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


Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guófángbù
People's Republic of China National Emblem.svg
Agency overview
Formed28 September 1954; 67 years ago (1954-09-28)
TypeConstituent Department of the State Council (cabinet-level executive department)
JurisdictionGovernment of China
HeadquartersFuxing Road, Beijing
Agency executive
Parent agencyState Council
Central Military Commission (in English)

The Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中华人民共和国国防部; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guófángbù), or the "National Defense Ministry" (Chinese: 国防部; pinyin: Guófángbù) for short, is the second-ranked cabinet level executive department under the State Council. It is headed by the Minister of National Defense.

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 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 very few departments under the Ministry of National Defense and actually operated by the CMC departments.

  • Information Bureau
  • International Communications Bureau
  • Foreign Affairs Office
  • Peacekeeping Office
    • Peacekeeping Affairs Centre
  • Mobilisation Office


According to the Constitution of China, the Minister of National Defense is nominated by the Chinese Premier and confirmed by the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee.[1]

Although the Ministry itself does not exercise much authority, the role of the Minister of National Defense has always been viewed as one of the most important positions in the country's political system. The position of Minister has always been given to an active military officer (with the exception of Geng Biao), a State Councilor and a member of the Chinese 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 Defense Ministers

No. Portrait Minister Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
Peng Dehuai 彭德怀
Dehuai, PengMarshal
Peng Dehuai

28 September 195417 September 19594 years, 6 months PLA Ground Force
Lin Biao 林彪
Biao, LinMarshal
Lin Biao

17 September 195913 September 197112 years, 4 months PLA Ground Force
Ye Jianying 叶剑英
Jianying, YeMarshal
Ye Jianying

17 January 197526 February 19783 years, 1 month PLA Ground Force
Xu Xiangqian 徐向前
Xiangqian, XuMarshal
Xu Xiangqian

26 February 19786 March 19812 years, 11 months PLA Ground Force
Geng Biao 耿飚
Biao, GengGeng Biao

6 March 198119 November 19832 years, 3 monthsFormerly  PLA Ground Force
Zhang Aiping 张爱萍
Aiping, ZhangGeneral
Zhang Aiping

19 November 198212 April 19885 years, 4 months PLA Ground Force
Qin Jiwei 秦基伟
Jiwei, QinGeneral
Qin Jiwei

12 April 198829 March 19934 years, 11 months PLA Ground Force
Chi Haotian 迟浩田
Haotian, ChiGeneral
Chi Haotian

(born 1929)
29 March 199317 March 20039 years, 11 months PLA Ground Force
Cao Gangchuan 曹刚川
Gangchuan, CaoGeneral
Cao Gangchuan

(born 1935)
17 March 200317 March 20085 years PLA Ground Force
Liang Guanglie 梁光烈
Guanglie, LiangGeneral
Liang Guanglie

(born 1940)
17 March 200816 March 20135 years PLA Ground Force
Chang Wanquan 常万全
Wanquan, ChangGeneral
Chang Wanquan

(born 1949)
16 March 201319 March 20185 years PLA Ground Force
Wei Fenghe 魏凤和
Fenghe, WeiGeneral
Wei Fenghe

(born 1954)
19 March 2018Incumbent3 years, 307 days PLA Rocket Force

See also


  • "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