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Defense Ministry's regular press conference on June 25

( Source: MOD  )         2015-June-25 21:47

 


Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers reporters' questions at a regular press conference on June 25, 2015. (mod.gov.cn/Li Aiming)

         

(The following English text of the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretations, the Chinese text shall prevail.)

  Senior Colonel Yang Yujun:

  Friends from the media, good afternoon! Welcome to the press conference of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of this month.

  Q: According to Japanese media, the maritime and air liaison mechanism between China and Japan will be established and relevant documents will be signed in the near future. Could you please confirm? If it is true, could you please share with us more information on this issue? And secondly, according to the media of the Republic of Korea, the direct telephone link between the two defense ministries of China and the Republic of Korea will be established in mid-July. Could you please confirm?

  A: The first question is about China-Japan maritime and air liaison mechanism. This is the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries as well as the leaders of the two defense departments. To establish such a mechanism is conducive to avoiding maritime and air accidents as a result of misjudgment and strengthening mutual trust in the field of defense and security.

  Due to reasons known to all, consultations on establishing this mechanism have been stalled for a period of time. Since China and Japan reached a four-point principled agreement on improving bilateral relations at the end of last year, relevant talks on establishing such a mechanism have resumed.

  On June 19, the defense departments of the two countries held the 5th expert team consultation on establishing China-Japan maritime and air liaison mechanism. Both sides discussed technical issues on establishing this mechanism and reached some consensuses. Both sides agreed to accelerate the pace of establishing this mechanism. The two sides will continue their discussion and consultation on relevant issues in the future.

  Last July, during President Xi ’s visit to the Republic of Korea, leaders of the two countries have reached an agreement on establishing a direct telephone link between the two defense ministries as soon as possible. For China and the Republic of Korea to establish a direct telephone link between the two defense ministries is conducive for both sides to strengthening mutual trust and avoiding misjudgment.

  Currently, a technical working group from the Chinese side is visiting the Republic of Korea and the two sides are carrying out consultations on technical issues of establishing the direct telephone link between the two defense ministries.

  Q: According to media reports, the Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Mr. Antonov said that this year’s Defense Ministers’ Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states will be held at the end of June in St. Pittsburg. What is the main subject for the meeting? What kind of arrangement will China make for the participation of the meeting? Secondly, some people said that the structural and institutional reform plan of the Chinese military will be made public at the end of June, but due to some reasons, it has been postponed to September. Is it true? If it is true, would you please tell us why it has been postponed?

  A: At the invitation of the Russian Minister of Defense Field Marshal Sergai Shoigu and the Finnish Minister of Defense Jussi Niinisto, General Chang Wanquan, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, will attend the SCO Defense Ministers’ Meeting in St. Pittsburg and pay an official visit to Finland from June 28 to July 5.

  In April, 2014, the 11th Defense Ministers’ Meeting of the SCO member states was held in Tajikistan. This year’s meeting will review the progress made in defense and security cooperation since last year, and discuss concrete measures to be taken in implementing the consensus reached by the leaders of the SCO member countries, in furthering SCO defense and security cooperation and in jointly safeguarding regional security and stability.

  During his visit to Russia, General Chang will also attend the 2nd Military Band Festival of the SCO.

  As to General Chang’s visit to Finland, the defense departments and military leaders of China and Finland have maintained the tradition of frequent exchange of visits.

  During his visit to Finland, General Chang will meet with both state and military leaders of Finland and both sides will have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral ties, military to military relationship and other issues of common concern.

  The purpose of his visit is to strengthen mutual trust, promote friendly exchange between the two militaries and push forward and expand pragmatic defense cooperation between the two sides.

  On the second question about the national defense and armed forces reform, I have no information to release.

  Q: My question is on China-U.S. military-to-military relations. The militaries of the two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for exchanges between the two armies. So, what are the specific activities of exchanges and cooperation between the two armies in the future? Secondly, we have learned from the media that the U.S. has invited China to take part in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise. Will China take part in this exercise?

  A: Your first question is about the exchanges between the armies of China and the United States. Under the context of building a new type of China-U.S. military-to-military relationship, exchanges and cooperation between the two armies have been developing with a good momentum.

  Not long ago, during Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission General Fan Changlong’s visit to the U.S., an Army-to-Army Dialogue Mechanism Framework Document was signed. It was the first cooperation agreement signed between the two armies. It is of great significance for pushing forward army-to-army cooperation between the two countries.

