China will accelerate the build-up of its nuclear and conventional arsenal to form a credible deterrent, the general in charge of the country's strategic missile force said.
"We will accelerate the building of our nuclear and conventional combat strength," said Jing Zhiyuan, the commander of the Second Artillery Corp, in an article he co-wrote for the authoritative journal Qiushi published on Sunday.
"We will strengthen the build-up of combat systems and improve the training of high-quality personnel," said the article.
China will also develop "a nuclear and conventional missile force corresponding to the needs of winning a war" in conditions changed by modern information technology, it said.
The Second Artillery Corps is an independent branch of the armed forces directly under the control of the powerful Central Military Commission. It is armed with hundreds of strategic and tactical missiles.
"The Second Artillery is the core of our nation's strategic deterrence. It is the main support pillar and backup force of our national security and development," the article said.
The corps' jobs include "deterring other countries from using nuclear weapons against China, and for conducting nuclear counter-attacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles," China said in a recent policy paper.
Quishi is a journal for the ruling Communist Party to publish policies and theories.
The United States has long expressed concern over China's military build-up, and accused the Chinese government of not being transparent about its defence spending.
China has said its military budget for 2008 was 417.8 billion yuan (61 billion dollars), a rise of 17.6 percent from the previous year.
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