(The following English text of the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the Chinese text shall prevail.)
I have a couple of items at the top.
First, the PLA Army Engineering University will host the 2nd Army International Military Education Forum in Nanjing from November 29th to December 1st 2021. Themed on “The future, Challenges and Countermeasures of the Training of Junior Army Officers”, the forum will include three seminars, namely, “Innovation of Science and Technology for Military Education”, “PreparingCadets for Future Joint Operations”, and “Establishment of an International Cooperation Mechanism of Military Education”. The forum will be conducted in a hybrid way with both online and offline attendance. Participants from military academies of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Egypt and Pakistan will join the forum online, while representatives from 12 PLA Army academies will attend the forum at the main venue in Nanjing. The forum will serve as a bridge between China and foreign countries for greater cooperation on military education and help participants have extensivediscussions on the future of military education reform in the post-pandemic era, sharepractical experience, and work togetherto build a mechanism for international education cooperation and exchanges.
Second, the PLA Navy Medical University will host the Naval Medicine Seminar of Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) 2021 by video link in Shanghai from December 14th to 15th. The theme of the workshop is “Meeting theNewChallenges of Maritime Medical Rescue, Building a Maritime Community ofShared Future”. Participants will have discussions and exchanges on five topics, namely COVID-19 pandemic prevention, control and response, medical rescue in maritime disasters,naval special medicine development, advances in marine pharmacy and biotechnology, and training of naval medical professionals. The Chinese side has invited WPNS members and observer states to the seminar. Representatives from the CMC Logistic Support Department and the PLA Navy will also participate. The seminaris aimedat strengtheninginternational exchanges and cooperation on maritime medical rescue and jointly coping with new security challenges.
Question: The sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was convened from November 8 to 11 in Beijing. The session has reviewed and adopted the Resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century which has a comprehensive review of the major achievements of the Party over the past century. It was stressed at the session that with regard to national defense and the armed forces, the people’s military has been through an all-around revolutionary restructuring in preparation for the next stage, while our defense capabilities have grown in step with our economic strength.Firmly carrying out the missions of the new era, the people’s military has taken concrete actions to safeguard our national sovereignty, security, and development interests with an indomitable fighting spirit.Please provide further information about the actions the military has taken in studying and implementing the spirit of the session.
Answer: The sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held as we celebrate the Party’s centenary and the fulfillment of the First Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and move on toward the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. Undertaking the great mission of building on past successes to further advance our cause, the session is of profound and far-reaching significance in that it propels the whole Party and the whole military to learn from history, work hard, and forge ahead for a better future to reach the Second Centenary Goal and to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and the dream of building a strong military. At the session, the Central Committee heard and discussed the report on the work of the Political Bureau, presented by General Secretary Xi Jinping on behalf of the Political Bureau,and fully affirmed the work that the Political Bureau has carried out since the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee. The session considered and adopted the Resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century andhad a comprehensive review of the Party’s major achievements over the past century. The session further encouraged the entire Party, the military, and all Chinese people to rally more closely around the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and score historical achievements on the new journey.
According to the arrangements and requirements of the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission(CMC), all units of the military have organized activities to study, publicize and implement the spirit of the session, highlighting the study and implementation of the spirit of President Xi’s important speech on the basis of studying the Communiqué and relevant documents of the session and supplementary materials. Since November 22, a lecturing group on studying and implementing the spirit of the session has begun rounds of visits to all major military establishments to give lectures with their first lecture at the CMC functional organs. Leading officials and stafffor political theoriesatvarious levels have intensified theoretical tutoring for officers and soldiers at primary-level units to help them further strengthen the FourConsciousnesses of maintaining political integrity, thinking in big-picture terms, following the leadership core, and keeping in alignment with the central Party leadership, enhance the Four-Sphere Confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, be committed to the Two Upholds by firmly upholdingGeneral SecretaryXi Jinping’s core position in both CPCCC and the CPC as a whole and firmly upholding the authority of the CPCCC and its centralized and unified leadership, implement the CMC chairman responsibility system, and resolutely follow the orders of the CPCCC, the CMC and Chairman Xi. Major military media outlets have opened up columns to reportthe activities of various forms carried out by military units at various levels to study the spirit of the session and the actions they have taken to put thespirit into practice. The military units have also deepened the campaign on studying the Party’s history, added the spirit to study sessions of study groups for leading officials of Party committees at various levels, to the political education and teaching in the troops andmilitary academies, so as to build a broader consensus and stronger unity in will and action to embark on the new journey and forge ahead in the new era with higher morale.
