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Strong PLA to better protect global peace

By Wang Xiaoxuan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-24 07:56

The revitalization of the armed forces over the past five years has found special mention in General Secretary Xi Jinping's report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Focusing especially on the role of technology and innovation in building a stronger military, which is crucial for establishing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, Xi said "by the year 2020, mechanization" will be "basically achieved" as "information technology application has come a long way, and strategic capabilities have seen a big improvement".

Xi also emphasized the People's Liberation Army must be made comprehensively stronger through technological and independent innovations and forward-looking plans aimed at developing cutting-edge military technology.

Thanks to the remarkable progress it has made in modernizing its national defense, China has realized the importance of technological innovations in building a strong military. That's why China is committed to allowing innovations to play a greater role in building a stronger PLA and developing its combat capability.

IT has become a main battlefield in the new era. Scientific and technological advancement, particularly rapidly developing IT, triggered a new military revolution at the end of the last century. As a result, IT has gradually become a leading factor in military development.

So far, China has achieved remarkable development in the high-tech field, particularly in the IT sector, thanks to the advancement in microelectronics and micro-electromechanical systems, new materials, aerospace and deep-sea exploration. China now has the technology and capability to independently develop and manufacture advanced armaments. For example, China has launched its first domestically developed aircraft carrier and heavy-lift transport jet Y-20, and successfully docked the Tiangong-1, China's first space lab, with Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 spaceships.

IT-based armaments have become a new factor in the PLA's combat capability, as the PLA is now equipped mostly with second-generation armaments with third-generation hardware making up its core. With the further synthesis of the army, navy, air force and rocket force, the PLA today has an optimized structure and achieved much higher level of modernization.

Besides, China is now focusing on critical high-tech programs to develop strategic, fundamental and key projects of frontier military technology, such as information fusion, stealth and anti-stealth equipment, and high-quality compound materials, which will help improve the PLA's combat capability.

China's defensive strategy, combined with its military progress, has drawn praise from across the world, because no matter how strong it becomes, China will always follow a defensive defense policy and oppose supremacy, hegemony and military expansionism.

The PLA has been playing a big role in maintaining global peace, as proved by its active participation in the United Nations' peacekeeping operations. And a stronger PLA will play a greater role in maintaining global peace by, among other things, cooperating with neighboring countries as well as the United States on security issues.

Whether or not a country with stronger armed forces will pose a threat to global peace depends on its national defense policy. Given this fact, the PLA will be not only a better guardian of national security but also a greater contributor to world peace if China upgrades its national defense policy and armed forces through technological innovations.

The author is an expert on military issues.

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