BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- As the People's Liberation Army (PLA) grows stronger in equipment and personnel, the Chinese military is also working to build its capacity through cleanness and transparency.
On Thursday, one day ahead of the 87th anniversary of the PLA's founding, the Ministry of National Defense held a routine press conference and, for the first time, eight correspondents from foreign media were invited to attend.
In a drive to increase transparency, the PLA has invited foreign correspondents to visit seven military units. Other pro-transparency moves by the army include inviting foreign officials to see advanced weaponry and participating in foreign military drills, such as RIMPAC 2014.
With 2.3 million personnel at present, the PLA has risen from rags to a strong power reflecting the country's three-plus decades of economic boom. Although this rise has been in accordance with China's growing national interests, its momentum has inevitably caused unease in some neighboring countries and established powers.
China's national defense strategy is a defensive one, despite its military buildup. Although the country is facing various challenges domestically and internationally, the PLA, as well as the armed police forces, will play the role of stabilizer and defender, rather than a challenger, of peace and stability.
A more transparent attitude will allow foreign people to understand the PLA and its peace-loving nature, helping to create a more favorable national image for China. Transparency will also cut down on the suspicions, misjudgments and miscalculations of other countries.
Moreover, transparency can let the world know the PLA's strength, capacity and limits to prevent countries from attempting to undermine China's national interests.
In the past few months, the PLA has strengthened its efforts in fighting corruption as part of the country's anti-graft war.
On June 30, former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission Xu Caihou was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for bribery. He is the highest-ranking Chinese serviceman to be probed for corruption in decades.
In March, Gu Junshan, former deputy head of the General Logistics Department of the PLA, was also charged with corruption.
History has shown repeatedly that a corrupt army can never win wars, despite relatively advanced weaponry. Only a clean army can consolidate the strength of its personnel, win the support of its people, and act effectively.