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April 25, 1964

Report by the War Department of the General Staff

Deputy Chief of Staff Yang [Chengwu]:

According to your instruction, we have made a special investigation on the question of how our country's economic construction should prepare itself for a surprise attack by the enemy. From the several areas that we have looked at, many problems emerge, and some of them are very serious.

(1) The industry is over concentrated. About 60 percent of the civil machinery industry, 50 percent of the chemical industry, and 52 percent of the national defense industry (including 72.7 percent of the aircraft industry, 77.8 percent of the warship industry, 59 percent of the radio industry, and 44 percent of the weapons industry) are concentrated in 14 major cities with over one million population.

(2) Too many people live in cities. According to the census conducted at the end of 1962, 14 cities in the country have a population over one million, and 20 cities a population between 500,000 and one million. Most of these cities are located in the coastal areas and are very vulnerable to air strikes. No effective mechanisms exist at the moment to organize anti-air works, evacuate urban population, guarantee the continuation of production, and eliminate the damages of an air strike, especially the fallout of a nuclear strike.

(3) Principal railroad junctions, bridges, and harbors are situated near big and medium-size cities and can easily be destroyed when the enemy attacks cities. No measures have been taken to protect these transportation points against an enemy attack. In the early stage of war, they can become paralyzed.

(4) All reservoirs have a limited capacity to release water in an emergency. Among the country's 232 large reservoirs with a water holding capacity between 100 million and 350 billion cubic meter, 52 are located near major transportation lines and 17 close to important cities. There are also many small and medium-size reservoirs located near important political, economic, and military areas and key transportation lines.

We believe that the problems mentioned above are important ones directly related to the whole armed forces, to the whole people, and to the process of a national defense war. We propose that the State Council organize a special committee to study and adopt, in accordance with the possible conditions of the national economy, practical and feasible measures to guard against an enemy surprise attack.

Please tell us whether our report is appropriate.

The War Department of the General Staff,
April 25, 1964.



Report on China’s readiness and defense against an enemy attack.


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Dangde wenxian (Party Documents) 3 (1995), 34-35. Translated by Qiang Zhai.


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