China is committed to promoting international military exchanges and cooperation in effort to cope with the global security challenges, said the defence attaché at the Chinese embassy in Kenya.
Senior Colonel Wang Yang, who spoke during the celebration of the 91st anniversary of the founding of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), said the PLA will continue to implement the responsibilities and duties commensurate with China's international status as well as contribute to fostering of a community of shared future for mankind.
"China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and an upholder of international order. The growth of Chinese military also means the growth of the world peacekeeping force," he said.
Among the permanent member states of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Wang said China has contributed the largest number of troops to UN peacekeeping missions and the second largest share to the UN peacekeeping budget.
He said China has participated in 24 UN peacekeeping operations since 1990 and has contributed more than 37,000 peacekeepers with 13 Chinese soldiers having sacrificed their lives on the peacekeeping front-line.
"At present, there are 2,507 Chinese military personnel carrying out UN peacekeeping missions. Among them, 2,419 peacekeepers are in 13 peacekeeping contingents deployed in 7 UN missions and 88 military observers and staff officers are working with the UN department of peacekeeping operations," Wang said.
Since 2008, China's PLA Navy has dispatched 29 escort task groups, involving 88 vessels and around 23,000 soldiers, for escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and off the Coast of Somalia.
"To date, the Chinese PLA navy is still keeping the proud record of 100 percent safety for both the escort task groups and the merchant ships which have been escorted," he said.
Wang noted that China has always been insisting on a path of peaceful development and has been pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is purely defensive.
He said while the Chinese people love peace and never seek aggression or expansion, the world is not all at peace, and peace must be safeguarded.
"China should therefore step up transforming of its armed forces into a world-class military that is ready to fight and win wars as the country will never compromise on defending sovereignty," Wang said.
Noting that bilateral relations between China and Kenya have stood at a new historical point for a golden era, he said the bilateral military relationship, which is an important component of overall bilateral relations, will have more golden opportunities ahead.
"During my tenure of duty in Kenya, I will do my utmost and make joint efforts together with my colleagues from the Kenya Defense Forces, to implement the outcomes of the exchange of visits by the defence ministers of the two nations and push forward the pragmatic cooperation between the two armed forces to a new height," he said.
Since the founding of the PLA, Wang said it has been marching from one victory to another and has made indelible historical contribution to the Chinese people liberation socialist construction and reform, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. This is in addition to maintaining world peace as well as promoting human progress.