Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan addresses a reception held by the Ministry of National Defense to celebrate the 89th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Beijing, capital of China, July 31, 2016. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)
BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- China firmly adheres to peaceful development and a defensive defense policy, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said at a reception celebrating the 89th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Sunday, a day ahead of China's Army Day.
The reception, presided over by Chang, hosted guests from all branches of the Chinese army, government bodies and foreign embassies, as well as representatives of veterans, retired army officials and relatives of heroes.
Stressing that the Chinese military will firmly safeguard state sovereignty, national security and development interests, Chang said in his opening remarks that territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests will be defended.
"We are confident in addressing security threats and provocations," said Chang, adding that the Chinese military will "always stand ready to be called upon and be able to fight and win at request of the nation and its people."
Chang said the PLA has emerged from grueling years of war and is "destined not to fear war, but will definitely cherish peace."
"We want peace, not war; cooperation, not confrontation. This is the common aspiration of people around the world," he said.
He also pledged to stay committed to a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and strengthen participation in global and regional affairs.
"China is willing to provide more public security goods to the international community in areas including the United Nations peacekeeping,counter-terrorism, overseas escort and international disaster relief." he added.
In August 1927, armed forces led by the Communist Party of China held an uprising against warlords. The first day of August was later designated as the PLA's founding day.