Studying and implementing the spirit of the sixthplenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC is a major political task now and for a period to come. Under the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, all service members earnestly implement the Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military and the military strategic guideline for a new era, and align their thoughts and actions with the session's spirit. The military will rally more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, champion the great founding spirit of the Party. move faster to modernize national defense and the armed forces, defend national sovereignty, security and development interests with greatercapacity and more reliable means, make unremitting efforts to realize the Party’s goal of building a strong military in the new era and elevate the people’s military to world-class standards in all respects, and to achieve the Second Centenary Goal, and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation,in order to ensure that excellent results are achieved by the time the 20th National Congress is convened.
Question: On November 16, President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden had a video conference. The two leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on China-US relations and other issues of mutual interests and reached some important agreements. President Xi pointed out that the two countries have broad common interests in a wide range of areas including mil-to-mil engagement.He said China and the US should ’complement each other to make the cake bigger for cooperation. Against such a background, what is China’s expectation for the mil-to-mil relationship between the two countries?
Answer: The video conference between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on November 16 was a major event in the China-US relations and international relations. The two heads of state once again navigated bilateral ties at a critical juncture, which charted the direction of and injected fresh impetus into the future development of state-to-state and mil-to-mil relations between China and the US.
The mil-to-mil relationship between China and the US is an important part of bilateral relations. Maintaining a healthy and stable mil-to-mil relationship serves the interests of both countries and meets the expectation of the international community. The Chinese side attaches great importance to developing the relationship between the two militaries and is willing to continue communication and cooperation with the US side. However, the US side has made many irresponsible remarks and provocative moves concerning Taiwan and the South China Sea for quite some time. Its military vessels and aircraft frequently conduct close-in reconnaissance against China. It is only natural for the Chinese side to take resolute countermeasures to respond. We have said many times that our principle on developing the China-US mil-to-mil relationship is that China’s sovereignty, dignity and core interests brook no infringement. In particular, there is no room for compromise on the Taiwan question and the US side should hold no illusion on that.
Present Xi pointed out that the most important event in international relations in the coming 50 years will be for China and the US to find the right way to get along with each other. The Chinese military stands ready to make joint efforts with the US side to implement the spirit of the meeting between the two leaders with concrete actions. Following the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, the two sides should take a long-term and practical approach, strengthen communication, manage differences, and cooperate with each other to promote a sound and steady development of the mil-to-mil relationship for the benefit of the two peoples and beyond.
Question: President Xi Jinping said at the Military Equipment Work Conference that the Chinese military has made leapfrog development and historic achievements in weaponry and equipment in the 13th Five-year Plan period, providinga solid material and technological support for enhancing national strategic capabilities, especially military strength. He underscored the urgency of building a modernized weaponry and equipment management system and called for efforts to break new ground in weaponry and equipment development to realize the military’s centenary goal. Please elaborate on the achievements and highlights of the Chinese military’s weaponry and equipment development in recent years.
Answer: During the 13th Five-year Plan period, under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the Central Military Commission (CMC) and President Xi Jinping, the Chinese military has made leapfrog development and historic achievements in weaponry and equipment.
On overall equipment development, we have phased out first-generation equipment, reduced second-generation equipment and commissioned equipment of and above third-generation in large quantities. An equipment system with the third-generation equipment as the mainstay and the fourth-generation as the backbone has been basically established. The number of traditional equipment for ground combat and coastal defense has been reduced appropriately, while new types of equipment for farseas protection and long-range strike have been developed at a faster pace.
On building an equipment system for joint operations, the military has optimized the proportions amongheavy, medium and light land equipment and advanced their overall development, promoted the development of equipment series of aircraft carrier formations and amphibious formations, improved equipment systems for air control battle, electronic countermeasure, and transportation and projection,enhanced intermediate and long-range precision strike capabilities, and covered the whole territory with a basic/fundamental information network.
