Deeper Civil-Military Integration*
June 20, 2017
Upgraded as a national strategy, civil-military integration is a major result of China's long-term endeavor to coordinate economic development with national defense. It is a strategic decision based on our overall national development and security interests, and a key measure to deal with complex security threats and gain national strategic advantage. It is of the utmost importance to strengthen centralized and unified leadership and uphold a holistic view of national security and the military strategic guideline with a problem-oriented approach in this new era. The top-level design should be an overall plan for the integrated use of infrastructure, key facilities, and resources based on essential requirements. Meanwhile, we should reform institutions and mechanisms, integrate military systems with concrete elements, and improve the general standards for both military and civilian development, so as to put in place a comprehensive and highly-efficient network of integration and build an integrated national strategic system and capability.
This is a period of strategic opportunities for civil-military integration. It is also a critical period for this integration to advance in scope and scale and achieve leapfrog development. This situation will prevail for some time to come. All departments concerned should seize the opportunity, broaden their vision and accelerate high-quality integration. These are some of the key points: unified leadership, further integration, innovative ideas, and in-depth cooperation.
Deeper civil-military integration must be based on our national and military conditions. We should blaze a trail of integration with Chinese characteristics. The concept, decisions and plans of civil-military integration must be fully implemented in all sectors of the economy and national defense and in all processes. Integration should bring into full play one of the key strengths of our socialist system – its efficiency in pooling resources to solve major problems. Integration must combine state guidance with the role of the market, and rally strength through proper planning, institutional innovation, policy support and legal guarantees. The integration of military and civilian development can support and drive both national defense and economic and social development, which will ultimately maximize the comprehensive benefit to both sides.
The ultimate approach to deeper civil-military integration is reform and innovation. We should start with greater opening up and removal of self-imposed partitions to make breakthroughs in the reform of institutions and policies, and reshape the system of integration and overall planning in key areas. Civil-military integration must be combined with the strategy of innovation-driven development. The building of an innovation system for this integration has to be accelerated. Pilot innovation demonstration projects should be set up to expand the scale of civil-military integration and explore new approaches.
To further civil-military integration, we must be legal-minded and promote our work within legal frameworks, so that the relevant laws and regulations can regulate, guide and safeguard the integration. Therefore, the enactment, revision, repeal, and interpretation of laws and regulations should be expedited accordingly. We should improve the institutional environment for the development of integration. Barriers should be dismantled. Obstacles must be overcome. Access thresholds must be reduced. Meanwhile, market access rules have to be improved. Our policies should encourage more competent enterprises, high-caliber talent, technology, capital and services to play a bigger role in civil-military integration.
To further civil-military integration, we must focus on priority areas, since development in these areas will play a leading role in driving overall development. There is tremendous potential for civil-military integration in such areas as infrastructure development, science, technology and industry for national defense, weaponry and equipment procurement, personnel training, outsourcing of military logistical support, and national defense mobilization. It is important to facilitate the integrated use of available resources and optimize the allocation of incremental resources, so that we will be able to benefit to the full from integration. The concept and requirements of integrated military and civilian development should be implemented in such fields as oceans, outer space, cyberspace, biology and new energy, which can serve both military and civilian purposes. The planning, building and utilization of infrastructure in these fields should be dual-purpose, too. Major problems should be dealt with promptly, so that military and civilian resources in the emerging sectors can be more compatible, better coordinated, and mutually accessible.
To further civil-military integration, we should put emphasis on implementation. Each and every one of us should have a strong sense of urgency and responsibility. "Seize the hour, seize the day", as the old saying goes. On key tasks and projects, we should be clear about our respective duties, and work hard to resolve problems with force and tenacity as a hammer drives a nail. The quality and benefit of integrated development should be under strict supervision and assessment. Relevant assessment systems, standards and codes should be formulated.
All provincial authorities and central departments should focus on the major decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee in both thought and deed. With a stronger sense of mission and responsibility, we should have the courage to brave dangerous rapids, challenge vested interests, or "move the cheese", so to speak, address thorny problems, cross over hurdles, and blaze new trails. We should strengthen overall planning in the fields of management, policies, major reforms, infrastructure construction, and pilot demonstration projects. Major problems crossing departments, sectors and regions should be resolved with effective coordination. All provinces and equivalent administrative units should expedite the establishment of leading offices for civil-military integration, and improve functions and work mechanisms, in order to lay an organizational foundation for the implementation of this major policy of the CPC Central Committee.
* Main points of the speech at the first plenary session of the Central Commission for Civil-Military Integration.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)