|Remarks on the Reception Celebrating the 96th Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army by Senior Colonel WANG RUNXU|
Distinguished guests and friends of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)! Today, in Greece, in this most beautiful season, we celebrate the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese PLA. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and to extend warm welcome to all of you!
The gunfire of the Nanchang Uprising on August 1st ,1927 announced the birth of a new type of people’s army led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Over the past 96 years, under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese military had embarked on an extraordinary and glorious road from small to large, from weak to strong, from victory to victory. The Chinese PLA had made historical contributions in its great efforts of striving for national independence, winning the people’s liberation, defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity, supporting national economic and social constructions, and also importantly the PLA has been a positive power to maintain world peace. Therefor the PLA has been called the “Steel Great Wall” of China. Since entering the New Era, we have continuously accelerated the modernization of national defense and the military, successfully reduced the number of active service personnel by 300 thousand, and the PLA has undergone a new system, new structure, new configuration, and new look, on the road which leads to a strong army with Chinese characteristics.
The Chinese PLA has always attached great importance to self-construction and unswervingly defend national sovereignty, security and development interests of China. National defense and military constructions are guarantee of national security. A strong army provides strength and fundamental support for national security. Historical experience has repeatedly proved that a weak army has a fatal impact on national security. It is difficult for a weak army to resolve various threats to national security. It is also difficult for a weak army to resist foreign aggression and prevent armed subversion and division. Without a strong military, national security cannot be guaranteed. The world today is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. The international strategic landscape is going through profound changes. Global and regional security hot issues continue to increase. The risks and challenges China is facing in its national security cannot be ignored. The Chinese PLA will, as always, safeguard national political security, people’s security, and social stability, oppose and contain “Taiwan independence,” fight against “Tibet independence” and “East Turkistan” and other separatist forces, safeguard national sovereignty, unity and security. No one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and powerful capabilities of PLA in safeguarding national interests! In recent years, peace in the Asia-Pacific region has become turbulent. China has been always advocating that the Asia-Pacific region is the common home of all the countries in this region. The key to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region lies in their efforts of all the countries in the region to adhere to mutual trust, solidarity and cooperation, and firmly hold the “lifeline” of their own security in their own hands. The intervention of external forces will inevitably aggravate regional tensions and endanger regional peace and stability. We firmly oppose NATO and other external forces intervene the Asia-Pacific.
The Chinese PLA has always loved peace and unswervingly support the path of peaceful development chosen by the Chinese government.The Chinese nation love peace. The socialist system of China, the strategic decision to follow the path of peaceful development, the independent foreign policy of peace determines that China will pursue a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. In recent years, in order to cope with complex security challenges and effectively fulfill the responsibilities of a major country, the Chinese government has generally maintained a reasonable and stable increase in national defense expenditure while maintaining sustained and healthy economic and social development, and promoted the simultaneous improvement of national defense and economic strength. Over decades, China’s share of defense expenditure in GDP and government expenditure, as well as per capita and per-service person defense spending, are all at a relatively low level. China's limited defense expenditure is entirely for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. China’s national defense construction and development have always been focused on meeting the legitimate needs of its own security, and have always been the growth of the world’s peace force. The Chinese PLA is the Chinese People’s army under the leadership of the CPC and has always firmly supported the Chinese government’s foreign policy of peace. History has proved and will continue to prove that China will never follow the old path of chasing hegemony and “a strong power must seek hegemony”. President Xi Jinping clearly pointed out that no matter how far China develops, we will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. This is China’s solemn commitment to the international community.
The Chinese PLA has always paid attention to responsibility and unswervingly fulfilled its obligations as a major military force. In terms of peacekeeping, escort, and humanitarian assistance, the Chinese military has always held high the banner of win-win cooperation, and has worked with countries around the world to continuously deepen international security cooperation and contribute positively to maintaining world peace and stability. China is the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and the largest contributor of peacekeeping troops among the permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC). Since April 1990, the Chinese military has participated in nearly 30 UN peacekeeping operations, dispatched more than 50 thousand peacekeeping forces, and established a peacekeeping standby force of 8 thousand soldiers. China’s “blue helmets” have become an very important peace keeping force of UN. Since December 2008, when the first Chinese naval escort taskforce set sail from Sanya China to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia to carry out escort missions, the Chinese navy escort taskforce has dispatched more than 100 ships and more than 30 thousand officers and soldiers to relay missions in these waters over the past 15 years. Since then the Chinese Navy has completed nearly 1,500 batches of escort missions for more than 7,000 Chinese and foreign ships, half of which were foreign merchant ships, thus effectively protected the safety of important transportation lines in the open sea, and turning “the most dangerous sea area” into “the golden waterway ”.
The Chinese PLA has always attached importance to international cooperation and has made unswerving contributions for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. The dreams of the Chinese people are closely connected with the dreams of the people of the world. A peaceful, stable and prosperous China is an opportunity and a blessing for the world. The Chinese military is a staunch force for maintaining world peace and stability and serving the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. We actively implement President Xi Jinping’s global security initiative, adhere to the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and have been committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind. Especially in terms of international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, the Chinese military has actively dispatched professional rescue forces to disaster-stricken countries to provide relief supplies and medical assistance. The Chinese Navy’s “Peace Ark” hospital ship has visited 43 countries and regions, providing more than 230,000 diagnosis and treatment services for patients from various countries. During the epidemic of the century, the Chinese military has deepened medical cooperation with militaries of more than 50 countries by aiding various medical supplies and dispatching military anti-epidemic expert teams. The Chinese military has always stood at the height of protecting the lives of all human beings and has contributed positive energy to the international community.
I would like to emphasize that in recent years, the development of China-Greece relations has been steadily advancing, mutual trust has been continuously improved, cooperation has been continuously deepened, and mutual support has been provided on multilateral occasions. As an important part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, the China-Greece military relation has been developing continuously, and the areas of cooperation have been expanded, and important achievements have been achieved. In the future, the Chinese military will continue to hold high the banner of win-win cooperation, and on the basis of mutual trust, mutual benefit, and mutual learning, continue to promote the steady, long-term and in-depth relationship with Greek military. The Chinese military will also continue to promote practical cooperation with Greek side in the field of security and defense, join hands to address global security challenges, and contribute positively for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Your Excellencies, Dear friends and distinguished guests, thank you again for coming to today’s reception. I propose, for the development of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, for the friendship between the two armies of China and Greece, and for world peace, cheers!