PLA strives for transparency

Updated: 2013-04-17 00:13

By Zhao Lei (China Daily)

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The white paper says China advocates a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and pursues comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security.

"China will never seek hegemony or behave in a hegemonic manner, nor will it engage in military expansion," the white paper says. However, it warns that China still faces multiple and complicated security threats and challenges.

The paper also mentions the determination of China's armed forces to protect the country's "national security interests" in outer space and cyberspace.

"The pledge is in accordance with our armed forces' new missions under new circumstances," said Senior Colonel Meng Xiangqing, who specializes in defense strategy at the PLA National Defense University. "As the strategic competition has been intensifying around the globe, the range of each country's national interests is also expanding."

He noted China has been facing diversified safety challenges and remains a major victim of cyberattacks. "Therefore we must ensure that the Internet and outer space will be used for peaceful purposes and in the interests of all people."

"China's security interests stretch from the land to the sea, to outer space and cyberspace, from territorial security to overseas interests, and from traditional areas to nontraditional fields," said Major General Chen Zhou, director of the PLA Academy of Military Science's national defense policy research center.

He made the remarks during an interview with China News Service when explaining why the paper uses two chapters to emphasize maritime and overseas interests.

"We have been witnessing a remarkable surge in issues concerning overseas resources, strategic routes on the sea and citizens living abroad, so the armed forces must strengthen their overseas operational capabilities to safeguard our country's overseas interests," he added.

Yang Yujun, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said on Tuesday that military transparency is closely related to national security and has no universal definition, adding that no country can boast complete transparency of military affairs.

China is open and candid in its armed forces' strategic purposes and military capability, according to the spokesman.

China has established strategic consultation mechanisms with 23 countries, and has explained its defense policies, security concerns and the military's missions via various channels including senior leaders' speeches, multilateral meetings and interviews with the media, Yang said.

"It is fair to say that China has been highly transparent in its military affairs."

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