  According to the agreement, the two armies will carry out cooperation in such fields as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, United Nations’ peacekeeping missions, officers’ education and training, military medicine, military engineering and so on. In the next step, both sides will continue to enrich and expand army-to-army cooperation by utilizing the institutionalized channels.

  At the invitation of the U.S. side, a PLA Navy task group took part in the Rim of the Pacific 2014 Exercise held in Hawaii. Taking part in this exercise is conducive to strengthening professional exchanges and practical cooperation among navies of different countries.

  Currently, the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and the two militaries is to further strengthen military-to-military exchanges and cooperation. We are willing to promote interactions with the U.S. side in the Asia-Pacific region and enhance the capability of meeting challenges together.

  Q: In the defense white paper “China’s Military Strategy” published not long ago, it is mentioned that the Chinese side will hold Xiangshan Forum and other multi-lateral activities. My question is when this year’s Xiangshan Forum will be held and who will be invited to take part in this forum?

  A: The sixth Xiangshan Forum jointly sponsored by the China Association for Military Science and the China Institute for International Strategic Studies will be held in Beijing from October 16th to 18th.

  The hosts will send invitations soon to defense and military leaders of Asia-Pacific countries and other relevant countries, to representatives of resident offices of some international organizations, to former government and military dignitaries, and to renowned academics.

  The theme of this year’s forum is “Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific: Reality and Prospect”. Delegates will exchange views on such issues as trends in Asia-Pacific security situation, Asian security concept, maritime security and counter-terrorism.

  The Chinese side hopes that this forum will be conducive for all participants to strengthening mutual trust, accumulating consensus, promoting regional security cooperation and jointly maintaining regional peace and stability.

  Q: It is reported that the Pilipino navy conducted a joint exercise with maritime self-defense force of Japan, which was aimed at strengthening surveillance against China in the South China Sea. What is your comment?

  A: It is our consistent position that bilateral military cooperation should be conducive to regional peace and stability, and should not compromise the interest of any third party.

  Some regional nations drag countries outside the region to interfere in the South China Sea issue, demonstrate muscles, and intentionally play up regional tensions. This behavior would only bring harm to the situation in the South China Sea.

  Q: My question is about the military parade on September 3. We’ve learnt that China will, for the first time, invite foreign militaries to participate in this year’s military parade. Has China started to invite foreign representatives? How many countries have China invited and how many countries have accepted China’s invitation? For example, will Russia, China’s neighbor, send troops to take part in the military parade?

  A: This question has been responded to at the press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council the day before yesterday.

  To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the victory of the world anti-fascist war, China will hold a military parade and other commemorative activities on September 3, and we will invite foreign militaries to take part in the parade and send representatives to observe the parade.

  At present, some foreign militaries have responded to our invitation. Russia and other countries have made it clear that they will participate in the parade and send representatives to observe the parade. We will continue to keep in contact with relevant countries.

  Q: My question is also about the military parade to be held on September 3. During the press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council several days ago, it is said that the veterans of the Nationalist Party will be invited to take part in the parade. Does this mean that the veterans of the Nationalist Party in Taiwan will be invited to take part in the military parade? If they will be invited, how many of them and what are their ranks?

  A: The armed forces of the Nationalist Party had played an important role in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Some veterans of the Nationalist Party will be invited to take part in the military parade. As to the specific arrangements, spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council answered this question yesterday.

  Q: Not long ago, there was a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the island land reclamation projects in the South China Sea would be completed soon. Do you know if they have now been completed or when exactly they will be finished? Thank you.

  A: The spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already said this month that the land reclamation projects on some Nansha islands and reefs would be completed soon.

  After the completion of land reclamation projects, China will continue to conduct relevant construction work in accordance with the working plan. As to when the land reclamation projects will be completed, it depends on the progress of construction and various factors.

  Q: The Russian official media reported that China and Russia would conduct a joint maritime exercise in August, 2015. Could you please confirm that? Secondly, since the beginning of this year, the Chinese military has made public five batches of high-ranking military officers investigated or charged of corruption. The latest publicized cases involving two high-ranking officers were investigated as early as in January, 2015. Some people say this means that the anti-corruption campaign in the military has stopped for a while. What is your comment?

