On January 6, 2015, People’s Daily reported on the "2015 China High-level Forum on International Affairs" held at the Institute of International Relations at Renmin University of China on January 3, 2015. Major General Zhu Chenghu, a professor from the National Defense University of China, gave a speech on the topic of "the contemporary military trends in the world and China’s military diplomacy." Zhu said that future wars will be more localized because of informationization. Therefore, China must improve the ability of its soldiers to handle an information war. Faced with enormous pressure on maritime security, China must also develop naval forces to safeguard China’s maritime interests.
Zhu stated that, although the United States has never acknowledged its strategic goal of containing China, the United States strengthens its military deployment surrounding China, shifts its strategic center to the Asia-Pacific region, conducts high intensity and close surveillance of China, holds large-scale military exercises in waters near China, divides the relations between China and other countries, has created a TPP around China, and excludes China from the TPP. "All these actions have demonstrated that it is trying to contain China." General Zhu said, "Although China has said that we do not challenge the leadership of the United States position, I want to tell our American friends that China’s challenges to you are inevitable and unavoidable. China’s development is bound to challenge the U.S. leadership."
Zhu said that, faced with the United States and other countries’ future changes in warfare and adjustments in military strategy, China must strengthen its construction and development of military weapons and equipment. In military construction, China must increase military investment to ensure financial support, improve the ability of officers and soldiers to manage information warfare, and improve the combat capability of military troops and equipment. On weapons development, [China must] strengthen the development of information infrastructure and information equipment, strengthen the development of forces in space, strengthen the strategic development of both nuclear and ordinary, offensive and defensive capabilities, and strengthen the construction of naval equipment.
Zhu further said that in recent years, China has been paying attention to the sea. It is partly because China is facing tremendous pressure in the area of maritime security that China must protect its maritime rights from other countries’ aggression. At the same time, it is due to the fact that China’s economic development is more dependent on the oceans than ever. However, China is still far behind the West in the development of maritime power. To safeguard the interests of our oceans, the only way is to advance [China’s] maritime power.
At the end of his speech, Zhu said that military diplomacy sometimes has the function of solving tough issues with a small effort. Often, its role in resolving a number of the issues that our country faces in external security cannot be replaced with national or money diplomacy. With the advances of China’s power, military diplomacy will play a greater role in the country’s overall diplomacy.
Source: People’s Daily: January 6, 2015