Military Review

White paper of the People’s Liberation Army of China

White paper of the People’s Liberation Army of ChinaThe military-political leadership of the PRC has taken the first step towards ensuring the transparency of the country's military development at the present stage. On April 16, the State Council Information Office published the full text of the White Paper on Defense, which was reprinted by leading Chinese news agencies under the heading "Diversification of the Use of the Chinese Armed Forces." The Chinese authorities began to develop this document regularly since 1998. However, only the last of them, the eighth in a row, became the property of the Chinese and world community. It shows for the first time the composition of the Armed Forces and, in the most general terms, the strategic concepts of their development and use.


The public text of the document does not provide data on allocations allocated by the Chinese government for national defense. However, in 2013, China plans to raise the bar for military spending by 10,7%. China’s military budget should increase to 720,2 billion yuan (115,7 billion dollars). This is stated in the report of the Ministry of Finance of the PRC, about which 5 became known in March of this year, on the day of the opening of the 12 session of the All-China National Assembly of People’s Representatives (NPC). At the opening session, the current Prime Minister of China, Wen Jiabao, made a speech in which he spoke about the work of the government over the past year and outlined the plans of the authorities for the future. When the premier declared that the PRC "should accelerate the modernization of the national defense and the Armed Forces in order to increase China’s defense capability and the military capabilities of the army," the hall burst into applause.

Meanwhile, some foreign and Chinese experts claim that Beijing’s military spending figures, which have increased by almost 24% over the previous two years, are significantly underestimated. And Michael Flynn, Chief of the Intelligence Agency of the United States Department of Defense, on the Senate Committee on Armed Forces 18 in April of this year. at the hearings on the global threats to the United States coming from different countries, said that the officially announced expenditures of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) were significantly underestimated. He noted that in the 2012 year, the real military budget of the PRC, the volume of which, according to official data, was 107 billion dollars, was almost twice the amount. According to specialists from the RUMO, last year, Beijing’s actual defense spending on officially unspecified items of expenditures on military production, personnel training and raising the standard of living of military personnel reached $ 215 billion.

The growth of Beijing's military spending is due to the further implementation of a long-term PLA modernization program. It is aimed at a significant increase in the PRC’s military potential, since the CPC leadership claims a leading role in its region, has territorial disputes with a number of its neighbors, in which it takes a rather tough position, and is concerned about the expansion of the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.


The White Book of the PLA notes that at the beginning of the new millennium significant changes took place in the world, but the main trends in the development of the world community remain the desire to preserve peace and achieve economic well-being. The balance of international forces is changing in the direction of preserving the peaceful situation on the planet and ensuring the stability of the international situation.

However, according to the leadership of China, the modern world is still very far from being calm. At the present stage, there are signs of the desire of some states to increase their influence in the world arena, to conduct international politics from a position of strength, and to change the nature of attempts by the leading states to interfere in the internal affairs of various countries. Chinese experts point out that at the present time the rivalry of various countries in the military sphere is getting stronger. Problems of international security are becoming more acute, interrelated and multilateral.

In recent years, China has made significant progress in modernizing the economy and raising the standard of living of its citizens. The influence of Beijing in the international arena is constantly growing. However, the PRC continues to face numerous and complex traditional and non-traditional threats to national security and the problems of countering them. Therefore, the country's leadership faces the task of preserving national unity, territorial integrity and upholding state interests in various spheres and parts of the planet.

The threats of the Middle Kingdom are triple in nature and emanate from world terrorism and from separatist and extremist groups. And these threats are constantly increasing. First, recently, a number of countries have taken steps to increase their military capabilities, strengthen allied ties, and ensure a military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. All this is extremely aggravates the situation developing here.
His leadership considers the activities of the separatist forces of Taiwan to be the second significant threat to China, which, relying on the United States, undertake large-scale efforts to preserve independence from the PRC. The leaders of Beijing believe that this is extremely destabilizing the peaceful development of the situation in this region and hinder the logical and fair return of the Formosa Island to the jurisdiction of China.

To the third threat to national security, the Chinese leadership considers the intensive development by the major powers of new and more efficient military technologies and their desire to ensure their superiority in space and cyberspace. All this forces Beijing to retaliate, with considerable financial costs.

In the face of a constantly complicated and changing situation in the field of ensuring security and protecting the country's national interests, the PLA continues to actively fulfill historical mission in the new conditions of the international situation. The leadership of the Armed Forces has revised its approaches to the formation of a national security strategy and a military strategy aimed at achieving success in local wars in the context of informatization. Their leaders conduct effective planning for the use of military contingents in peaceful conditions, successfully develop forms and methods to counter emerging threats and solve a wide range of tasks to protect the population and eliminate the consequences of natural disasters and epidemics.

