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Home > Embassy News > 2015
Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at Reception Marking the 88th Anniversary of the People's Liberation Army


Chinese Embassy, 23 July 2015


Air Marshal Paul Evans,

Generals, Admirals and Military Attachés,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very warm welcome to the Chinese Embassy!

It is a great pleasure to have you all with us to celebrate the 88th anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

In China, the age of 88 is regarded as very special and auspicious. Chinese people call this the "rice jubilee". This means that the three Chinese characters for eighty-eight, put together, form the character for rice.

88 years are not long compared with the histories of the armies of some countries. However, these 88 years have been highly eventful. These glorious 88 years have witnessed the growth of the PLA into a strong military force.

Today, the PLA is at a new historical juncture. It is adapting to the changes in the national security environment:

· It is accelerating the modernisation of national defence.

· It is redoubling its resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.

· And it will provide a strong guarantee for realising the Chinese Dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation.

The PLA is committed to building a strong military.

However, it is essential to note that peaceful development is China's overall development strategy. In line with this strategy, China's armed forces follow the military strategic guideline of active defence in the current situation. This strategic guideline requires the PLA to have the military capability to win. It means that China's armed forces must have these capabilities:

· Respond to China's core security needs.

· Aim at building a military fully equipped to operate in the digital age.

· Deepen the reform of national defence in a comprehensive manner.

· Build a modern system of military forces with Chinese characteristics.

· And constantly enhance PLA capabilities for addressing various security threats and for accomplishing diversified military tasks.

Another important principle is that the PLA is committed to international cooperation.

The PLA pursues a security concept featuring common security, comprehensive security, cooperative security and sustainable security. On the basis of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, China's armed forces will continue to carry out all-round cooperation with armed forces of other countries.

Above all, the PLA is committed to world peace.

China's armed forces will continue to take an active part in UN peacekeeping missions. In these missions, the Chinese troops follow these principle:

· Strictly observe the mandates of the UN Security Council.

· Stay committed to the peaceful settlement of conflicts.

· Promote development and reconstruction.

· And safeguard regional peace and security.

Over the past 25 years, China has sent over 30,000 troops to peacekeeping missions around the world. China has been the biggest contributor of troops among the P5 and the biggest contributor of funds among all developing nations.

China's armed forces have also taken an active part in international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. This included sending professional rescue teams to disaster-stricken areas to carry out relief and reduction, providing relief materials and offering medical aid:

· In the Southern Indian Ocean, Chinese officers and soldiers joined in the search operation for flight MH370.

· In West Africa, Chinese military medical team worked to curb the spread of Ebola.

· In quake-shaken Nepal, Chinese search and rescue team saved lives and provided relief.

· And in war-torn Yemen, the Chinese navy evacuated not only Chinese but also foreign civilians.

Chinese armed forces have demonstrated their firm responsibility and active participation in all the above operations.

China's armed forces have also carried out international escort missions, enhanced exchanges and cooperation with naval task forces of other countries, and jointly secured international sea lines of communication.

We are confident that with the growth of China's national strength, our armed forces will steadily intensify their participation in international peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. They will do their utmost to contribute more to world peace and common development.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

2015 is a very special year in China-UK relations.

It will be a "year of state visit". In October, Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming to Britain for a state visit. This will herald a "golden time" in the relations between China and the UK.

It is the "year of cultural exchange". The UK Season in China and the China Season in Britain are driving up a powerful momentum for China-UK cultural exchange.

It is the "year of cooperation". Bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, finance, education, science and technology, counter-terrorism and law enforcement have all made unprecedented progress.

Furthermore, 2015 is also the "year of military-to-military exchange" between China and UK:

· The year started with the visit by a Chinese navy escort group at Portsmouth. Just as I said, the Year of the Sheep started with ships. There couldn't have been a better beginning to a whole year of military-to-military exchange.

· Then came General Houghton's very successful visit to China. That visit further cemented the friendly ties and cooperation between the two militaries.

· Next month, the PLA military band, after a 10-year lapse, will take part in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2015.

In addition to all these events, this year is also the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War against Japanese Aggression.

Seventy years ago, China and Britain were allies fighting side by side. Together, we stood the test of fire and blood in war. Together, we forged profound friendship.

Seventy years on, China and Britain are partners as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

· Both countries have on our shoulders the responsibilities of safeguarding global peace and promoting world development.

· And both have the duty of upholding and improving the post-war international order and system.

I believe that, as we embrace the "golden time" of China-UK relationship, the Chinese and British militaries will rise to these tasks:

· Continue to enhance understanding and strengthen mutual-trust.

· Vigorously explore new areas of cooperation.

· And intensify exchanges and cooperation in both traditional and non-traditional security areas.

This will ensure sustained and healthy development of our military-to-military relations. In turn this will be an important contribution to deepening China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership.

Now, I invite you to raise your glasses in a toast:

· To the 88th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army.

· To an even better future for China-UK relations and military-to-military ties.

· And to world peace and development.


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