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Xi stresses enhancing integrated national strategies, strategic capabilities

Focus on China

G Iuvinale

On the afternoon of March 8, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, State Chairman and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the plenary meeting of the delegation of the People's Liberation Army and the Armed Police Force at the First Session of the XIV National People's Congress.

Xi stressed that it is opening new ground for enhancing integrated national strategies and strategic capabilities.

He also called for efforts to foster a healthy atmosphere of national defense care, dedication, construction and safeguarding among members of the public to pool forces to consolidate and enhance integrated national strategies and strategic capabilities, and to build a strong country with a strong military force.

Consolidating and enhancing integrated national strategies and strategic capabilities has profound significance in building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts, as well as in achieving the goals for the centenary of the PLA in 2027 and more quickly elevating the armed forces to world-class standards, said Xi.

Highlighting the goal of maximizing China's national strategic capabilities, Xi called for efforts in integrating the strategic layouts, resources and strengths in all areas, in a bid to systematically upgrade the country's overall strength to cope with strategic risks, safeguard strategic interests and realize strategic objectives.

Xi urged efforts to advance collaborative innovation in science and technology, with a focus on independent and original innovation, thus building high-level self-reliance and strength in science and technology at a faster pace.

Strategic capabilities in emerging fields must be bolstered in pursuit of new advantages in national development and international competitions, and the resilience of industrial and supply chains must be enhanced, Xi said.

Xi ordered coordinating the construction of major infrastructure, accelerating the building of national reserves, and making the reserves more capable of safeguarding national security.


The People’s Republic of China’s strategy aims to achieve “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049. China’s strategy can be characterized as a determined pursuit of political and social modernity that includes far-ranging efforts to expand China’s national power, perfect its governance systems, and revise the international order.

The Chinese Communist Party frames this strategy as an effort to realize long-held nationalist aspirations to “return” China to a position of strength, prosperity, and leadership on the world stage.

The CCP’s leadership has long viewed China as embroiled in a major international strategic competition with other states, including, and in particular, the United States.

In 2017, Beijing announced its goal to build the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a “world-class” military, overcoming remaining shortfalls in the force’s capabilities to establish China firmly among the ranks of the world’s leading military powers.

This objective is guided by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders’ view that China is approaching the “world’s center stage” and represents the military component of a multifaceted goal to establish China’s leading global position in every important element of national power.

Beijing views a world-class PLA as achieving parity in strength and prestige with the world’s other leading militaries, especially with the U.S. armed forces, and being capable of preventing other countries from resisting China’s pursuit of its national goals. Deterring outside intervention will be especially important in the Indo-Pacific region, where China aims to resolve territorial disputes with a number of important U.S. allies and partners - including through the use of military force if necessary - but will also extend to China’s overseas interests.

Once focused on territorial defense, China’s military strategy has evolved in recent years to encompass a concept PLA strategists refer to as “forward defense,” which would create greater strategic depth by extending China’s defensive perimeter as far as possible from its own shores. China is developing key capabilities necessary for force projection centered on a sophisticated blue-water navy that Chinese naval leadership plans to use to combat the U.S. Navy in the far seas.

To support this strategy, Beijing is expanding its military presence inside and beyond the Indo-Pacific, including by building a network of overseas “strategic strongpoints” consisting of military bases and commercial ports that can support military operations. China established its first permanent overseas military presence in Djibouti in 2017 and Argentina in 2018, and reportedly has reached an agreement for the PLA to operate from a naval base in Cambodia. The PLA is increasingly training and fielding capabilities for expeditionary operations, including by developing a third aircraft carrier and improving its amphibious assault capabilities.

The PLA continues to prioritize the modernization of its maritime, air, information warfare, and long-range missile forces, and is developing or has fielded cutting-edge capabilities in space, cyberspace, hypersonics, electronic warfare, and artificial intelligence (AI). Beijing is attempting to establish a leading position in the next global “revolution in military affairs” and is employing its “military-civil fusion” strategy to gain advantage in key emerging technologies. U.S. companies that partner with Chinese technology firms may be participants in this process.

Notwithstanding its long-held policy of maintaining a “minimal nuclear deterrent,” Beijing is growing, modernizing, and diversifying its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems. China doubled the size of its nuclear arsenal over the last decade and U.S. officials estimate it will double it again in the next decade, while Beijing has increased the readiness and improved the accuracy of its nuclear forces.

China continues to devote ample financial resources to its military modernization, with its officially-reported defense budget ranking second only to the United States since 2002. China’s overall defense spending has seen a nearly eight-fold increase over the past two decades, dwarfing the size and growth rate of other countries in the Indo-Pacific.


Xi Jinping attends the plenary meeting of the People's Liberation Army and Armed Police delegation

It is emphasized that the consolidation and improvement of the integrated national strategic system and its capabilities is a strategic deployment by the Central Committee of the Party to grasp the new situation, new tasks and new demands faced by a strong country and a strong military , in order to better coordinate development and security, and better coordinate economic construction and national defense construction. The realization of this deployment is of great importance for building a modern all-round socialist country, promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, realizing the centennial goal of the army, and accelerating the construction of our army in a world-class army. class. It is necessary to unify thinking and understanding, strengthen mission responsibility, pay close attention to the implementation of the work, and strive to create a new situation in national strategic system integration and capacity building.

At the meeting, Representatives Liu Zejin of the Science and Technology Committee of the Military Commission, Representative Rao Wenmin of the Equipment Development Department of the Military Commission, Representative Wang Hongyu of the National Defense Mobilization System, Representative Tang Linhui of the of Joint Logistics Support Representative Wan Jinyang of the Army and Representatives of the Navy Representative Wang Yaru took turns giving speeches, expressing views and suggestions on issues such as the construction of national laboratories, strengthening the capabilities of the science and technology industry of the national defense, the construction of major infrastructure, the construction of national reserves, border and coastal defense work, and national defense training.

Zhang Youxia, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, chaired the meeting He Weidong, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and vice chairman of the Military Commission attended the meeting and Li Shangfu, Liu Zhenli, Miao Hua and Zhang Shengmin, members of the Central Military Commission.

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