China media: Military spending

Papers back better financial management in China's armed forces Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Papers back better financial management in China's armed forces

Papers and experts support the government's decision to implement strict financial discipline in China's military spending.

According to reports, China's Central Military Commission has approved the implementation of a performance evaluation system to ensure efficiency and accountability.

The new guidelines will implement strict management of expenditure to ensure efficiency and introduce an evaluation system to hold individuals or units accountable for inefficiency, reports say.

Experts tell the Global Times that the decision will "help provide dependable financial support to realise the country's goal of establishing a powerful army".

Zhao Keshi, the head of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) General Logistics Department, tells the daily that the new system will ensure that military funds are effectively transferred into combat capability.

Xu Guangyu, a senior consultant at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, points out that the new system "will make military spending more transparent and scientific and reduce corruption in the army".

Stressing that "about one-third of our nation's military expenditure is used on military training and drills", Mr Xu adds that "an efficient management system is of great necessity to make sure that every penny of military fees is spent in the right place [when the budget is tight]".

The paper also notes that the PLA has "seen a spate of public pledges of loyalty to the Communist Party of China (CPC) among the leadership" after former CMC Vice-Chairman Xu Caihou was investigated for corruption in June.

Commenting on the cases of corruption in the military, Gong Fangbin, a military expert at the National Defence University, states that recent corruption cases may have prompted the announcement of the new guidelines.

The pundit tells the Beijing News that the military spending reform reflects problems in the expenditure management of the armed forces.

He adds that the reforms aim to improve efficiency because "an increase in military expenditure does not mean an improvement in national defence capability".

Governing cyberspace

Meanwhile, several media outlets are backing calls to govern China's cyberspace with the "rule of law" after the Communist Party embraced the principle at a key meeting last week.

According to Xinhua News Agency, officials "pledged to govern China's online space in accordance with the law" during a cyberspace regulation discussion on Sunday.

Lu Wei, the minister of Cyberspace Administration of China, said the party's "spirit of law should be vigorously applied to the internet to ensure regulators and online users behave within the limits of law".

An article in the Communist Party's news portal describes the "chaos and disorderliness of the cyberspace" as a "stubborn disease".

It points out that it is necessary to "govern the internet by law" in order to "implement the principles of governing the country with the rule of law".

Observing that the internet had been filled with "chaos and rumours" with some that even "threaten national security", the article explains that all these problems were caused by "the lack of standards and sound system in internet management".

"It is important to speed up and strengthen the law governing the online space, and to come up with a comprehensive legal system that deals with the internet as soon as possible," urges the article.

New bank

And finally, papers are dismissing fears that China's new regional bank is aimed at challenging the US.

China and 20 other countries, including India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, agreed to launch a China-backed Asian infrastructure bank last Friday.

However, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea refrained from participating after the US expressed concerns over the new institution, reports say.

Noting that the US is worried over China's leading position and it is dissuading some "major countries in Asia" from participating, the overseas edition of the People's Daily reassures that the purpose of the bank is not to "undermine" but to "fill the gaps" left by other multilateral institutions.

An article in the Securities Times adds that the US and Japan wield strong influence in global financial institutions like the World Bank and that prompted China to establish a new "not-for-profit financial organisation".

"Though the new bank will not bring direct profits, it could boost the soft power and influence of China in the region," it says.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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