PLAAF tracks and warns foreign warplanes
Shen Jinke, spokesperson of the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAAF), said on January 23, 2014 that in the two months since China set up the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), the PLAAF maintained normal air patrol in that area to strengthen the effective control over it. According to him, in a recent sea patrol, the PLAAF mobilized multiple warplanes to monitor and identify several foreign warplanes entering the East China Sea ADIZ, track them for evidence and issue voice warnings.
China, Vietnam agree to set up defense hotline
Yang Yujun, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), confirmed at the press conference on February 27, 2014 that China and Vietnam had agreed to set up a direct line between the defense ministries of the two countries. It was a positive step toward increasing their military mutual trust, promoting strategic communication and intensifying pragmatic cooperation.
Defense budget increases 12%
The Ministry of Finance submitted the 2014 budget draft to the National People’s Congress (NPC) on the morning of March 5, 2014, according to which the national defense budget in 2014 was increased by 12% to reach $132 billion. The increment will be mainly used to improve weaponry and equipment, with the priority on the PLA Navy (PLAN), PLAAF and the Second Artillery Force (SAF).
Western Pacific Naval Symposium first held by PLAN
The annual meeting of the 14th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) was held by the PLAN on April 22, 2014 in Qingdao for the first time. Altogether 150 naval leaders and representatives from 25 countries, including 21 member states, three observer states and Pakistan that applied to be an observer state, participated in this annual meeting.
PLAN taskforce has first round tour in Africa
The PLAN taskforce made a round tour in Africa from May 5 to June 20, 2014, visiting eight countries including Tunisia, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, Namibia and South Africa.
This was the first African round tour made by the PLAN taskforce. Of the eight countries it visited, seven of them were visited by PLAN vessels for the first time except South Africa.
PLAN fleet participates in RIMPAC exercise for the first time
After sailing for six consecutive days, the Chinese naval taskforce participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)-2014 met with American and Singaporean vessels in waters north of Guam at noon on June 14, local time. Comprised of guided missile destroyer “Haikou”, guided missile frigate “Yueyang”, comprehensive supply ship “Qiandaohu” and hospital ship “Peace Ark”, this was the first time that the PLAN fleet participated in RIMPAC exercise.
Chinese military academy opened to foreign media for the first time
Students at the Armored Force Engineering Institute of the PLA displayed their skills to more than 100 Chinese and foreign journalists on July 22, 2014. This was the first time that Chinese and foreign media were organized to visit a Chinese military academy.
China organizes first air confrontation between PLAN and PLAAF
According to PLA Daily, the PLAN headquarters revealed on August 18, 2014 that the aviation force of the East China Sea Fleet of the PLAN would assign an aviation detachment and several warplanes to participate in a free air confrontation drill with a PLAAF troop unit, the first time in the history of PLAN and PLAAF aviation forces. Breaking the traditional limitation that aviation forces of the PLAN and PLAAF only held internal exchanges, the new model was important for pinpointing and fostering the new growth point in the troops.
Chinese submarine visits Indian Ocean
Geng Yansheng, spokesperson of the MND of the PRC, confirmed on September 25, 2014 that a PLAN submarine carried out an escort mission along with the PLAN escort taskforce in the Gulf and Aden and waters off Somali coast. This was the first time that the PLAN assigned a submarine abroad and that its conventional submarine was confirmed as appearing in the Indian Ocean.
China, Japan consult on maritime liaison mechanism
At the MND’s regular press conference on October 30, 2014, MND spokesperson Yang Yujun confirmed for the first time that the defense authorities of China and Japan were consulting on re-starting the maritime liaison mechanism between the defense departments of the two sides.
China and the U.S. build two mutual trust mechanisms
The Information Office of the MND confirmed on November 14, 2014 that the Chinese and American defense ministers had signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on establishing the “mutual reporting and trust mechanism on major military operations” and the “code of safe conduct on naval and air military encounters” between the two sides. The MND said this was an important step to strengthen the two sides’ understanding of each other’s strategic intentions, intensify strategic mutual trust, manage and control crisis, and prevent risks.
China assigns first infantry battalion for peacekeeping mission
The Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion held an oath-taking rally on December 22, 2014 before leaving for South Sudan for a peacekeeping mission. The infantry battalion consisting of 700 people includes an infantry squad of 13 female soldiers, the first of its kind assigned by China to carry out peacekeeping tasks overseas. This was the first time for China to send an organic infantry battalion for peacekeeping mission in history.