VI. National Defense Mobilization and Reserve Force

China, responding to new developments in modern warfare and the needs of national security, is reinforcing national defense mobilization and reserve force building to enhance its capabilities of rapid mobilization, sustained support, comprehensive protection and swift shift from a peacetime to wartime footing.

Mobilization of the Armed Forces

China's mobilization of the armed forces includes the mobilization of manpower, weaponry and equipment, as well as logistical materials. The main tasks of the PLA's mobilization are as follows: to formulate plans for wartime troop mobilization and support according to operational plans, carry out pre-regimentation of reservists into active units and organization of reserve units, and expand and form units according to wartime structure and organization upon the state's issuance of a mobilization order. The main tasks of the PAPF's mobilization are to formulate mobilization and support plans based on the PAPF's possible wartime tasks, carry out pre-regimentation of reservists and adjustment, expansion and reorganization of units, and adjust the organizational system or form or expand units according to designated tasks after the state issues a mobilization order. The main tasks of the militia's mobilization are to call up militiamen, adjust and reinforce organizations, issue weapons and equipment, carry out pre-war training, and provide support in accordance with the needs of wartime manpower mobilization and plans for participating in warfare and supporting the front.

Acting on the directives of the State Council and the CMC, the General Staff Headquarters organizes and conducts mobilization of the armed forces with the assistance of the General Political Department, General Logistics Department and General Armaments Department as well as the relevant government departments. The Navy, Air Force, and Second Artillery Force are responsible for the mobilization of their respective forces. The military area commands, provincial military commands and local Party committees and governments at different levels are responsible for the mobilization of reserve forces within their respective jurisdictions.

By maintaining a lean standing army, improving the reserve service system, setting up reserve units, designating manpower replenishment areas, pre-positioning equipment and supplies, and organizing civil-military mobilization rehearsals, China has ensured the smooth mobilization of the armed forces, enabling the latter to deter or defuse security crises with even a downsized standing force. In recent years, China has accelerated the adjustment and reform of the organization and structure of the militia and the reserve forces and increased the number of reservists with high-tech backgrounds, and strengthened the reserve forces of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force. As a result, the level of the general quality of the backup forces of national defense has been raised notably.

Mobilization of the National Economy

The basic policies for the mobilization of the national economy are:

, To boost economic mobilization based on China's development strategy and its economic strength, and incorporate the development of the defense economy into that of the national ec onomy;

, To make economic mobilization a bridge between China's economic development and available national defense capacities, and strike a balance between military and civilian needs and between peacetime and wartime needs in economic restructuring, to keep the national defense economy at a proper level in peacetime;

, To speed up the development and application of new and high technologies and dual-purpose technologies, and give priority to the mobilization of high-tech products and the reserves of high technology, to raise the overall scientific and technological level of economic mobilization;

, To build an organizational structure, mechanism and legal system of economic mobilization in keeping with the socialist market economy for dealing with both wars and emergencies in accordance with the assigned functions of economic mobilization, to serve economic development in peacetime and respond rapidly in cases of emergency or war; and

, To pursue the principle of self-defense by the whole nation and improve the capacity of economic mobilization to meet the needs of defensive operations under conditions of informationization.

The primary objective is to establish a complete economic mobilization system with the dual functions of responding to both wars and emergencies, and to set up an economic mobilization base that is an integral part of China's economy to meet the economic needs of local wars and unexpected incidents.

With the rapid growth of China's economy, the capacity of its economic mobilization has been steadily raised. In building information and communications systems, highways, railways, bridges, tunnels, airports, ports, docks and major urban infrastructures, China pays close attention to the requirements of national defense, and ensures that peacetime needs and wartime needs are properly balanced. In working to set up a mechanism of economic mobilization for responding to both wars and emergencies, China has set up a system of plans for economic mobilization that takes both peacetime and wartime needs into consideration. It has established economic mobilization centers in the machine-building, weaponry, aviation, space, shipbuilding and chemical industries, and has optimized the mobilization structure and layout. It has basically completed a survey on the potential of economic mobilization and set up an information system for economic mobilization management by the state and a number of provinces and municipalities directly under the central government. As a component of the national emergency response force, economic mobilization offices at different levels have established a mechanism for contacts between economic mobilization offices and emergency reaction management offices to provide support for handling public emergencies and ensure public security.

