China allays China threat, seeks good-neighbourliness

Beijing, Dec 29 | Updated: Dec 30 2006, 05:58am hrs
China, whose unprecedented rise has caused global concerns, on Friday said it would pursue a road of peaceful development and good-neighbourliness while zealously safeguarding its sovereignty and national security, especially foiling taiwans bid for independence.

China persists in continuing its peaceful development road, a white paper on Chinas national defence in 2006 issued by the Chinese cabinet said here. Chinas security still faces challenges that must not be neglected, said the white paper, the fifth of its kind issued by the Chinese government since 1998.

It says the growing interconnections between domestic and international factors and interconnected traditional and non-traditional factors have made maintaining national security a more challenging task.

The struggle to oppose and contain the separatist forces for Taiwan independence and their activities remains a hard one.

By pursuing a radical policy for Taiwan independence, the Taiwan authorities aim at creating de jure Taiwan independence through constitutional reform, thus still posing a grave threat to Chinas sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to peace and stability across the taiwan straits and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, the white paper says.

It says the United States has reiterated many times that it will adhere to the one-China policy and honour the three joint communiques between China and the United States. But, the United States continues to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan, and has strengthened its military ties with Taiwan, the white paper noted.

The white paper says Chinas national defence provides the guarantee for maintaining its security and unity, and realising the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.

To build a powerful and fortified national defence is a strategic task of Chinas modernisation drive, the white paper says.

The white paper says China pursues a three-step development strategy in modernising its national defence and armed forces in accordance with the states overall plan to realise modernisation.

The first step is to lay a solid foundation by 2010, the second is to make major progress around 2020, and the third is to basically reach the strategic goal of building informationised armed forces and being capable of winning informationised wars by the mid-21st century.

The 2.3-million-strong Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) will uphold national security and unity, and ensure the interests of national development.

This includes guarding against and resisting aggression, defending against violation of Chinas territorial sea and air space, and borders; opposing and containing the separatist forces for Taiwan independence and their activities, taking precautions against and cracking down on terrorism, separatism and extremism in all forms, it said.

The white paper also pointed out that a small number of countries have stirred up a racket about a China threat, and intensified their preventive strategy against China and strove to hold its progress in check.

China will not engage in any arms race or pose a military threat to any other country, it asserted.

Defending the double-digit growth in its defence budget, the white paper acknowledged that since the early 1990s, China has gradually increased its defence expenditure on the basis of its economic development to safeguard its sovereignty, security and unity, and to keep pace with the global revolution in military affairs.

PTI