On backbone equipment development, the new Type 15 light tanks, long-range multiple rocket launcher systems (MRLS) and Z-20 helicopters have been commissioned; the first indigenous aircraft carrier, Type 075 amphibious assault ships and Type 055 10,000-ton-class destroyers have been put into service; the J-20, J-16 and J-10C warplanes have achieved combat capabilitieswith the combination of different generations of fighters; and the DF-17 and DF-26 missiles have been commissioned in batches.
On equipment management,we have actively advanced the establishment of a modernized equipment management system and improved the management mechanism and work model to accommodate to the new military structure. An independent, innovative, self-reliant and controllable equipment development pattern combining independent research and development with open exchanges is taking shape. The equipment maintenance and support system and itssupport capabilities have been further improved, and the overall effectiveness of equipment development, employment and maintenance has been raised across the military.
The military will earnestly implement President Xi’s important instructions and decisions, grasp the direction of weaponry and equipment development in the new era and move faster to build a new development pattern. We will go all out to accelerate weaponry and equipment modernization, and make big strides from the new starting point.
Question: State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe held video talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on November 23. Please comment on the current mil-to-mil relationship between China and Russia.
Answer: Under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Vladmir Putin, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has made great progress in recent years. The two militaries have deepened exchanges and cooperation across the board, enhanced strategic communication, made breakthroughs in practical cooperation and made new progress in institutional exchanges. These advances have enriched the strategic contents of the bilateral relationship.
First, the two militaries have maintained close strategic communication. Leaders of the Chinese and Russian militaries have been maintaining close strategic communication this year. State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe gave a recorded speech at the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security. He met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu twice, once in Dushanbe of Tajikistan and the other time in Ningxia of China. General Li Zuocheng, Member of the CMC and Chief of the CMC Joint Staff Department, observed the “Peace Mission 2021” joint counter-terrorism military exercise of SCO members in Russia and held talks with the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces. On November 23, Minister Wei Fenghe had a video conference with Minister Shoigu, at which they reviewed the annual cooperation between the two militaries and exchanged views on future cooperation.Navy and air force leaders from both sides were also present at the conference. Leaders of the two militaries also exchanged views through correspondence on important issues concerning military cooperation in a timely manner.
Second, the two militaries have deepenedpractical cooperation on military exercise and training. The two militaries have organized a series of joint exercises and training this year in the context of the pandemic. Russian troops came to China to join the exercise Xibu Unity-2021 for the first time. The two sides jointly held the naval exercise Joint Sea 2021, had the first joint maritime patrol, carried out three joint strategic air patrols, participated in the SCO“Peace Mission 2021” joint counter-terrorism exercise, and continued to deepen cooperation under the framework of the International Army Games 2021. The interoperability between the two armed forces has been further enhanced.
Third, the two militaries have improved military cooperation mechanisms. Since the beginning of this year, the two sides have continued to build military cooperation mechanisms, made cooperation development plans, and further enhanced coordination and cooperation within the SCO and other multilateral frameworks.
There is always room to make the China-Russia mil-to-mil relationship even better,and there is no end to the China-Russia military cooperation. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, which is of special significance for both countries. The Chinese military stands ready to engage in close strategic coordination with the Russian side and deepen exchanges and cooperation in order to bring more benefits for the two countries and their peoples and play a bigger role in safeguarding world peace and stability.
Question: Recently, the TV drama "Ark Peace" has been a hit on China Central Television, wining immense acclaim. The drama is based on the story of the PLA Navy’s hospital ship Ark Peace and the international humanitarian medical service and rescue missions conducted by the ship. Please give us more details about the medical service and rescue missions performed by the hospital ship.
Answer: I have just watched the TV drama you mentioned. I think it’s a vivid and touching piece of work. Since its commissioning, the PLAN hospital ship Ark Peace has braved the ocean to hone its farseas medical support capability and gone overseas to provide humanitarian medical service. It has sailed abroad nine times, traveled over 240,000 nautical miles, and served more than 230,000 people from 43 countries and regions. With high praises both at home and abroad, it is hailed as an envoy of friendship sailing thousands of miles for peace.
