|Remarks on Reception of Celebrating the 95th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Liberation Army|
I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of you for celebrating with us the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
On August 1st, 1927, the Communist Party of China launched an armed uprising in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, to Strive for national independence and the people's liberation, which Announced the birth of a new Army of the people led by the CPC. August the 1st, the glorious day, is now known as the Army Day in China. In the past 95 years, under the strong leadership of the CPC, the PLA has made indelible historical contribution to the Chinese people's liberation, socialist construction and reform, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, maintaining world peace and promoting human progress. The PLA has become world-famous as a formidable, civilized and peaceful military force. In the past 95 years, under the strong leadership of the CPC, the PLA has made great achievements and developed from a poor-equipped team to an advanced and well-equipped armed forces. Especially in the past 10 years, after the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC, and guided by the Xi Jinping Thoughts on strengthening the military, the PLA stays true to the original aspiration and founding mission and has been stepping up its efforts to fully transform into a world-class military. As an armed force created and led by the CPC, the PLA will always keep its mission firmly in mind and assiduously fulfill the tasks entrusted by the Party and the people so as to make further contributions to safeguarding people’s happiness, supporting national rejuvenation and promoting world peace and security.
Firstly, the PLA has been and will always be the solid pillar for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese people and the CPC have learned from a century of experience that a solid defense and a strong military must be built so as to provide strategic support for national rejuvenation. Peace has not come easy and must continue to be safeguarded. The world is now in the midst of eventful years far from peaceful, with diversified instabilities and security threats lingering on. China is confronted with increasingly complicated external obstacles and challenges that may undermine its stable development. Internally, a handful of rampant separatist and hostile forces are undermining China's national security. Keenly aware of the utmost importance and urgency to safeguard national security, China's military constantly strengthens its consciousness of dangers, crises and its mission, prepares for the worst, and remain as vigilant and ready as a strained bow for potential combat, which, when necessary, will immediately respond, fight and win. In particular, on issues concerning China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, China's military will take all necessary measures at any cost to safeguard national unity with stronger determination, greater capacity and more reliable means.
Secondly, the PLA will always provide as it did strong support for building a community with a shared future for mankind. Guided by Xi Jinping Thoughts on building a community with a shared future for mankind, China's military in the New Era takes on a vision featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. It earnestly fulfills its international responsibilities and obligations as a big country, further deepens bilateral and multilateral military and security cooperation and proactively provides more public security goods to the world. Notably, since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, China's military has faithfully implemented the concept of building a community of common health for mankind proposed by President Xi, and in an effort to protect the health and life of people all over the world, has deepened cooperation with foreign militaries in Covid-19 prevention and control, making important contributions to the building of a community of common health for mankind. So far, China's military has provided assistance materials including face masks and ventilators to over 50 countries such as Mozambique, Serbia, Cuba and Laos, sent medic expert teams to some countries such as Cambodia and Pakistan. With utmost sincerity for cooperation and efforts to overcome hardship, China's military has honoured its commitment and contributed positive energy to the joint efforts of the international community in combating the rampant pandemic.
Thirdly, the PLA has been and will always be a powerful force for peace and stability in the region and the world. The Chinese nation has always advocated peace and opposed militarism. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China has unswervingly pursued a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. The active defense principle is clearly enshrined in China's National Defense Law, and serves as a fundamental policy that is firmly and constantly followed by China's military. Since the beginning of the new century, China has had no part in any war or armed conflict taking place around the world, nor has it created any crisis in any region. Moreover, China voluntarily reduced the size of its armed forces several times, and signed and accessed to dozens of multilateral treaties on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. China's military has always been a vanguard force in safeguarding regional and international peace. In the area of UN peace keeping operations, China is the second largest contributor to both peacekeeping assessment and United Nations membership fees, and the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, sending over 50,000 peacekeepers to nearly 30 UN peacekeeping missions. For safeguarding the safety of maritime routes, Since 2008, China has organized 41 naval convoys to carry out escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia. In total, escort has been provided to more than 7,000 ships, half of which were non-Chinese commercial ships. We have been continuously facilitating international and regional counter-terrorism cooperation. Over the years, China has organized a series of “Peace Mission” military exercises and international counter-terrorism intelligence exchanges under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and has hosted the “Great Wall” international forum on counter-terrorism. Additionally, the PLA takes an active part in international efforts for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions outside China’s borders, dispatches professional rescue forces to the affected countries, provides relief materials and medical aid, and strengthens international exchanges in this respect. It fully demonstrates that the PLA is committed to honoring its international responsibilities as the armed forces of a main power.
Presently, our world has entered a special period of time in history. It is facing the combined challenges of a global pandemic and major changes, both unseen in a century, and witnessing a serious contest between multilateralism and unilateralism and an intensified resurgence of various conflicts, confrontations and governance dilemma. International peace and security encounter serious challenges like never before, which cannot be tackled without strong and joint response from the international community. To promote security for all in the world, Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed a Global Security Initiative in April of this year, and it’s as follows: it is important that we stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one's own security at the cost of others' security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.
For this purpose, China’s military is ready to work with the Greek counterparts and armed forces from all over the world, to maintain communications and exchanges, and to strengthen coordination and cooperation so as to forge a strong security shield for world peace, development and prosperity.
In recent years, China and Greece have conducted fruitful cooperation in various fields. The successful mutual visits between the two presidents in 2019 ushered in a new era for the China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership. In this context, China-Greece military relations have been developing continuously. It is worth mentioning that the Chinese Defense Minister paid a successful visit to Greece in March 2021 after 14 years since last visit, which has added new momentum to further practical cooperation between the two militaries. We believe that the practical cooperation between the two militaries will surely reach a new level in the future, thus helping achieve new results in the China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership. The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Hellenic Republic will contribute it's due share to the bilateral military relations.
Dear friends, I would like to thank you again for coming today. Now, please allow me to propose a toast to the development of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, to the friendship between China and Greece, and to the peace of the world. Cheers!
Development of China's National Defense and the Armed Forces in the New Era 2012-2022 Photo Exhibition, with a review of the development of the People’s Liberation Army since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. (Click appendix to view the Photo Exhibition)