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A Holistic View of National Security

Source: Xi Jinping The Governance of China I Updated: 2020-12-04

A Holistic View of National Security* 

April 15, 2014 

We need to acquire an accurate understanding of new developments and trends of the situation of national security, adhere to a holistic view and develop national security with Chinese characteristics. 

In running the Party and the country, one of our basic principles is to remain keenly alert to potential dangers and on guard against adversity in times of peace. To secure its leadership role and unite the country in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, our Party should make national security its top priority. 

The Third Plenary Session of the Party's 18th Central Committee decided to establish the National Security Commission (NSC). This is a pressing requirement for modernizing the national governance system and enhancing our governance capacity, and for achieving long-term political stability. This will provide a strong guarantee for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and for fulfilling the Chinese Dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The aim of the establishment of the commission is to better handle new developments and new tasks in the realm of national security, and build a national security system which is centralized, integrated, highly efficient, and authoritative, so as to improve leadership over the work of national security. 

At present, the national security issues facing China encompass far more subjects, extend over a greater range and cover a longer time scale than at any time in the country's history. Internally and externally, the factors at play are more complex than ever before. Therefore, we must maintain a holistic view of national security, take the people's security as our ultimate goal, achieve political security as our fundamental task, regard economic security as our foundation, with military, cultural and public security as means of guarantee, and promote international security so as to establish a national security system with Chinese characteristics. 

To implement a holistic view of national security, we should attach equal importance to internal and external security – promoting development, reform and stability and building China into a safe country domestically, while seeking peace, cooperation and mutual benefits and building a harmonious world internationally. Homeland security and the people's security are equally important. We must follow the principle of people first, insist that everything done for national security is for the sake of the people, should rely on the people, and gain the support of the people. We must pay close attention to both traditional and non-traditional security, and build a national security system that integrates such elements as political, homeland, military, economic, cultural, social, science and technology, information, ecological, resource and nuclear security. We should pay close attention to both development and security. The former is the foundation of the latter while the latter is a precondition for the former. A wealthy country may build a strong army, and a strong army is able to safeguard the country. While paying close attention to our own security, we must also pay attention to the common security of the world, and contribute our effort to turning the world into a secure place for all nations. We should urge all parties to work hard for the goals of mutual benefit and common security. 

The NSC should abide by the principles of centralized leadership, scientific planning, exercising power in both centralized and separated ways, coordinated actions, and high performance and efficiency. It should focus its efforts, follow the key guidelines, and vigorously implement the overall strategy of China's national security. 

* Main points of the speech at the first meeting of the National Security Commission. 

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)