First, it demonstrates the Chinese vision. Setting sail with goodwill around the world, the ArkPeace is an evidence of the Chinese Navy providing public security goods to the world, and an epitome of China's determination to pursue the path of peaceful development. Peaceful development is not only China's development mode and path, but also a common aspiration of people all over the world.
Second, it carries the Chinese philosophy. Shouldering the mission of humanitarian relief, the Ark Peace upholds the belief that "life comes first" and promotes the Red Cross spirit of “humanity, fraternity and dedication".It has painted a "heart-shaped" track on the world map and became a "ship of life" for many people all over the world.
Third, it spreads China's goodwill. As a Chinese saying goes, mountains and rivers can never cut off the friendship of congenial partners. The Ark Peace, in carrying out the Mission Harmony operations, has actively conducted joint humanitarian disaster-relief exercises with foreign militaries, organized joint medical service tourstogether with foreign medical institutions, held medical and nursing lectures for medical staff from visited countries, and deepened medical exchanges and cooperation with foreign countries through various channels and at various levels. It reflects that all countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, are equal members of the international community.
Finally, it displays China’s charm.While sailing for its missions, the Ark Peace serves as a bridge for cultural exchanges, andpresents a true, multi-dimensional, and panoramic view of China to the world. Since it was commissioned, the ship has received over 30,000 foreign military and civilian visitors, called on and received more than 230 heads of state and high-ranking military orcivilian officials. In the 43 countries visited by the ship, local residents have expressed their gratitude in different ways. In Kenya, when the ship departed, a motorcycle convoy of a kilometer long appeared on the dock to see the ship off. Carrying Chinese national flags,the convoydrove in parallel with the ship for quite some time.
President Xi pointed out that the blue planet we humans live is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected into a community with a shared future by the oceans, where people of all countries share weal and woe. The PLA Navy will work together with maritime forces of other countries to make new and greater contributions to the building of a maritime community with a shared future.
Question: The air forces of China and Russia have recently carried out a joint strategic air patrol to enhance their interoperability. The operation is widely covered in the media. Please give us more details about the PLA Air Force's performance of its missions and duties in recent years.
Answer: Air force is a strategic service. In recent years, the PLA Air Forcehas been endeavoring to improve combat-readiness and achieve strategic transformation.It has made new achievementsand provided strong support for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests.
In recent years, a large number of new domestically-developed main battle equipment, including J-20, Y-20, KJ-500, HQ-9B, the new type electronic warfare fighter jet J-16D and the high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance drone WZ-7 have been successively commissioned, put into realistic combat training, and achieved operation capability. At the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition held recently, several types of advanced equipment made their debut, showing the new achievements of the PLAAF in promoting strategic transformation, and the new look of the PLAAF as a strategic air force in the new era.
At a new historical starting point, the PLAAF, staying loyal to the Party and defending peace in the sky, will remain true to its original aspiration, carry forward the glorious air force tradition, pursue innovation and development, and work vigorously to become a world-class air force. It will strive to make new and greater contributions to safeguarding national sovereignty, security, development interests and regional and world peace.
Question: Recently, the US Navy Secretary said China is the "number one threat" of the US that they have to pay attention to, and the United States should step up the expansion of naval warships to counter China. In addition, the US media also hyped that "China has built models of American warships as missile targets." What is your comment on this?
Answer: Those who are obsessed with and pursue hegemony always have a delusion that others are coveting their hegemony. For a long time, some people in the US have been immersed in persecutorydelusions and insisted on fabricating "China military threat" for the purpose of seeking excuses for maintaining US absolute military superiority and global hegemony. In essence, they havea very wrong perception of China and adopts a wrong policy towards China.The Chinese military firmly opposes this. As for the so-called "missile targets", we ask the US side to seriously reflect on itself before accusing China.
Question: It is reported that the General Office of the Central Military Commission (CMC) recently promulgated the Interim Provisions onthe Protection of Medical Benefits Enjoyed by Servicemembers and Personnel Related to the Military (hereinafter referred to as the Provisions), which specifies, among others, the eligible beneficiaries, criteria and supporting measures of the medical benefits. The Interim Provisions has aroused extensive discussions among different sectors. Would you please brief us on the highlights of the Interim Provisions?
