On July 25, Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Madam Hu Pinghua, Major General Su Guanghui, Defense Attaché of the Embassy and his wife hosted a reception at the Chinese Embassy to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China. About 300 people were present, including Dr Roger Hutton, Director of Security and Policy, MOD, the Rt Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford PC, Chair of the House of Lords International Relations Committee, MOD senior officials, British military officers, guests from British Government, Parliament and various sectors as well as the ambassadors and defense attachés of the London diplomatic corps, and representatives of overseas Chinese and Chinese institutions and students in the UK.
Ambassador Liu delivered a speech entitled Live up to the Mission and Carry on Shoulder to Shoulder. Recalling the PLA's glorious history and indelible contribution over the past 92 years, he noted, "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." He added that for many years now, the PLA has been committed to the path of peaceful development, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and upholding world peace and stability. 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.
Ambassador Liu pointed out that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It is also the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and the UK at the level of chargé d'affaires. In the past 65 years, along with the great leaps in the bilateral relationship, the military-to-military relationship between China and the UK has also made remarkable progress. The militaries of the two countries have engaged in active interactions and exchanges at all levels, and cooperation between the military forces on UN peacekeeping missions and in counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and humanitarian relief operations has achieved positive outcomes.
He said, "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."
The Ambassador listed three things to be done. First, China and Britain should cherish the outcomes of their cooperation. "It is important we remember the historical lesson as we go forward. We should cherish the sound momentum in China-UK relationship which has not come by easily and keep the big picture of China-UK 'Golden Era' in mind. This serves the fundamental interests and will deliver more tangible benefit to the people of our two countries", added Ambassador Liu. Second, China and Britain should enhance strategic mutual trust. They should see each other as an opportunity rather than a threat, refrain from harming each other's core interests, and work hard to ensure a healthy relationship between the two countries and between the two militaries. Third, China and Britain should shoulder the mission for peace together. The two countries and militaries should work together for political settlement of regional and international hotspot issues and join hands to counter terrorism and address other global challenges to security. By doing so, they could make contribution to building a community with a shared future for mankind and a world that enjoys peace, stability, development and prosperity.
Major General Su noted in his speech that guided by Xi Jinping thought on strengthening the military, the PLA remains true to its original aspiration and keeps its mission firmly in mind. As the military strategies and principles of the new era being implemented, the PLA is now standing at a new historical starting point, marching towards the goal of a world-class military, with combat capabilities being upgraded and operational readiness being enhanced. In response to the major concerns of international community, the Chinese government issued a white paper entitled China's National Defense in the New Era the day before. It comprehensively elaborates China's defensive national defense policy in the new era, relevant strength building, organizational reform and mission fulfilment. Past and present facts have repeatedly manifested that the development of Chinese armed forces is not only a part of the Chinese Dream and the goal of building a strong military, but also a contribution to the peaceful and stable international security environment which promotes win-win cooperation.
Su said, "As an important part of the bilateral relations between China and UK, relations between the two armed forces have shown good momentum. Substantial exchanges and cooperation have been conducted in multiple fields and on different levels. Looking ahead, we are willing to work with our British colleagues to strengthen our strategic communication and deepen our pragmatic cooperation, making joint efforts to generate more 'positive energy' for the 'Golden Era' of the China-UK relations, and more importantly, for the regional and global peace and development."
In his speech, Dr. Hutton warmly congratulated the PLA on its 92nd anniversary and said that under the current situation, Britain and China have common interests in many fields. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, the two sides shoulder important responsibilities in safeguarding international security. In recent years, the exchanges and cooperation between the two armed forces in the services and various professional fields have been fruitful and deepening, and will surely play a positive and unique role in promoting the stability of China-UK relations.
At the friendly and warm reception, the guests extended their cordial congratulations on the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the PLA, speaking highly of China's new achievements in national defence and the armed forces. They appreciated China's important contribution to international peacekeeping, humanitarian relief operations and anti-piracy escort missions. The Chinese government's white paper China's National Defense in the New Era is timely, which helps the international community to understand China's national defense policy and achievements in army building more comprehensively and accurately.
At the reception, documentaries entitled China's National Defense in the New Era and Army for the Maintenance of World Peace were screened, which showed the Chinese military's participation in safeguarding world peace and fulfilling its international obligations. Books and materials on China's national defense policy and army building were distributed to the guests.