The protection of national sovereignty, ensuring the security of the PRC, its territorial integrity and the creation of conditions for the peaceful coexistence of a country with various states are the main principles of military construction of the Chinese army. “We will not attack until they attack us. But we will give a decisive rebuff if we are attacked, ”Chinese leaders say.

The Chinese Armed Forces are actively rebuilding in the face of the emergence of new threats that are not wars in the direct meaning of the word, and the main emphasis is placed on the use of troops in peacetime and in low-intensity conflicts. PLA divisions take an active part in the economic and social construction of the PRC and effectively solve various urgent, complex and dangerous tasks, as well as actively participate in the aftermath of emergency situations. They are in every way opposing the provocations of forces hostile to China and are fighting terrorism. In addition, the Chinese Armed Forces provide protection for maritime trade routes, combat piracy, evacuate affected citizens and protect national interests outside the country.

The Army of the Middle Kingdom takes an active part in cooperation with other states in the field of security. She strictly adheres to the five principles of peaceful coexistence put forward by the Chinese government in 1954 year, maintains comprehensive contacts with other countries and interacts with the leadership of the armies of non-aligned states. The leaders of the PLA in every way contribute to the introduction of fair and effective mechanisms for collective security and the establishment of trusting relations between the military leaders of the countries of the world.

The PLA actively cooperates with the Armed Forces of other countries in the field of protecting state borders and ensuring the safety of maritime routes, participates in UN peacekeeping operations, in the fight against world terrorism, as well as in actions to eliminate the consequences of natural disasters in various countries and regions. In addition, the PLA military contingents conduct joint exercises with the armies of a number of states and train their specialists.


The Chinese Armed Forces include the PLA, the People’s Armed Police and the militia. All these structures solve a wide range of tasks to ensure the security of the country and protect its national interests. For many years now, the PRC has been reforming its armed formations and is actively moving towards ensuring their compliance with all modern requirements and the global informatization of their activities.

The leadership of the Armed Forces seeks to create troops of a new type optimized in composition, structure and level of armament in accordance with the requirements of future wars. The military-political leadership of the PRC believes that the military contingents of the Chinese army should be few, unified, multifunctional and effective. A whole range of measures is also being taken to improve the system of professional training for military personnel, to develop human resources management structures and to create the most modern means of warfare.

Parts and formations of the Chinese Armed Forces are deployed in seven military districts (Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanking, Guangzhou and Chendu). The ground forces of the PLA consist of mobile operational units, border and coast guard units and military garrison guard units. At present, the total strength of the Soviet Army Air Forces is 850 thousand people. They include 18 combined corps, including brigades and divisions, as well as independent joint operational divisions and brigades. 16, 39 and 40 combined military corps are stationed in Shenyang IN, in Beijing - 27, 38 and 65, in Lanzhou - 21 and 47, in Jinan - 20- 26, 54, 1, 12, 31, 41, 42, 13, 14, XNUMX, XNUMX, XNUMX, XNUMX, XNUMX, XNUMX, XNUMX

The PLA Navy consists of three fleets based in the North, South and East Seas. Headquarters fleet The North Sea is located in Qingdao, the South in Zhanjiang, the East in Ningbo. Each fleet consists of fleets, which include surface ships of different classes and submarines, including diesel and nuclear.

At the end of last year, the world press reported that China in the next two years will adopt strategic submarines equipped with nuclear-powered ICBMs. According to journalists, the American Commission on the Analysis of American-Chinese Relations in the Field of Economics and Security came to this conclusion.

According to the commission, since 2004, China has adopted two SSBNs equipped with ICBMs. According to official data, Beijing is planning to build four more such boats in the future. Commission members claim that the built SSBNs have not yet passed the final tests and are not put on combat duty. According to experts, each of the SSBNs is armed with 12 ICBMs of the JL-2 type. Last year, the third SSBN was adopted by the Navy. On the planned for the construction of new submarines, three of which are currently in production, and the construction of one more is planned, the number of launchers can range from 16 to 24 units. The ICBMs that are installed on the SSBNs are capable of striking enemy targets at distances from 7 to 13 thousand km and carry four, eight and ten warheads with a power of 250 kilotons each. Commission members believe that equipping the Chinese Navy with submarine rocket carriers and implementing the strategy of creating a reliable nuclear triad will significantly complicate the situation in East Asia and beyond. In addition, this may lead to a deterioration in relations between the United States and China. In addition, building up China’s nuclear potential is fraught with retaliatory measures by Russia and India, which can begin to actively expand their nuclear arsenals and significantly increase their nuclear stockpiles. weapons.

In September last year, the first aircraft carrier Liaoning was introduced into the Chinese Navy. As stated in the White Paper, the adoption of this aircraft carrier will have a significant impact on the strengthening of the Navy and will provide the required level of protection of the marine areas of the country.

