Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China

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Ministry of National Defence of the People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guófángbù
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.svg
Ministry of National Defence HQ
Agency overview
Formed September 1954
Jurisdiction  People's Republic of China
Headquarters Beijing
Agency executive
Parent agency State Council
Website (English)

The Ministry of National Defence of the People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国国防部; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國國防部; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guófángbù) or for short (simplified Chinese: 国防部; traditional Chinese: 國防部; pinyin: Guófángbù) is a ministry under the State Council. It is headed by the Minister of National Defence. The MND was set up according to a decision adopted by the 1st Session of the 1st National People's Congress in 1954. In contrast to practice in other nations, the MND does not exercise command authority over the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which is instead subordinate to the Central Military Commission (CMC). Instead, the MND itself only serves as liaison body representing the CMC and PLA when dealing with foreign militaries in military exchange and cooperation.

Its official responsibilities had been to exercise unified administration over the development of the armed forces of the country such as recruitment, organization, equipment, training, scientific military research of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the ranking and remuneration of the officers and servicemen. However, in reality these responsibilities are carried out by the four General Headquarters of the PLA, which are under the control of the CMC.


There are a number of departments under the Ministry of National Defence:

  • General Office
  • Foreign Affairs Office
  • Peacekeeping Office
  • Conscription Office

The Ministry of National Defence General Office is in fact the same body as the General Staff Department General Office. Other offices are also staffed by personnel from the General Staff Department.


Although the Ministry itself does not exercise much authority, the role of the Minister of National Defence has always been viewed as one of the most important positions in the country’s political system. The Minister is always an active military officer, a State Councilor and a member of the Communist Party's Central Committee and member (sometimes a Vice Chairman) of the Central Military Commission, enabling him to take part in the decision making in the PLA, the Government and the Party.

List of Defence Ministers

From 1971 to 1975 the post was vacant due to the Cultural Revolution.

Name Took office Left office
1 Marshal Peng Dehuai September 1954 April 1959
2 Marshal Lin Biao April 1959 September 1971
3 Marshal Ye Jianying January 1975 March 1978
4 Marshal Xu Xiangqian March 1978 March 1981
5 Geng Biao March 1981 June 1983
6 General Zhang Aiping June 1983 March 1988
7 General Qin Jiwei March 1988 March 1993
8 General Chi Haotian March 1993 March 2003
9 General Cao Gangchuan March 2003 17 March 2008
10 General Liang Guanglie 17 March 2008 16 March 2013
11 General Chang Wanquan 16 March 2013 Incumbent


External links

See also