China’s military to be trained for ‘informationised warfare’: Premier

March 5th, 2009 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 5 (Xinhua) China will transform its military training based on mechanized warfare to that based on “informationised warfare”, according to a government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at a parliament session Thursday.
“In the coming year, we need to make our army more revolutionary, modern and standardised,” reads the report delivered at the Second Session of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC).

China “will effectively transform our military training based on mechanized warfare to military training for warfare under conditions of greater IT application”, the report says.

The country will continue to enhance the army’s ability to respond to multiple security threats and accomplish a diverse array of military tasks.

Wen said China will modernise weapons, equipment and logistics support across the board this year. “We will improve defence-related research, the weapons and equipment production system,” he said.

“It is not possible to win a modern warfare without due IT application,” said Qi Sanping, an NPC deputy and president of the Xi’an Politics Institute of People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Qi said it was necessary for China to develop high-tech and new weapons under the condition of greater IT application as far as the country’s capacity allows. “We should at least have the technology if we do not produce the weapons.”

NPC deputy Zhu Fachen, a logistics chief of the Second Artillery Corps, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the parliament session that “informationisation” is the trend of global military development.

China exercises a defence-oriented policy and its national defence expenditure is far less than that of the US.

The building of computerised armed forces has entered a new era of all-round development, says a white paper on China’s national defence in 2008 issued in January.

Starting with command automation in the 1970s, the People’s Liberation Army’s information technology has stepped from specific areas to trans-area system integration and is at the initial stage of comprehensive development, says the white paper.

China plans to increase its defence budget by 14.9 percent to 480.686 billion yuan ($70 billion) in 2009, according to Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the NPC session.

Li said the increased spending is mainly for better treatment of servicemen, and for the purchase of equipment and construction of facilities to enhance the ability of the military force to defend the country in the age of information.

China’s defence expenditure accounted for 1.4 percent of its GDP in 2008. The ratio was 4 percent for the US, and more than 2 percent for Britain, France and some other countries, Li said.

At the parliament session Thursday, Premier Wen said China will this year continue to enhance the army’s ability to respond to multiple security threats and accomplish a diverse array of military tasks.

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