The Navy includes the maritime aviationas well as coast guard and marine corps units. About 250 thousand people serve in parts of the Chinese Navy. It includes numerous naval bases, MTO bases and military garrisons.

Currently, as part of the PLA there are numerous air forces. They have aircraft armed with nuclear weapons, have a large fleet of fighter and army aircraft. The air force radio engineering troops are able to fully control the airspace of the border areas, creating a continuous radar field at medium and high altitudes. It should be noted, although almost nothing is said about this in the White Paper that the military-political leadership of the PRC is actively modernizing the air force, giving it a decisive role in waging future wars and resolving armed conflicts. The main focus is on the qualitative upgrade of the aircraft fleet, on equipping combat aircraft with new missile systems, as well as on the development of electronic control systems of aviation units and their weapons.

China is actively developing advanced VVT Air Force, including the creation of the latest generation of fighter jets, the latest ground-to-air missiles and radars. In addition, systems and means of early warning, control and communications, strategic early warning systems, nuclear deterrence systems, and means of delivering strikes from long ranges are being modernized. The Beijing leaders intend to increase the combat potential of the Air Force to a level that ensures effective protection of the country against attacks by potential enemies. They must be able to conduct offensive air, air and airborne operations in all wars and all theaters. In this regard, the leadership of the PLA is taking measures to change the structure of forces and means and to deploy integrated management systems, communications, intelligence and logistics.

The PRC Air Force has 398 thou. Thousands of people, which are controlled by aviation commands located in each of the seven military districts. Airborne bases, airborne divisions and brigades, missile divisions and air defense brigades, radar brigades and other units are subordinated to these commands. In addition, the structure of each command includes one air corps.

The PLA White Paper states that the main force providing nuclear deterrence of potential enemies is the Strategic Missile Forces, which, in Chinese military terminology, are called the PLA Second Artillery Corps. The corps consists of units and subunits armed with nuclear and conventional high-precision missiles, and units of the logistical and other types of support for the activities of the Missile Forces. According to some reports, the Second Artillery Corps consists of six brigades of about 100 thousand military personnel. His superiors are responsible for preventing the use of nuclear weapons against China and for retaliating nuclear strikes on the enemy’s territory, as well as for accurately defeating military targets of hostile countries with conventional missiles.

Following the principle of creating compact and efficient nuclear and conventional missile forces, the Peking leadership is actively working towards the complete informatization of the systems and facilities that are in service with the corps. The combat potential of this structure of the PLA is constantly increasing by introducing the latest technologies into the weapon systems and technical means of command and control. The corps includes rocket and training bases, special support units, military academies and research institutes. In the armament of the corps are ICBM class "Dun Feng" and cruise missile "Chan Jan."

The White Paper does not provide data on the nuclear missile potential of China and all types of land-based and sea-based ICBMs in service. The government of China continues to keep secret information about its nuclear arsenal. But world experts are constantly monitoring the development of the nuclear shield of the Middle Kingdom. According to the American Arms Control Association, China’s strategic missile forces currently cost about 240 nuclear warheads of various capacities. Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) assesses the Chinese arsenal of 200 warheads.


Ensuring the required level of readiness of troops to solve their tasks in peacetime and wartime is a constant activity of all levels of the PLA leadership. The combat readiness of the troops is a guarantee of the security of the PRC and the elimination of any threats. China’s Armed Forces have a rigorous and effective system for maintaining constant combat readiness. To this end, numerous measures are being taken to develop military structures that provide combat readiness, various types of military exercises, and appropriate levels of preparedness have been introduced for solving the tasks of the border troops, the coast guard, air defense units and the protection of military facilities. They must be ready to fulfill their functions both in wartime conditions and in other emergency situations.

In the PLA there are three levels of alert, starting with the lowest and ending with the full deployment of troops. The Ground Forces, the Air Force and the Naval Forces ensure the security of the country and maintain internal and external order by patrolling the border areas of the PRC, the airspace and the adjacent sea and ocean areas along the deployment routes of the Chinese fleet. Units of all types of troops to ensure proper combat readiness use all systems of observation, reconnaissance, communications and command and control at their disposal. Signals from them come through communication lines and data transmission channels to all authorities of the Armed Forces and to the relevant structures of the country's top political leadership for timely decision-making.

In peacetime, formations and units of the Second Artillery Corps constantly maintain the level of combat readiness set by them. It is based on the principles of the combined provision of the needs of peace and wartime, that is, on the constant control of space and air space at any distance from the Chinese borders. An effective control system has been created in the hull to help ensure the required level of combat readiness of the units of this type of aircraft. Its technical components can quickly respond to all the military threats of the PRC and function effectively under extraordinary circumstances.

