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China to cut its troops by 200,000

2003-09-01 00:00

       China has decided to further cut its troops by 200,000 to 2.3 million by the year 2005, following the previous disarmament of 500,000 during the period of 1996 to 2000.

  The decision, jointly made by the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the Central Military Commission (CMC), was announced Monday in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, by CMC Chairman Jiang Zemin at a celebration marking the50th anniversary of the founding of the National Defense Science and Technology University of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

  "To shrink China's armed forces is not only in accordance with the world military reform trend but also out of the necessity of the national economic construction," said Jiang.

  With the development of modern science and technology, especially information technology, global competition in military affairs has intensified, Jiang said, pointing out the current transformation from mechanized warfare to information warfare, with the information capabilities of the army playing an increasingly decisive role.

  "Further reducing the scale of the army will help us concentrate our limited strategic resources to quicken the pace ofthe information technology construction of our army," said Jiang.

  The decision carries great significance in that it will promoteChina's army construction, accelerate the modernization drive of the army, stimulate the national economic development and contribute to the peace and development of the whole world, said Jiang.

  The total force of the PLA, including both active and reserve components, has been maintained below the 2.5 million-strong mark.

  According to a white paper on China's national defense issued in December 2002, the Chinese government has always been strict inits control, management and supervision of defense spending, and has formed a complete system of relevant laws and regulations for that purpose.

  Based on the continuous economic growth, China's defense expenditure has somewhat increased at a fairly low level, and the increase is basically of a compensatory nature.

  According to a budget approved by China's legislature in March,the Chinese government earmarked 185.3 billion yuan for national defense in 2003, a 9.6 percent increase over the figure for the previous year.

  However, defense expenditure, which accounts only for 1.69 percent of the country's budgetary expenditure, remains much lowerthan developed nations, neighbor countries, and the world average,which stands at three percent. Enditem

      (from http://www.xinhuanet.com)

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