Military transparency

Updated: 2013-04-17 08:03

(China Daily)

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On Tuesday, China issued its eighth defense white paper in 15 years, elaborating its new security concept and providing detailed information on the diversified employment of its armed forces.

As a move to improve its military transparency, the document provides a prism for the outside world to see its defense policy and help others better understand why China is obliged to enhance its military capabilities.

While analyzing the challenges China's armed forces are facing today, the white paper emphasizes the country's pursuit of peaceful development and the country's commitment to a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. It drives home the message that China is fully capable of defending its land and people as well as its growing interests overseas.

The document includes a considerable amount of information that has been made public for the first time, and its unprecedented transparency is in line with the country's efforts to help the public know more about its armed forces.

In the past few months the People's Liberation Army has voluntarily increased its disclosure of the testing of new military equipment and the military exercises it is planning. The PLA has also been conducting regular military exchanges with other countries, and it has actively and extensively participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions. These moves show China is committed to greater military transparency and moving to deepen strategic mutual trust with other countries.

There has long been criticism from outside whenever China announces a major move to heighten its military's capability. Some countries have even used the advancement in China's armed forces to justify their own military ambitions.

For those who insist on pointing an accusing finger at China's military modernization, they are advised to reflect on the challenges the country faces in safeguarding its territorial integrity and the many complicated security threats it confronts. To cater to the practical needs of its security and development interests, China is fully justified in strengthening its national defense capabilities.

Increasing its military transparency is an essential move to eliminate misgivings about the country's pursuit of better security guarantees. The white paper is conducive to quelling the allegation that China's military build-up is too opaque.

(China Daily 04/17/2013 page8)