progressing at the same pace as its economic and social development.

There are multiple objective reasons behind the growth in China’s military spending over recent years. First, China prioritized economic development and squeezed military spending between the 1980s and the mid-1990s, leaving many unresolved practical problems in the development of national defense. Second, the pace of the new military transformation across the world is accelerating. If China had not striven to push ahead with military informatization reform with Chinese characteristics, its gap with advanced countries in terms of military development would have been extremely huge, and its defense capabilities would have become too limited to safeguard its peaceful development.

Third, since China has adhered to the policy of nonalignment and never built any military alliance with any other country, it is difficult for the country to secure new high-tech equipment from advanced countries. Thus, China can only rely on itself for military development, which has surely increased the costs of its military modernization.

Fourth, China is still a country without complete reunification and has to be ready to respond to the provocations from separatist forces. Fifth, China needs to increase spending for military operations other than war. The scope of the missions of the Chinese military has continuously been expanded. They should cope with not only the conventional threats of wars but also the non-conventional threats of military operations other than war. Sixth, China's military spending has been on the rise along with the inflation at home and abroad.

It is worth noting that the proportion of China's annual expenditure on national defense to its GDP is relatively lower than that of many countries such as the United States and Japan. The share of China's expenditure on national defense in its total fiscal expenditure has slightly dropped, and China's per capita expenditure on national defense is even lower.

As for the issue of "military transparency," there are no countries with absolute military transparency in the world. China's military transparency has been on the continuous rise during the past two decades. Particularly, China's strategic intentions are more transparent than those of many other countries, notably major powers. China’s expenditure on national defense is reasonable and moderate and is matched with its needs to safeguard national security. China has no and will not have the intention of entering into an arms race with any country.

China's commitment to a defensive military policy is not temporary but rather is determined by China's path of peaceful development, fundamental tasks, foreign policy and historical and cultural traditions. China is not seeking and will never seek hegemony or make military expansions no matter what development level it achieves. This is not only the solemn promise made by the Chinese government to the international community but is also the strategic choice made by the Chinese government based on its fundamental national interests and the trend of the times.


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Canada at 2011-09-2370.36.49.*
If the U.S. had the same policy, if the U.S. abandoned its quest for world hegemony and stayed within its own borders, countries around the world could reduce, and almost entirely eliminate, military spending. The U.S. would not face terrorism threats, except those that were homegrown. They could seriously reduce their deficit, and improve the American people’s standard of living. In this day and age it is inexcusable the U.S. continues trying to impose its political views and military might on other countries.

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