you're reading...
Defence & Aerospace

China issues white paper on national defence

PLA China Army TanksChina has revealed the structure of its military units, in what state-run media describe as a first.

The army has a total of 850,000 officers, while the navy and air force have a strength of 235,000 and 398,000, China said in its defense white paper.

The paper also criticized the US’s expanded military presence in the Asia-Pacific, saying it had exacerbated regional tensions.

China’s defense budget rose by 11.2% in 2012, exceeding $100 billion.

The defense white paper, China’s 8th since 1998, emphasized China’s “unshakable national commitment… to take the road of peaceful development”.

However, it highlighted “multiple and complicated security threats” facing China, and China’s need to protect its “national unification, territorial integrity and development interests”.

‘Strategic deterrence’

The white paper reveals details of China’s military structure. According to state-run news agency Xinhua, this is the first time such information has been disclosed publicly.

Correspondents say this appears to be part of an effort, on the part of the Chinese military, to become more transparent.

The territorial army has 18 combined corps in seven military area commands: Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Lanzhou, and Jinan.

The air force has 398,000 officers and an air command in the same seven military areas, while the navy commands three fleets: the Beihai Fleet, the Donghai Fleet and the Nanhai Fleet, the paper said.

The paper also describes the role of China’s second artillery force, which contains China’s nuclear and conventional missile forces.

The force is crucial to China’s “strategic deterrence”, and is “primarily responsible for deterring other countries from using nuclear weapons against China, and carrying out nuclear counterattacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles,” the paper said.

Maritime disputes

The paper also criticised the US’s increased presence in the region.

“The US is adjusting its Asia-Pacific security strategy,” it said, adding later that “some country has strengthened its Asia-Pacific military alliances… and frequently makes the situation there tenser.”

The US has increased its military presence in Asia in recent years, as part of President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia”.

The white paper also addresses “issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights”, criticizing Japan for “making trouble over the issue of the Diaoyu Islands”.

The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are controlled by Japan but claimed by both China and Taiwan.

Separately, the paper describes “‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces” as the biggest threat to Cross-Strait relations.

Taiwan is an island which has for all practical purposes been independent since 1950. However, China views the island as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary.

Source: BBC – China ‘reveals army structure’ in defence white paper
Full text of White Paper: The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces 

About Political Atheist

Living in South East Asia (Vietnam & Cambodia). At the ending/starting point of the more than 1000 year old SIlk Road.


5 thoughts on “China issues white paper on national defence

  1. Reblogged this on Facing China and commented:
    Spending more than US$100 billion and employing more than a million professional soldiers, the military of China is a behemoth. Read how a recent white paper outlines China’s military strategy.


    Posted by whjennings | April 16, 2013, 5:26 pm


  1. Pingback: China deploys navy ships to patrol Diaoyu Islands | China Daily Mail - April 18, 2013

  2. Pingback: Laptop Millionaire Blog » Blog Archive » We Are On The Brink Of World War III - April 22, 2013

  3. Pingback: New Australian defence white paper fails to recognise China as any threat whatsoever | Craig Hill - May 1, 2013

  4. Pingback: New Australian defence white paper fails to recognise China as any threat whatsoever | China Daily Mail - May 1, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

China News Stories

China News Stories is not affiliated in any way with any publication in China or anywhere else.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Follow us on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Want to write for China News Stories?

Read “Contributor Guidelines” above to join our team of 76 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China News Stories Have Been Featured In:

%d bloggers like this: