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 (2).svg
Ministry of National Defence HQ: August First Building, Beijing
Agency overview
Formed September 1954
Jurisdiction  People's Republic of China
Headquarters Beijing
39°54′28″N 116°19′15″E / 39.90778°N 116.32083°E / 39.90778; 116.32083Coordinates: 39°54′28″N 116°19′15″E / 39.90778°N 116.32083°E / 39.90778; 116.32083
Agency executive
Parent agency State Council
Central Military Commission
Website (in English)
This article is part of a series on the
Politics of China
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg

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 the "National Defence Ministry" (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 CMC's 15 departments.


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

Minister Took office Left office Time in office
Peng Dehuai 彭德怀
Dehuai, PengMarshal
Peng Dehuai

September 1954 April 1959 4 years, 7 months
Lin Biao 林彪
Biao, LinMarshal
Lin Biao

April 1959 September 1971 12 years, 5 months
Ye Jianying 叶剑英
Jianying, YeMarshal
Ye Jianying

January 1975 March 1978 3 years, 2 months
Xu Xiangqian 徐向前
Xiangqian, XuMarshal
Xu Xiangqian

March 1978 March 1981 3 years
Geng Biao 耿飚
Biao, GengGeng Biao

March 1981 June 1983 2 years, 3 months
Zhang Aiping 张爱萍
Aiping, ZhangGeneral
Zhang Aiping

June 1983 March 1988 4 years, 9 months
Qin Jiwei 秦基伟
Jiwei, QinGeneral
Qin Jiwei

March 1988 March 1993 5 years
Chi Haotian 迟浩田
Haotian, ChiGeneral
Chi Haotian

(born 1929)
March 1993 March 2003 10 years
Cao Gangchuan 曹刚川
Gangchuan, CaoGeneral
Cao Gangchuan

(born 1935)
March 2003 17 March 2008 5 years
Liang Guanglie 梁光烈
Guanglie, LiangGeneral
Liang Guanglie

(born 1940)
17 March 2008 16 March 2013 4 years, 11 months
Chang Wanquan 常万全
Wanquan, ChangGeneral
Chang Wanquan

(born 1949)
16 March 2013 19 March 2018 5 years
Wei Fenghe 魏凤和
Fenghe, WeiGeneral
Wei Fenghe

(born 1954)
19 March 2018 Incumbent 242 days


  • "Ministry of National Defence". Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2007-11-21.

External links

  • Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China (Chinese)
  • Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China (English)
  • 中国军网
  • China Military Online sponsored by the PLA Daily

See also

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