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Home > News in Pictures
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Reception Marking the 92nd Anniversary of the People's Liberation Army: Live up to the Mission and Carry on Shoulder to Shoulder
2019/07/26

Chinese Embassy, 25 July 2019

Dr. Roger Hutton,

Your Excellencies,

Military Attachés,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

Good evening!

First of all, a very warm welcome to the Chinese Embassy!

It is a real delight to have you all with us tonight to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA).

Over the past 92 years, the PLA has made indelible contribution to the independence of the nation, the liberation of the people, and the prosperity of the country. Over the past 92 years, the PLA has also made important contribution to safeguarding world peace and security. For 92 years, the PLA has won one victory after another, and made brilliant achievements in

  • defending the nation,
  • developing the border areas,
  • taking up rescue missions and disaster relief,
  • evacuating overseas Chinese who are in danger,
  • escorting merchant ships,
  • and carrying out international peacekeeping missions.

In a word, wherever there is danger and distress, the PLA is always at the forefront; Wherever they are needed, the PLA will always be there.

As President Xi Jinping said, “Just as prosperity and stability in the world provide opportunities to China, China’s development also creates opportunities for the world.”

  • China has always held high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation.
  • China is committed to developing friendly relations with all countries under the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
  • China is ready to work with other countries to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
  • Our aim is to safeguard world peace and promote common development.

In this spirit, the PLA stays committed to the following three goals.

First, the PLA is committed to the path of peaceful development.

China is a peace-loving nation. As victims of the devastation and scourge of many wars, the people of China love peace and long for peace.

The PLA is born of the peaceful tradition of Chinese culture. It serves the national strategy of peaceful development, and follows a defense policy that is defensive in nature.

Second, the PLA is committed to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests.

A profound lesson from China’s modern history is that, without strong defence and a capable military, a nation would fall victim to foreign invasion and bullying, and would not be able to achieve national development and prosperity.

China has never bullied or preyed on others, and China refuses to be bullied or preyed on by anyone. The Chinese people and the PLA will remain committed to safeguarding China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and China firmly opposes any attempt to harm China’s core interests.

Third, the PLA is committed to upholding world peace and stability.

To safeguard world peace, China has advocated, promoted and contributed to international cooperation.

  • The PLA has established mechanisms of consultation and dialogue on defense and security with nearly 30 countries and international organisations.
  • We have engaged more than 150 countries in military-to-military exchanges, including mutual visits of personnel and naval vessels.
  • Since 1990, the PLA has sent more than 40,000 military personnel to 24 UN peacekeeping missions. China is now the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and the world’s second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget.

Facts have shown that China’s development is conducive to world peace. As China’s military grows stronger, it is bound to make greater contribution to world peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It is also the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between China and the UK at the level of chargé d’affaires.

In the past 65 years, along with the great leaps achieved in our bilateral relationship, the military-to-military relationship between China and the UK has also made remarkable progress. Our two militaries have engaged in active interactions and exchanges at all levels, and cooperation between our military forces on UN peacekeeping missions and in counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and humanitarian relief operations has achieved positive outcomes.

China-UK relationship now stands at a new historical starting point. Yesterday, the new Prime Minister of the UK, Mr. Johnson, took office. We look forward to working with the new British Government to achieve new progress in the relationship between our two countries and between our two militaries. It is important that our two countries keep the larger picture in mind, seize the trend of our times and shoulder our responsibilities.

First, we should cherish the outcomes of our cooperation.

History is a mirror that reflects the rise and fall of the tide of change. The development of China-UK relationship in the past 65 years shows that for this relationship to move forward, our two countries must respect each other, treat each other as equals, and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns. Otherwise, this relationship will grind to a halt or even backpedal.

It is important we remember this historical lesson as we go forward. We should cherish the sound momentum in China-UK relationship which has not come by easily. And we should keep the big picture in mind, that is, the China-UK “Golden Era”. This serves the fundamental interests and will deliver more tangible benefit to the people of our two countries.

Second, we should enhance strategic mutual trust.

China and the UK differ in history, culture and social system. But our relationship is increasingly strategic, practical, inclusive and global. Amid rising protectionism and unilateralism around the world, our two countries have growing consensus on multilateralism, free trade and the rule-based international trade system.

We should see each other as an opportunity rather than a threat.

We should refrain from harming each other’s core interests.

We should enhance strategic dialogue and deepen strategic mutual trust.

We should work hard to ensure a healthy relationship between our two countries and between our two militaries.

Third, we should shoulder the mission for peace together.

In today’s world, traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined. Security issues are becoming increasingly inter-connected, cross-border and complex.

China and the UK are both permanent members of the UN Security Council. Our two countries have important responsibilities on our shoulders to safeguard world peace and security.

So, our two countries and militaries should work together for political settlement of regional and international hotspot issues. We should also join hands to counter terrorism and address other global challenges to security. By doing so, we could make our contribution to building a community with a shared future for mankind and a world that enjoys peace, stability, development and prosperity.

Now may I invite you to join me in a toast:

To the 92nd anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army,

To the ever-growing China-UK relationship and our military-to-military relationship,

To world peace and prosperity!

Cheers!

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