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China's cut of troops wins positive comments worldwide

(Source: China Military Online)   2015-09-11

  BEIJING, Sep.11 (ChinaMil) -- After China's V-Day military parade on September 3, the most heated topic in world opinion is President Xi Jinping’s announcement of cutting the number of China's troops by 300,000.

  "In the surprise announcement in front of a gathering of some of the world’s leaders in Beijing’s Tian'anmen Square, Xi said China was committed to peaceful development", wrote the British newspaper The Guardian on September 3.

  New York Times quoted experts as saying "President Xi Jinping of China announced on Thursday that he would reduce the country’s military personnel by 300,000, using a speech marking 70 years since the end of World War II to present the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as a force for peace and regional stability".

  Singapore's Union Morning Paper, in particular, outspoke in an important position that China's announcement on troop reduction at this juncture responded to the public's criticism that the military parade is a "muscle flexing", and showed China's determination to maintain peace.

  Experts from various countries give positive comments.

  A professor from the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia said that China has been promoting peace and proposing peaceful settlements of disputes, and cutting the number of its troops by 300,000 is a strong evidence.

  A professor with National Defense University of Pakistan, said that China's voluntary cutting the number of its troops has hit back hard against the "China Threat" theory.

  A China watcher from the Korea University said that President Xi Jinping hopes to convey a message that China will maintain peace through cutting the number of the troops.

  China's cut of troops’ number is in line with the world trend.

  Statistics show that Russia has undergone a number of troop reductions since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  The Russian troops were reduced from 2.5 million to 1.7 million after 1996, and it keeps decreasing. After 2008, Russia planned to reduce its troops to 1 million.

  Officials of the Department of Defense of the United States said that 40,000 soldiers on active duty will be cut in the next two years in order to cut down defense expenditures.

  The United Kingdom started to slash various services and arms of the British forces and cut its national defense budget a few years ago, so tremendously that the NATO could not help worrying at a time.

  In lateral comparison, China's 300,000 troops cut is an extremely rare scale worldwide over the past many years.

  It is worth mentioning that The Diplomat, a Japanese website, published an article named "Wondering Why China Held Its Parade? Here Are 5 Things Beijing Accomplished", saying that "the military parade has actually reduced some countries’ suspicions of China’s future intentions, especially when Xi Jinping made the surprising announcement that China would cut its troops by 300,000".

  The article continued that "this benign gesture is a further piece of evidence that China’s military advancements do not pose a threat to other countries in Asia and even the United States. The Chinese leadership sees the country’s rise as one that can only be achieved through peaceful means. There is no other way. Cutting 300,000 troops is a smart way to send a reassurance message to other Asian neighbors, with the hope that this gesture will be reciprocated by them".

  There is a popular belief that China will streamline its military structure and make the military more capable and efficient through this troop reduction.

  A researcher with the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies said that the troop reduction will help China cut down expenditures in military payrolls. Meanwhile, streamlining teams is a precondition for building a modern and capable military, and China's statement of its policy of peaceful development will also let Europe better understand China's security policy.

  A researcher with the European Union Institute for Security Studies holds similar views. She believes that the troop reduction does not mean reduction of the combat capability, but a more rational, leaner and more modern military, and that China will lay stress on development of its air force and navy to respond to the current security threats.

  Regarding the significance of the troop reduction, South Korea's made a pointed remark - a troop reduction was announced in a military parade that was initially seen as an occasion to promote the "rise of a great power", which is a bit surprising, and showcases China's strong confidence in military modernization.

Editor:Zhang Tao
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