Chinese state media say the government has for the first time published a list of companies that are authorized to supply military equipment.
The official Xinhua news agency said Wednesday that 1,600 suppliers are named on the list, which is being made public as part of a reform of the military procurement process.
The agency quotes an unidentified government source saying the reforms are aimed at introducing competition among suppliers and allowing civil manufacturers to bid for contracts. About 900 of the 1,600 companies on the list are civil manufacturers.
Xinhua says President Hu Jintao has been seeking the changes as part of a broader reform of the government's procurement process. It quotes the government source saying the changes should improve the overall quality of the military's equipment.