Answer: Approved by Chairman Xi Jinping ofthe Central Military Commission (CMC), the CMC General Office has promulgated the Interim Provisions onthe Protection of Medical Benefits Enjoyed by Servicemembers and Personnel Related to the Military, which will come into force as of January 1, 2022.
The Provisionsfollows the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, earnestly implements the Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military, andplaces importance on what is urgently neededfor military reforms,combat preparedness and by the service members.
On the beneficiaries, the Provisionsputs servicemembers first andtakes all necessary efforts to protect the health rights and interests of military families.
On its implementation, the Provisionsaims to establish convenient and high-quality medical support channels by drawing on the respective advantages of both military and civilian hospitals.
On the policy design, the Provisionstakes an active and prudent approach and scientifically designs the medical benefitssupporting system based on the actual medical supportcapabilities of the military.
On the levels of medical benefits, the Provisionsupholds systematically balanced levels and makes an overall design of medical benefits for different categories of beneficiaries,so as to raise the servicemembers’sense of fulfillment and honor and fully reflect the respect for servicemembers.
The Provisionsis comprised of 43 articlesin eight chapters, and its main contents are as follows:
1) Increasing the level of medical benefits enjoyed by both servicemembers and their family members. It is specified that for military units far away from military medical institutions, such as those on plateaus and islands, the servicemembers there, as well as their spouses and children below the age of 18 who live together with them, mayget medical service from the local public medical institutions.
2) Improving the quality of the inclusive medical support for servicemembers. The mechanism to ensure access to medical supportthroughout the militarywill be further improved, enabling servicemembers’ access to both outpatient and emergency treatment in all military hospitals and accredited outpatient medical institutions,and streamlining the procedures of both hospitalized treatment and transfer treatment. The support level of medicine and consumables will be further elevated, with the category of medicinescovered being in full compliance with the local provincial-level health insurance policy standards and the medical consumables within the prescribed limit provided for free. The civilian-military coordinated medical treatment mechanism will be further improved. It is specified that servicemembers, in the case of acute diseases or injuries, sudden illnesswhen being out,intractable and critical illnesses or other emergencies,may, at their convenience, get medical service fromlocal civilian public medical institutions with corresponding medical treatment capabilities;
3) Expanding the coverage of military medical support for the family members of servicemembers. The family members of servicemembers shall be treated in the military medical institutions for free or at a preferential rate. The medical expense of military children below the age of 18 and military spouses holding the servicemember security card shall be directly reduced or remitted. As for servicemembers’spouses holding the social security card and the parents of martyrs and servicememberskilled in action, after settling the medical expenses in the social security system and deducting the self-funded part, the rest of the expenses shall be remitted.For parents and parents-in-law of officers and NCOs, after settling the medical expenses in the social security system and deducting the self-funded part, the expensesof outpatient and emergency treatment shall be reduced by 20% and the hospitalization expense by 50%.
4) Regulating medical support working mechanisms of the military. On the principle of intensive and efficient operation, the Provisions specifies the scope of diagnosis and treatment, medicines and medical consumables that should be covered by the military;establishes evaluation, incentive and accountability mechanisms, and further clarifies responsibilities and obligations of both organizations and individuals.
Always bearing in mind the solicitudeand care of Chairman Xi Jinping and the Central Military Commission (CMC) for the military, all the servicemembersshall stay true to our original aspiration, keep our mission firmly in mind,and make all-out efforts to strengthen our capability in fulfilling our missions and tasks. We willforge ahead onthenew journey and make still greater contributions in the new era.
Question: It was reported that the US military had held officials accountable for the collision of the USS Connecticut nuclear submarine and dismissed the commanding officer and executive officer of the submarine. What’s your comment on that?
Answer: Since the collision occurred, the US side’s reluctant and secretive attitude has raised doubts of many countries. The US side should answer three questions clearly. First, what’s the intention of the US submarine’s operation? Second, what’s the exact location of the collision? Third, did it cause any nuclear leakage or marine environmental pollution?
The Chinese side believes the root cause of this incident is the large-scale and extensive military operations conducted by US warships in the Asia-Pacific including close-in reconnaissance, harassment, provocation and show of force acts. It also comes fromUS militarization and hegemony of navigation operations in the South China Sea. We urge the US side to stop such activities immediately and do not go further down the wrong path.
