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Draft law outlines plans for military in an emergency

CHINA'S top legislators met in Beijing yesterday to discuss how and when the military should be mobilized in times of war or emergency.

The draft law on national defense mobilization is one of a raft of proposed laws being considered for the first time by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The draft law sets out principles and organizational mechanisms for national defense mobilization, personnel and strategic material storage, and the prevention and relief of war-related disasters.

State Councilor and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told legislators the law "was of great significance to boosting national strength and safeguarding state security and development."

According to the draft, the NPC Standing Committee will declare a national or regional mobilization in line with the Constitution and law if state sovereignty, unification, territorial integrity or security is threatened.

The president will issue a mobilization order based on the decision of the NPC Standing Committee, according to the proposed law.

Liang, who is also a member of the Central Military Commission, said governments above county level could "expropriate civilian resources under the law if inventories cannot meet the mobilization demand after the mobilization order is issued."

Such a move, with the help of economic strength, could "fundamentally enhance national mobilization capability," he said.

Citizens and social organizations should fulfill their duties of national mobilization, said Liang.

He said the draft set out obligations for companies and institutions relating to strategic material storage or military goods production, as well as subsidies, compensation and preferential policies.

Anyone who refused or evaded national defense duties, delayed civilian resource expropriation, or sabotaged military mobilization orders could be fined up to 20,000 yuan (US$2,924) or face "criminal punishment."

Defense contractors that failed to design or build material according to national defense demand, or improperly handled strategic material storage, could face fines of 50,000 to 200,000 yuan.

The country could administer supervision and control over major sectors with a bearing on people's livelihood.


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