China’s military paper discusses goal of offense and defense and Taiwan pitches sharing South China Sea Resources

China’s state council has released a white paper on China’s military. In general the paper indicates that China is shifting a military just for defense to one focused on offense and defense.

Taiwan pitches sharing South China Sea Resources

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou laid out a plan on Tuesday to ease tensions in the vast, resource-rich South China Sea where China has chafed against its neighbours by expanding islets with landfill to solidify its claims in the region.

Ma’s plan calls for setting aside maritime sovereignty disputes in the region and jointly exploring for resources.

“We emphasise that whereas sovereignty can’t be divided, resources can be shared,” Ma said in his speech on Tuesday at an Asia-Pacific research forum in Taipei.

The China Military White Paper

The US Naval Institute has a complete copy of the english translation of the white paper

China has overlapping claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said China’s reclamation in the Spratlys was comparable with construction of homes and roads on the mainland.

Here are the highlights

The paper had a focus on winning cyberwar and maritime war

China vowed to increase its “open seas protection”, switching from air defence to both offence and defence, and criticised neighbors who take “provocative actions” on its reefs and islands

China’s air force would shift its focus from territorial air defense to both offense and defense, and building airspace defenses with stronger military capabilities.

China also announced plans for the building of two lighthouses in the South China Sea on Tuesday and broadcast a groundbreaking ceremony on state television, defying calls from the United States and the Philippines for a freeze on such activity.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the construction was to help maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, environmental protection and navigational security.

The strategy paper also said the People’s Liberation Army’s nuclear force, known as the Second Artillery Corps, would strengthen its capabilities for deterrence and nuclear counterattack as well as medium- and long-range precision strikes.

SOURCES – South China Morning Post, Reuters, US Naval Institute