Question: It is reported that the Chinese military has sent military medical experts to Sierra Leonemany times in recent years and these experts havehelped build the public health system in Sierra Leone and played an important role in the country’s fight against COVID-19. Colonel Stephen Sevalie, head of the Joint Medical Unit under the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, recently expressed the willingness to continue cooperation in medical service and public health with the PLA. Please give us more information on China-Sierra Leone military medical exchanges.
Answer: The militaries of China and Sierra Leone enjoy long-standing friendship and have fruitful cooperation in the military medicine sector. To actively practice the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind advocated by President Xi Jinping, the Chinese military sent a medical expert team to Sierra Leone in 2014 after the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) to assist the people and the military in the country to win the battle against the epidemic. Since 2016, the Chinese military successively dispatched 60 military medical experts in five groups to assist the Sierra Leonean troops in infectious disease prevention and control. In 2018, the construction of a center for tropical infectious disease prevention and control was completed in Sierra Leone with the assistance of the Chinese military. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the Chinese military was the first to assist by dispatching military aircraft to transport medical supplies and COVID-19 vaccines to the Sierra Leonean military.The center for tropical infectious disease prevention and control was designated as the preferred hospital for COVID-19 cases in the country. In this center, Chinese military medical experts stayed on their posts and fought against the pandemic shoulder to shoulder with their Sierra Leonean colleagues. They tested and confirmed the first COVID-19 case in the country, and have cured over 300 severe cases, playing an important role in supporting local people and the military in fighting against the pandemic.
Here I want to share a story with you. Last year, a Sierra Leonean boy Abubakarr Conteh was unfortunately infected with COVID-19. In order to cure him, the Chinese military experts organized a consultation and made an optimal treatment plan inthe first place. They overcame difficulties to ensure the fluid infusion and oxygen supply. During the treatment, the head nurse had close contact with the boyto check his mouth and nose and provided psychological counseling at the risk of her own safety. After 48 days of meticulous care, Conteh’s life was finally saved. When he was discharged from the center, he handed over a picture of the Chinese national flagdrawn by himself to the head nurse and said in Chinese words he just learned to express his gratitude for the head nurse and China. Love can pass across mountains and oceans that separate us. The story of Abubakarr Conteh is a fine example of international aid provided by the Chinese military to fight against COVID-19.
President Xi Jinping said China and Sierra Leone are good friends who share weal and woe. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Sierra Leone diplomatic ties.The Chinese military is willing to work together with its Sierra Leonean counterpart to go through thick and thin and embrace a bright future together, making more contributions to building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
Question: For some time, the cross-Strait relationship has been a hot public topic. We noticed that a text message about “veterans recalled to prepare for war” was spread on some internet platforms, and the official media of the PLA made a clarification on this issue later. What’s your comment?
Answer: We understand that relevant media of the military has clarified on the fake message. Here I want to emphasize two points. First, rumors stop at thewise.Please do not trust or spread rumors and please follow the official platforms to learn about military information. Second, “military affairsare of vital importance to the state”. Cyberspace is not a lawless place. It is extremely irresponsible and illegal for certaininternet platforms to misinterpret and concoct such military-related rumors just for clout-chasing.
Question: Indian Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat recently said that China is India’s biggest security threat, and the lack of trust and growing suspicion are coming in the way of resolving the border dispute between the two countries. What’s your comment?
Answer:The Indian official played up the so-called "China military threat" groundlessly. It runs counter to the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries that China and India pose no threat to each other. These irresponsible words can only incite geopolitical confrontation and are very dangerous. China firmly opposes that and has lodged solemn representations with the Indian side.
China's position on the boundary issue with India is clear. The Chinese border defense troops are resolute in protecting China’s territorial sovereignty and security. Meanwhile, theystay committed to maintaining peace and tranquility of the border areas, and have made great efforts to de-escalate tensions.
As an old Chinese saying goes, the mirror of coppercan help us dress properly, the mirror of history can help us understand the rise and fall of dynasties, and the mirror of peoplecan help us know right and wrong. As close neighbors, we hope the Indian side can work together with the Chinese side towards the same goal, maintain peace and tranquility of the border areas, and promote a sound development of bilateral relations.
