This is an article published on March 19, 2008 on the website of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Central Committee Party School, entitled “Military Strategy of Active Defense in The New Era.” The article points out that China should strive to win regional wars in the information era, seek to prevent conflicts and wars, improve joint operations and the ability to complete diversified military tasks, push forward the Chinese characteristics of military reform, develop the strategy of a people’s war, and create a safe environment for the nation and peaceful development. The following is the translation of major parts. 
As a large developing country, the economic, social, ecological, security issues and so on during development are relatively more prominent [in China than elsewhere]. In a nation of over 1.3 billion people, the modernization of the country is unprecedented, the fast speed of the economic transformation, its wide impact, and the complexity of the issues are rare in the world. Because the market economy has not been fully developed, during the crucial period of reform and development, the economy’s dependence upon the outside has substantially increased. The threat from terrorism, separatism, and extremism to our border security has become increasingly evident. Traditional security threats, the core of which is military and economic, still exist. Unconventional threats to economic security, information security, energy security, maritime strategy channel security, pubic ecological security, terrorism, etc. are on the rise.
In order to adjust to the changes of the international strategic situation and the national security environment, China has formulated its military strategy of active defense in the new era. Its main contents are as follows:
First, focus on winning a local war during the information age. The main conflict that China’s military buildup faces is that its level of modernization does not meet the requirement of winning local wars under the information age. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is turning to the trend of military development in the world, takes informationization as the direction for modernization, promotes the combined development of mechanization and informationization, gradually implements from mechanization and semi-mechanization to the transformation of informationization, and will achieve the holistic improvement of military power, attack capability, mobility, protection capability, and the overall improvement of information capability. Thus China has drawn up a three-step development strategy of the national defense and military modernization: To build a solid foundation by year 2010, to achieve significant development around 2020, and to reach the strategic goals of completing the informationalized military buildup and winning informationalized foreign military.
Second, pay attention to prevent conflicts and the outbreak of war. To safeguard the important period of strategic opportunities for the nation’s development and overall situation of national interests, the PLA persistently engages in coordinating closely military actions with politics, economics, diplomatic moves, and so on, and makes comprehensive use of various means and strategies to prevent conflicts and the outbreak of war. China’s security environment is complex—both the major and minor strategic directions have potentials for crises and conflicts. China has always been upholding the principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, and adheres to a self-defense nuclear strategy. The fundamental goal of this strategy is to contain other countries in the use of or threat of the use of nuclear weapons against China, and China won’t have any nuclear arms race with any other country.
Third, enhance the capability of joint operations and completing diversified military tasks. To meet the requirement of the modern warfare system and a variety of security threats and responses, the PLA uses joint operations as its basic combat modus operandi to enhance the military deterrence and combat capability, as well as carrying out non-war military operation capabilities. In the new era and new stage, the PLA not only needs to respond to traditional security, but also to deal with unconventional security; not only to protect homeland security, but also to safeguard the interests of overseas security; not only to safeguard national development and stability, but also to maintain world peace and development. To this end, the strategy of armed services is undergoing a significant change: our army is moving from a regional defense to global mobile mode, the Navy is changing from close to or on-shore defense to offshore, on-sea defense mode, the Air Force from the air-defense to the offensive-defensive, and the Second Artillery Corps is to be equipped with both regular and nuclear munitions systems.
Fourth, promote military reform with Chinese characteristics. To meet the challenges of new military changes, the PLA applies the strategy of building the military with quality and high technology, enhances the PLA’s weaponry and the innovation of national defense technology, and carries out military training under the informationization age and trains high quality and new types of military personnel. The PLA persists in seeking development in reform and innovation, promoting innovative military organizational structure and management, adjusting and reforming the military establishment and policy systems, to achieve the unification of speed, quality, and effectiveness of the armed forces. From 1985 to 2005, during the 20-year period, the PLA implemented three large-scale disarmaments, a total reduction of 1.7 million personnel. The size is now stabilized at 2.3 million. The PLA focuses on reducing the army’s personnel and military forces equipped with out-of-date technology and equipment, and strengthens the development of the Navy, the Air Force, and the Second Artillery Corps.
Fifth, develop the strategy and tactics of the people’s war. China’s real advantage and strength lies in the masses of people to build and consolidate national defense. Facing new changes in modern warfare, China adheres to combining the standing army and strong national defense reserve forces, and pays heightened attention to the buildup of militia and reserve forces. According to the strategy of combining peacetime with wartime, and combining the military and civilians with training people to be soldiers, we should develop a unified and highly efficient national defense mobilization mechanism; create new war tactics suitable for normal people to participate in the war, and fully utilize the power of people’s war. Militia is an important component of the armed forces in China. China currently has 10 million primary militia. At present, the militia in China is undergoing changes from infantry forces to a professional technology regiment. Our focus is to develop the air defense sub-teams, branches of the armed forces, and emergency units.
Sixth, create a safe environment that is beneficial to the peaceful development of the nation. The PLA carries out the national peaceful development strategy and foreign policy, develops military cooperation under the no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party, and opposes hegemonism and power politics. We do military exchanges and cooperation, and create the military security environment with mutual trust, mutual benefits, jointly preventing conflict and war. We participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations, in the international cooperation to fight terrorism and disaster relief operations, and play an active role in safeguarding the world and regional peace and stability. Since 2002, China has held 18 joint military exercises with 11 countries and regional organizations. Since 1990, China has participated in 18 U.N. peacekeeping operations, and has sent over 9,000 peacekeepers and military personnel. Eight military personnel died in peacekeeping missions. China has sent the most peacekeeping forces among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Currently there are 1,700 peacekeepers carrying out the peacekeeping task. The PLA also sent troops to participate in the Indian Ocean tsunami, as well as Algeria, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan earthquakes, and other international relief operations.
 CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Central Committee Party School