  A: Regarding your first question, to conduct joint military exercise is an important component of practical cooperation between the armed forces of China and Russia. Conducting joint exercises under bilateral framework and under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has become routine between China and Russia.

  Such kind of joint exercises will help both militaries to enhance their capacities in meeting new challenges and threats, and will also be conducive to safeguarding regional peace and stability.

  According to plan, the two navies will conduct two joint maritime exercises this year. The first joint maritime exercise has been completed. On the specific arrangement for the second maritime joint exercise, consultation is still going on between the two sides.

  On the issue of anti-corruption campaign in the military, we have expressed our position on many occasions.

  According to the overall arrangement of the Party Central Committee, the armed forces have pressed ahead with the anti-corruption campaign and investigated a number of major cases.

  We have promulgated a series of documents and regulations and established a systematic mechanism combining inspection tours, disciplinary inspection, auditing and law enforcement, so as to establish a system that discourages corruption and provide strong guarantee for building strong armed forces.

  I’d like to stress here that the anti-corruption campaign in the military focuses not only on treating the symptoms but also on curing the root causes. To say that the anti-corruption campaign has stopped is totally unfounded.

  Q: The news that the Chinese navy has recalled non-commissioned officers who were decommissioned in the past two years to go back to the navy and take part in military training has been circulating on the Internet. The Weibo account of the PLA Daily made a clarification on this issue. However, reports from CCTV show that the South China Sea Fleet organized the reserve personnel from many cities and provinces to take part in joint maritime training. Could you please tell us more on the reserve personnel?

  A: The Military Conscription Law as well as the National Defense Mobilization Law stipulate that the reserve force officers and soldiers must take part in military training so as to maintain their capability in conducting military missions.

  As to the news you have mentioned, it is actually for the South China Sea Fleet to do its work according to the annual training plan and organize the reserve force personnel to take part in the training.

  As to the details of the training conducted by the reservists, the media have given plenty of coverage.

  Q: On the activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in September, will people from Taiwan be invited to attend the activities? If you have issued invitation to people from Taiwan, have you got any response from those people?

  A: About inviting people from Taiwan to attend the commemorative activities, please refer to competent authorities for information.

  Q: The China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue has concluded today and it has achieved many positive results. However, on issues of the South China Sea and the cyber security, differences remain and the gap seems not to have been narrowed. Under such a background, has this year’s dialogue achieved expected results? Could you please comment in this regard?

  A: To comment on the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue is beyond my scope of responsibility. I advise you to ask your colleague in Washington to raise the question to the Chinese delegation in the United States.

  Q: On June 18, the U.S. Senate passed the Defense Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2016, which includes an additional item of inviting Taiwan to take part in military exercises. May I know your response and your comment on that?

  Secondly, we have learnt that the Liaoning aircraft carrier has gone on training at sea. Please tell us the contents of the Liaoning aircraft carrier’s training mission this time and what results it has achieved.

  A: On the first question, we are firmly opposed to any country developing military ties with Taiwan in any form, and this position is consistent and clear.

  We urge the U.S. to observe the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, take a prudent attitude in dealing with the Taiwan issue and take concrete actions in maintaining the overall interests of China-US state-to-state and military-to-military relations.

  On the issue of the Liaoning aircraft carrier’s training at sea, I do not have any information to release.

  Q: During the press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council on Tuesday, it is said that the majority of the weaponry and equipment that are going to be demonstrated in China’s military parade are of new types. What is the purpose for doing so? This morning the Mongolian ambassador to China said that Mongolia will send a 75-person square to take part in the military parade in China. Will all the foreign military squares be in the same size? Secondly, we learnt that salaries for civil servants have been adjusted. Will the salaries of the military personnel keep at the same pace with those of civil servants?

  A: On the purpose of the military parade, it is a part of the activities to commemorate the victory of the Chinese people's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the world's Anti-Fascist War. It aims to remember history, pay attribute to the national martyrs, cherish peace and create a better future.

  As to the details of the weaponry and equipment to be displayed and scale of the military parade, they have been briefed during the press conference of the Information Office of the State Council the day before yesterday.

  On the second question, the member or the size of foreign military squares are determined by the capacity of the parade venue, time span of the parade and other relevant conditions. They are also decided by the result of the consultation with relevant countries.

  On the question of adjusting the salary, I have no information to release.

  That concludes today’s press conference. See you next month.

  

 

Editor :  Zhang Tao