Question: It is reported that the Taiwan authorities' defense department recently issued its annual "National Defense Report", which hypes up the mainland’s military preparationagainst Taiwan and claims to build “tough and resilient” defense capabilities to achieve defensive goals. The head of the Taiwan authorities’ defense department also boasted their capacity to rival the mainland and called upon the Taiwan military members to fight to the end. What is your comment?
Answer: Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. Therefore, the so-called “National Defense Report” makes no sense.For some time, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities have been inciting hostility across the Strait for their own political interests. They colluded with foreign forces and took provocative actions to seek independence. These betraying moves have seriously harmed the well-being of Taiwan compatriots and damaged peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. They will surely be disdained by the people and condemned by history.
We warn Taiwan's DPP authorities that pursuing confrontation will not work and “seeking independence by force” will get nowhere but a dead end. The reunification of the motherland is irresistible. The PLA is ready and able to fight at any time. Itwill smash any separatist attempts for “Taiwan independence” with overwhelming power and resolutely defend China's sovereign and territorial integrity.
Question: It is reported that an oceanic public service organization funded by overseas non-governmental organizations has set up almost 100 monitoring points around China’s coastline in the name of monitoring marine garbage. Twenty-two of these monitoring points are in close proximity to important military facilitiesor naval ship lanes, posing a direct threat to China’s military security. This organization has recently been investigated by China’s competent national security authorities in accordance with the law. Could you please comment on this?
Answer: At present, some foreign spy agencies and hostile forces have intensified their efforts to infiltrate into China and stealChina’s national secrets, posing a severe threat to China’s national security, including military security.
It should be pointed out that national security issues are not far away from us. Sometimes, they arein our midst. Everyone of us serve as a line of defense for national security. We should strengthen public awareness on national security and protect military secrets stringently. Any action to undermine national security and leak military secrets will definitely be severely punished in accordance with the law.
Question: The New York Times disclosed the other day that an air raid launched by the US military in Syria in 2019 had caused many civilian casualties including women and children. The US Central Command acknowledged the casualties, but claimed that its military operation was reasonable. What’s your comment on that?
Answer: The lives of Syrians matter. This incident has once again exposed the arrogance, hypocrisy and double standards adopted by the US on human rights issues. China urges the US to respect the lives and human rights of the Syrian people, bring the perpetrators to justice at once and pay reasonable compensation to the families of the victims.
In accordance with the report released by the China Society for Human Rights Studies, since 2017, the US has launched air raids against Syria on the pretext of so-called “preventing the Syrian government from using chemical weapons”. These attacks by the US-led coalition directly killed more than 3,800 people, half of whom were women and children. The international community has not seen any investigation by the US side, let alone anybody held accountable. This is a stain and a shame in the history of international human rights. We ask the US to completely stop wanton interference in other countries’ internal affairs, respect and protect human rights, and prevent similar tragedies from happening again.
Question: The media has recently reported on the heroic deeds of Li Bo, an army soldier of a border defense brigade under the PLA Northern Theater Command, who sacrificed his own life to save others. Please tell us more about his story.
Answer: Li Bo was an army soldier of a border defense brigade of the PLA Northern Theater Command. He was patrolling the borderline with two other soldiers on November 16 whenone of his fellow soldiers fell intoan icy river. Li Bo jumped into the river and used all his strength to push that soldier onto the ice. Unfortunately, he himself didn’t make it. “Don’t panic, I’ll get you out” was Li Bo’s last words. This young man’s life stopped at the age of 21. The Party committee of the PLA Northern Theater Command Army decided to confer Li Bo with a first-class meritorious service medal posthumously and honor him as a martyr and a CPC member. We mourn for the loss of our comrade and extend sincere condolences to his family.
A nation without heroes has no future; a promising nation cannot live without vanguards. Yesterday, the residents of Manzhouli city voluntarily joined the mourners on the street to bid Li Bo farewell. The heroic deeds of the young soldier touched the whole city to tears. In such a cold winter, there are always heroic stories like this that make us feel warm, and there is always a spirit that inspires us to keep moving forward. Taking Li Bo as a role model, our service members will firm up their ideals and convictions, devote themselves to building a strong military, and take unswerving efforts as the best way to mourn for the hero.