In cases where China will be threatened with a nuclear attack, the Second Corps will be transferred to the highest degree of combat readiness and will begin to act on the orders of the CPC Military Commission. In an atomic attack, the nuclear forces of the corps, independently or in cooperation with other types of aircraft armed with nuclear weapons, strike back at the enemy. Conventional rocket forces are instantly transferred to combat readiness of wartime and strike at enemy targets from medium and long ranges.

Although China is a party to many international treaties on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Chinese authorities do not put their signatures on such important documents as the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Small-Range Missiles 1987 of the Year and the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START 3) 2010 of the year.

The White Paper specifically describes some domestic military exercises and the PLA’s participation in the international military exercises of the Armed Forces, the fight against global terrorism, the participation of the Chinese armed forces in peacekeeping operations and in the aftermath of natural disasters. It also tells about the activities of military personnel in the field of national economic development, the protection of the environment and the participation of the army in the public health activities of the PRC.

The white paper PLA is purely descriptive. In it, only in the most general terms are shown the military strategic installations of Beijing, and even more so the directions of the development of military technologies. It is unlikely that world military experts and intelligence analysts of interested countries will learn something new from it. Sufficiently detailed descriptions of the Chinese army and the directions of military construction of the Peking Defense Ministry have long circulated on the Internet. There are many studies of various scientific organizations of the world on this issue. The publication of this document is likely to be purely political. Apparently, the leadership of the PRC decided to simply show the world that it too embarked on the path of open, civilized development of the national armed forces and strengthens its military potential only in the interests of ensuring the effective protection of their country and strengthening world peace.

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  1. Turdaun
    Turdaun 17 May 2013 11: 05 New
    The red dragon frowns at us eagerly. He sharpened his fangs, took a deeper breath ... Soon exhale ... Fiery exhale ... All to incinerate, his dark and treacherous heart wants to subdue all ...
    Awake the world, the dragon goes on the attack !!!
    1. Guun
      Guun 17 May 2013 18: 43 New
      What do you mean? It would be better if they wrote about the United States and the West, China didn’t start a war after the Indo-Chinese conflict and didn’t bomb civilians - the United States was from the very beginning a gangster country with a bloody history starting with genocide from the indigenous population and ending with our time. Did China do that? You dance to the tune of the West with your anti-Chinese mood, dear, they want to pit us and reap the fruits thereby preserving their hegemony for the next 50-100 years.
      1. Turdaun
        Turdaun 20 May 2013 12: 27 New
        Dear, what makes you think that I am dancing to the tune of someone? And where does the Amerisos come in? And why is it suddenly minus so zealously? I just wrote my thoughts and nothing more. The fact that China is a big threat in the first place for us (Kazakhstan) is a fact, they have huge claims to our territory (they want to chop off the Almaty region). The Chinese threat is a REAL THREAT.
        China may not have bombed, but they solve issues a little differently, and believe me, they will soon take up the bombing, they are really preparing for war. I myself am from the city of Zharkent (40 km. From the Chinese border), so I know what I'm talking about, I constantly see PLA soldiers walking around our city. Everyone walks, look out, all sniff out.
        CHINA is a dragon killer.
        As for the United States, I completely agree with you, but that's another topic.
        And dear GUUN, please, before you blame the dance to the tune, understand the subject of what you refer to.
    2. Guun
      Guun 17 May 2013 18: 43 New
      What do you mean? It would be better if they wrote about the United States and the West, China didn’t start a war after the Indo-Chinese conflict and didn’t bomb civilians - the United States was from the very beginning a gangster country with a bloody history starting with genocide from the indigenous population and ending with our time. Did China do that? You dance to the tune of the West with your anti-Chinese mood, dear, they want to pit us and reap the fruits thereby preserving their hegemony for the next 50-100 years.
  2. serge78
    serge78 17 May 2013 12: 01 New
    1.6 million troops. One soldier per thousand citizens, high-quality selection is possible.
  3. knn54
    knn54 17 May 2013 13: 21 New
    It is simply the largest country in the world in terms of population, and has the largest armed forces. As follows from the document, their task is purely defensive. After all, China is faced with many and growing threats to its security.
    “Some countries are strengthening military alliances in the Asia-Pacific region, expanding their military presence and often exacerbate the situation” (PLA White Paper).
    The newspaper Jiefangjun Bao, a body of the Ministry of Defense of the PRC, writes that the West has hatched plans for weakening China. “Hostile Western forces have stepped up their strategy to subjugate China to Western influence and split it. All means are used. ”
    "The tongue is given to man to hide his thoughts." The PRC keeps its strategic potential a secret.
    PS "The People’s Armed Police is focused on fulfilling purely domestic political tasks."
    They must extinguish the unrest of the peasants, dissatisfied with the seizure of their land by the local authorities, to calm down the inhabitants of cities outraged by environmental pollution. The number of ~ 800000 people. "Not everything is calm in the Danish kingdom."