China sticks to defensive national defense policy
China's seventh white paper on national defense, made public Thursday, reiterates the country's pursuit of a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, Xinhua reported.
The pursuit of such a national defense policy is determined by China's development path, its fundamental aims, its foreign policy, and its historical and cultural traditions, says the white paper, issued by the Information Office of the State Council.
"China will never seek hegemony, nor will it adopt the approach of military expansion now or in the future, no matter how its economy develops," the white paper says.
Senior Colonel Geng Yansheng, spokesman with the Defense Ministry, told a press conference on Thursday that China will never change the defensive nature of its national defense policy.
"China will, as always, link the fundamental interests of the Chinese people with the common interests of people in the world and link its security with the world peace," Geng said. "China will actively participate in international security cooperation and work for global and regional peace and stability."
Chinese armed forces are engaged in international missions that are peaceful, cooperative and constructive in nature, under the Charter of the United Nations and related international rules, he said.
The military exercises and training between Chinese and foreign armed forces have followed the principles of being non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party, he said.
The exercises the Chinese navy has conducted along the Chinese coast and nearby waters were routine and did not target any other country, he said.
While conducting escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, the Chinese navy not only protected Chinese vessels but also foreign ones and those of international organizations, he said.
Chinese armed forces also helped relevant departments of the Chinese government deliver humanitarian relief materials and sent rescue teams to disaster-hit countries, he added.
Chen Zhou, a research fellow with the Academy of Military Sciences, told Xinhua that a defensive national defense policy is in line with China's core values.
"As long as it adopts a defensive policy, the country will gain the validity and legitimacy to protect the national interests and convince the world that it is developing peacefully," he said.
Maintaining world peace and stability is listed by the white paper as one of the goals and tasks of China's national defense.
China advocates the settlement of international disputes and regional flashpoint issues through peaceful means and opposes resort to the use or threat to use of force at will, according to the white paper.