China’s revised National Defense Law took effect Friday after its adoption by China’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), at its twenty-fourth session on December 26 and subsequent promulgation by President Xi Jinping. The amendment makes significant changes, with a total of 54 articles revised, six added and three deleted from the older version.
The Central Military Commission of the People’s Republic of China will now assume overall responsibility of defense-related activities, a role earlier shared with the State Council.
Among other key amendments are provisions focusing on a greater role that could be played by the stakeholders (the state organs, the armed forces, political parties, enterprises and public institutions, social organizations, and people’s groups) to support national defense, making it a “whole-of-people” policy. These provisions include the encouragement and opening up of investments in the national defense sector to China’s citizens and enterprises, organizing military training for students, imparting national defense education, strengthening all citizens’ national defense awareness and capability, improving technology and capability levels of national defense, and greater protection of the interests of military personnel.