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People's Daily Online

China Voice: China's new military roadmap adheres to peaceful development

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 17:14, May 26, 2015

BEIJING, May 26 -- Although the term 'active defense', the highlight of China's latest military strategy released Tuesday, sounds quite new, the country's path of peaceful development will not change.

The philosophy of China's active defense strategy can be boiled down by an expression used in the white paper - 'we will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.'

The expression, first used in wartime, was once a household idiom in China meaning that the country's people are peace-loving, yet they will not cower back when facing aggression.

To draw a clear line, active defense is different from the preemptive intervention that some countries are practicing, with the latter meaning countries may act on perceived threats before real ones even emerge.

China adheres to the path of peaceful development not only because of the responsibility it assumes as a major power, but also because of China's basic interests. A peaceful and stable international environment is imperative to sustain its economic growth.

The paper, China's first systematic interpretation of the country's military strategy, reiterates opposition to hegemonism and power politics in all forms. The country will never seek hegemony or expansion. The armed forces will remain a staunch force in maintaining world peace.

However, as an old Chinese saying goes, 'the tree longs to be still but the wind won't cease'. China's peaceful development needs safeguarded national interests, especially in the South China Sea and the Taiwan issue.

The paper notes, 'some of China's offshore neighbors take provocative actions and reinforce their military presence on China's reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied. Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China'.

China will protect its lawful rights and interests.

The international community should be wary of any voices that intentionally create tension in this region, or any countries trying to seek excuses for military action.

China also pledges to provide more public security, while shouldering more international responsibility, according to the paper.

China began issuing a national defense white paper since 1998. The changes in white papers show the development of China's armed forces in accordance with a changing environment.

However, no matter what changes and new ideas a white paper puts forward, the major theme of the times that China perceives -- peace and development -- has not changed.

Therefore, the country will continue to lead a peaceful development path.

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