Civil Air Defense

Civil air defense (CAD), air defense of critical areas and field air defense constitute China's homeland defense structure. The tasks of the CAD in the new era are to protect the people and their property and China's economic development in wartime, and carry out disaster prevention and relief and handle public unexpected incidents in peacetime. The CAD expenses are born by the state and the public. The state has promulgated the Civil Air Defense Law, and the people's governments at various levels have formulated and improved corresponding CAD rules and regulations. CAD work is incorporated into plans for economic and social development by the people's governments at and above the county level.

China's CAD capabilities in preparations against war, integrated urban protection and public unexpected incident response have been greatly enhanced in recent years. Interconnected and interoperable communications networks for command and warning at the provincial, city and county levels have been basically established, and urban air defense early-warning networks have been improved. Over 85 percent of areas in major cities are covered by air-defense sirens. Most of the key CAD cities have CAD command posts. All large and medium-sized cities have protection and rescue contingents for emergency rescue, rush repair, medical aid, fire fighting, maintenance of order, chemical defense, epidemic prevention, communications and transportation. Short-term and full-time training courses are conducted, and emergency rescue drills for handling disasters are organized to help the public acquire CAD knowledge and skills. CAD courses are included in school teaching programs and curricula. Volunteer CAD teams have been formed in some factories, mines, enterprises and communities.

Militia Force Building

China's militia is under the unified direction of the State Council and the CMC, and the dual leadership of local Party committees and governments as well as the military commands. The concept of people's war, and the principle of combining regular work with military training and combining peacetime needs with wartime needs are observed in the building of the militia.

The focus of the militia work is being shifted from rural areas to cities and areas along communication lines. The setting up of militia forces has expanded from state-owned enterprises to private enterprises and from traditional industries to high-tech industries. Specialized technical units rather than infantry are becoming the backbone of the militia. The proportion of antiaircraft artillery, ground artillery, missile, communications, engineering, anti-chemical, reconnaissance, information and other specialized technical units in the overall militia force is being raised. The building of militia units of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force is being strengthened. A new organizational structure of the militia has taken shape, with specialized technical units and units with corresponding specialties serving as the main body, and air defense units, units of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force, and emergency response units playing a leading role.

The state has increased investment in militia weaponry and equipment, with priority given to equipment for air defense, emergency response and maintenance of stability. The state has phased out a number of out-dated weapons. Militia training reform has been deepened; a four-level system for organizing training is practiced, the four levels being provincial military commands, prefectural military commands, people's armed forces departments of counties (county-level cities or municipal districts) and basic-level people's armed forces departments. Through interlinked training as well as joint training and exercises with active PLA units, the militia has boosted its capabilities of conducting rapid mobilization and carrying out its specialized tasks.

Reserve Force Building

As a component of the PLA, the reserve force receives priority in the building of the defense reserve. The reserve force conducts peacetime training as provided for in relevant regulations, assists in maintaining order when necessary pursuant to the law, and activates its units in wartime in observance of the state's mobilization order.

In recent years, while keeping its overall size unchanged, the reserve force has reduced the number of Army reserve units, while increasing the numbers of reserve units of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force, the proportion of specialized technical reserve units and the number of logistical and equipment support reserve units, thus accomplishing the task of forming new reserve units of the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force in the Tenth Five-Year Plan period. Most of the PLA's reserve divisions, brigades and regiments have training bases, armament depots, necessary office space and living quarters, and optical-fiber cable communication. With military training as the primary task, the PLA reserve units carry out training strictly pursuant to regulations, ensuring the accomplishment of all training tasks. The focus of training is being shifted from individuals and units to command posts, key technicians and higher levels of training such as joint and live-fire exercises.