Six months ago, China’s Second Artillery Corps, responsible for the country’s nuclear weapons, changed its name to the PLA Rocket Force. The military has now unveiled the Rocket Force’s new uniforms. Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry has again responded to criticism from the Pentagon over disputes in the South China Sea.
CCTV’s Han Peng reports.
Chinese military unveils Rocket Force uniformsThe new uniforms are mostly green, with the addition of khaki to symbolize the firing of a missile. CCTV’s Han Peng reports.
China’s Rocket Force commands the country’s missiles, including its nuclear warheads.
It runs in parallel with the land, naval and air forces of the People’s Liberation Army.
Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, said the new uniforms are mostly green, with the addition of khaki to symbolize the firing of a missile.
“Rocket Force troops will start wearing the new uniforms on July 1,” Qian said. “The new ones highlight the characteristics of the rocket force. In order not to waste funds, the old uniforms will be used by the PLA’s land forces.”
A team with quite a low-profile name, Second Artillery, used to command China’s missiles. It was an attempt to keep most of their operations secret. The Rocket Forces were established as an independent military branch half a year ago, as China’s military becomes increasingly transparent.
Also at the press conference, the spokesperson rejected United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s allegations, who said earlier this month that Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea violate international principles.
Carter said China is building a, “Great Wall of self-isolation.”
“Regarding the Great Wall, if you know about Chinese history, the function of the Great Wall was to ward off aggressors, but not goodwill missions and free trade,” Qian said. “As for isolation, China’s peaceful diplomacy has won friends around the world, and more and more countries are openly backing China’s stance on the South China Sea disputes. And, regarding principles, the U.S. says its military actions in the South China Sea are in the spirit of free navigation according to UN maritime law, but ironically, the U.S. has not ratified that law, which has been in place for more than 20 years.
Despite the war of words, the Chinese military said it is committed to strengthening military ties with the Pentagon.
Five Chinese vessels arrived in Hawaii Wednesday to take part in the Rim of the Pacific military drills.
“China attaches importance to the Rim of the Pacific drill 2016, because it will help strengthen the PLA’s capability against non-traditional threats,” Qian said. “It also helps boost professional exchanges and cooperation with naval forces of the countries taking part.”
The drill the U.S. will lead the drill, which involves more than 20 countries. China first took part in 2014.