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Home > China-UK Events > 2012
The British Side Expects Closer China-UK Military Relations
2012/07/26

LONDON, July 23 (Xinhua net) – The Chinese Embassy in the UK held a grand reception on July 23 to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). At the invitation of Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Chinese Defense Attaché Cai Yong, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton attended the reception. The British guests commended the PLA’s modernization and its active participation in international cooperation and they expected closer China-UK military relations.

Cai Yong briefed the British guests, foreign diplomats and the representatives of the Chinese community presented at the reception on the 85-year history of the PLA. He also introduced the PLA’s outstanding contributions to maintaining the territorial integrity and national sovereignty and promoting economic and social development under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Mr. Cai stressed that China adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace and a defense policy of defensive nature. The development of the PLA will pose no military threat to any other countries.

Cai Yong said that “China has positively contributed to the maintenance of the world peace and the response to the common challenges. It has sent a total of 21,000 people to 30 UN peacekeeping operations, more than any other permanent members of the UN Security Council.” Turning to the development of the China-UK military relations in recent years, Mr. Cai said that Air Chief Marshal Dalton visited China last year, and General Houghton co-chairs the China-UK strategic defense consultations together with General Ma Xiaotian. The high-level visits and dialogues like this help to enhance the mutual understanding and mutual trust between the military sectors of the two countries. The military exchanges in professional fields have also seen continuous progress.

In the interview with Xinhua News Agency, General Houghton said that “as I co-chair the China-UK strategic defense consultations, I’ve been closely watching the military exchanges of the two countries in the past 3 years. I believe that the China-UK military cooperation relations are becoming closer and more active. The mutual trust is deepening. This is a positive sign for the future cooperation.”

Air Chief Marshal Dalton told the reporter that Mr. Xu Qiliang, member of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China and Commander of the PLA Air Force, once visited the Royal Air Force base in England and the Air Chief Marshal himself visited the PLA Air Force. “We see the great development and progress of the PLA and its commitment to the international peacekeeping and disaster relief missions all these years. I think that our military relations are moving in a better direction. ”

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