Air force building projects take off

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 April, 1999, 12:00am

The PLA Air Force has built many high-quality facilities in the past five years, the army paper reported.

At a ceremony to inaugurate a military aviation centre on an unidentified island, more than 100 experts attending an air force conference on project management praised the quality of new construction, the Liberation Army Daily said.

By implementing the 'new strategic principle' set by the Central Military Commission - the highest military body - the PLA Air Force command had built 37 airports and 100 command posts, operational offices and aviation control centres in the past five years.

The paper said more than 100 large weaponry and equipment warehouses and war-readiness facilities had been enlarged and renovated.

'Over 95 per cent of these combat projects have reached a high-quality standard, especially the airport runways, which have a 100 per cent quality evaluation,' the paper said.

Other new projects with a perfect score included guided missiles, minefields and three special railways.

Military analysts said the air force had been given preferential treatment in recent years compared to the army and the navy. It had benefited significantly from the official policy of preparing to fight a 'regional war under hi-tech conditions'.

President Jiang Zemin showed his support for the air force by making a high-profile appearance at its plenary session last month. There, he stressed the need to build an air force with 'both offensive and defensive capability'.

Analysts said the notion differed significantly from the previous 'active defensive policy'.

There were unofficial reports the air force had been building and reactivating facilities in the eastern region.