Revised national defense law to take effect in China on January 1, 2021

China Military Online
Wang Xinjuan
2020-12-29 18:31:50

By Li Chun and Liang Xiaohui

BEIJING, December 29 -- The Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, adopted the revised National Defense Law at its 24th session on December 26. The revised law further embodies the character that China's national defense is a whole-of-people cause. It added contents about strengthening the national defense awareness and the crisis consciousness of all citizens, as well as improving the technology and capability level of national defense.

According to an official from the legislative bureau under China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), a total of 54 articles were revised, six were added and three deleted, and the titles of chapter four and five were changed. The revised National Defense Law, consisting of 73 articles under 12 chapters, will come into effect on January 1, 2021.

The revisions mainly cover 7 aspects.

First, the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is established as the guiding thought over China’s national defense activities.

Second, the national defense duties of relevant state organs are adjusted, and contents regarding the system wherein the CMC chairman shall assume overall responsibility are added.

Third, the tasks and goals for the construction of China’s armed forces are further elaborated.

Fourth, defense policy for major security domains is specified in view of activities and interest-defending needs in new-type security domains.

Fifth, the systems of national defense education and mobilization are enriched and perfected in consideration of the reforms in their leading and managing systems.

Sixth, protection of the position, rights, and interests of military personnel is intensified to make sure service members are respected across the society.

Seventh, policies and systems concerning foreign military relations are refined following the overall national security outlook.

The revised National Defense Law reflects that China’s national defense adapts to the times, serves righteous purposes, and involves and serves the whole people, said the official. 

Eying the overall strategic situation of national security and development in the new era, the revised National Defense Law adds its guiding thought in Chapter I, and complements contents on the Party’s objectives and guidelines of military development and governance in the new era. Contents are also added regarding the military missions and tasks in the new era, as well as the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The revised National Defense Law stipulates the basic principles of China’s national defense activities and expressly announces that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) follows a defensive national defense policy. It also states that the PRC actively promotes international military communication and cooperation, safeguards world peace, and opposes aggression and expansion, fully showing its anti-war and peace-loving beliefs.

Adhering to the idea of “whole-of-people national defense”, the revised law makes it clear that all state organs and armed forces, political parties and people’s groups, enterprises and public institutions, social organizations and organizations of other types should support national defense and participate in its development, fulfill their defense duties and accomplish defense tasks in accordance with the law. Contents are also added regarding strengthening all citizens’ national defense awareness and capability, organizing military training for students, and urging civil servants to play a leading role in participating in national defense education.

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