China issues new rules on military equipment procurement contracts

Liu Xuanzun reports in Global Times that China put into effect new interim rules to regulate military equipment procurement contracts on Sunday, March 20, that aim to advance the quality and efficiency of equipment procurement, with analysts saying that the new regulations, together with several others that have taken effect since last year related to military equipment, will serve as vital steps to China's pursuit of national defense modernization.
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Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, signed an order to promulgate a set of interim rules on regulating military equipment procurement contracts, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday, March 19, echoed by Global Times. Comprising 35 articles in six chapters and taking effect on March 20, the regulations stipulate the basic tasks, content and management system for the supervision and management of equipment procurement contracts under new circumstances to advance the quality and efficiency of equipment procurement, Xinhua reported. The new rules will make sure that only equipment up to standard can be delivered to the troops, Xinhua said, without listing the articles of the rules in detail.

It is worth noting that supervision and management are the keywords in the regulations, and these likely apply to not only how the equipment pieces are developed, produced and delivered, but also how the funds are used, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on March 20. Supervision and management are needed to ensure the weapons and equipment that suit the needs of the troops are delivered in accordance with the contracts, as well as to rule out the possibilities of corruption and the unauthorized use of funds during the process, Song said.

The regulations will likely cover procurement contracts signed with both domestic and foreign suppliers, but China has been procuring mainly domestically developed weapons and equipment thanks to the strides it has made in related fields, analysts said.

China aims to basically complete the modernization of national defense and armed forces by 2035 and fully transform the PLA into a world-class military by the mid-21st century, Xinhua reported.