Chinese PLA marks 83rd anniversary

PLA vows to diversify missions to face cyber wars, win regional conflicts.

Updated: Aug 01, 2010, 15:48 PM IST

Beijing: China`s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), the world`s largest standing military with the total strength of over 2.3 million, celebrated its 83rd anniversary on Sunday, vowing to modernise itself and diversify its missions to face "cyber wars" and win regional conflicts.

The PLA, which is fast expanding with the world`s second largest budget -- only after the United States, will continue to enhance its capabilities and military readiness to safeguard sovereignty, security and development of the nation, Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie said.

"We will continue to strengthen the PLA`s capability to accomplish diversified military tasks, particularly for winning regional wars under informationised circumstances, to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development," Liang said, addressing a reception held here to mark the 83rd anniversary of the founding of the PLA.

He said China`s core security interests will always guide the development of the Chinese Army.

China wants merger of Taiwan with the mainland and considers Tibet as its inalienable part and these two issues form its main core interests.

The country is believed to have mounted thousands of missiles pointing towards the US-backed Taiwan, despite efforts to build up a rapprochement between the two sides through trade and cultural pacts.

Also, the Chinese Army -- which shares close strategic links with both Pakistani and North Korean militaries -- has a large presence in Tibet and Xinjiang to deal with the ethnic unrest in the provinces which came to the fore in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

In the Indian context, the PLA has gained significant tactical advantage by building up a vast amount of infrastructure up to the border of Arunachal Pradesh.

The PLA daily, its official organ, said in an editorial that "modernisation is the core of the construction of the PLA Army... it should strengthen preparations for warfare and focus on boosting the core capacity of fighting regional battles under the information background."

It called for more efforts in promoting national defence and Army building in order to deal with various security threats and asked the military to hold more exercises to train troops for actual combats.

The PLA, which considers Cyber Wars the most important in 20th century warfare, has opened its first cyber base to handle all types of cyber threats and "information based warfare”. The centre marks the debut of a new force in China to tackle potential cyber threats and safeguard national security.