South China Sea

China Releases 2015 Military Strategy

By Cody M. Poplin
Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 6:35 PM

Today, the People's Republic of China released its first public Chinese Military Strategy white paper. Issued by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense and the State Council Information Office, the paper outlines an "active defense posture" and asserts the importance of a larger Chinese naval presence that is capable of operating farther from its shores. The strategy also highlights China's growing concerns over cyber security and cyberwar, noting that "China will expedite the development of a cyber force" capable of providing defense and "maintain[ing] national security." 

While the paper contains at least a few veiled criticisms of the United States, which it accuses of "meddling in South China Sea affairs," it also suggests a peaceful path forward, concluding that "China's armed forces will continue to foster a new model of military relationship with the U.S. armed forces that conforms to the new model of major-country relations."

It opens as follows:

The world today is undergoing unprecedented changes, and China is at a critical stage of reform and development. In their endeavor to realize the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation, the Chinese people aspire to join hands with the rest of the world to maintain peace, pursue development and share prosperity.

China’s destiny is vitally interrelated with that of the world as a whole. A prosperous and stable world would provide China with opportunities, while China’s peaceful development also offers an opportunity for the whole world. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, oppose hegemonism and power politics in all forms, and will never seek hegemony or expansion. China’s armed forces will remain a staunch force in maintaining world peace.

Building a strong national defense and powerful armed forces is a strategic task of China’s modernization drive and a security guarantee for China’s peaceful development. Subordinate to and serving the national strategic goal, China’s military strategy is an overarching guidance for blueprinting and directing the building and employment of the country’s armed forces. At this new historical starting point, China’s armed forces will adapt themselves to new changes in the national security environment, firmly follow the goal of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to build a strong military for the new situation, implement the military strategic guideline of active defense in the new situation, accelerate the modernization of national defense and armed forces, resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and provide a strong guarantee for achieving the national strategic goal of the “two centenaries” and for realizing the Chinese Dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

You can read the rest of the strategy document here.