Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND, answers reporters' questions at a monthly press conference on December 26, 2019. (eng.mod.gov.cn/Photo by Li Xiaowei)
(The following English text of the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the Chinese text shall prevail.)
Senior Colonel Wu Qian: Friends from the press, good afternoon! Welcome to this month’s regular press conference of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is very cold today, and we have prepared some hot tea at the back. You can help yourselves, and then think about your questions and we can have an in-depth discussion later. I have two announcements to make at the beginning:
The first is about the joint maritime exercise among China, Russia and Iran.
Based on the agreement reached by Chinese, Russian and Iranian militaries, a trilateral joint maritime exercise will be held at the waters of the Gulf of Oman from December 27th to 30th, 2019. PLA Navy’s guided-missile destroyer Xining (Hull 117) will participate in this exercise. This joint exercise aims to deepen exchanges and cooperation among the three navies and to show the three countries’ willingness and capabilities to jointly safeguard world peace and maritime security and to build a maritime community of shared future.
The Second announcement is about the joint training between China and Tanzania.
According to the agreement of Chinese and Tanzanian militaries, the China-Tanzania Joint Training codenamed “Sincere Partners 2019” will be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from late December, 2019, to mid January, 2020. This joint training aims to further improve the practical cooperation between Chinese and Tanzanian militaries so as to build a new type of security partnership featuring equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation.
Now the floor is open for questions.
Question: Recently, some senior US officials have made frequent statements about the so-called “China’s military threat”. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that China is seeking a “veto” over the economic and security decisions of small countries and continues to violate the sovereignty of Indo-pacific countries. US Under Secretary of Defense John Rudd said that China’s massive military spending and its growing “militarization” of the South China Sea, cyber-attack capabilities and potential capabilities in space undermine the current international order. The Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command Admiral Philip Davidson said that China is threatening “freedom of navigation” in its neighboring international waters. The US and its allies will continue “Freedom of Navigation Operations”. What is your comment?
Answer: There is a Chinese idiom, “a thief cries ‘stop the thief’”. The groundless accusations made by some US officials against China, in my view, are criticism of the US itself. In recent years, the US has waged wars around the world and harmed the sovereignty of many countries. Its involvement has led to a large number of casualties, injuries and displacement.
The US defense budget in fiscal year 2019 is $716 billion. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act 2020 further increases that to $738 billion, accounting for over 40% of the world’s total military expenditure. I’m wondering how can the US accuse others of having a big defense budget?
When it comes to cyber security, the US is notorious for its massive cyber espionage and cyber attacks against other countries. It has yet to provide an explanation to the international community on Edward Snowden, and is the least qualified country to point fingers at others on this issue.
As for the space, the US has established a space force and developed strong space operation capabilities, which will only intensify militarization and arms race in the space, and greatly undermine peace, security and global strategic stability.
Speaking of the international order, the US now champions unilateralism and protectionism, and keeps shirking or passing its international responsibilities and obligations. In the past two years, the US has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, the UNESCO, the UN Human Rights Council, the Iran Nuclear Deal and the INF Treaty. These behaviors help the international community see clearly that the US is the real disruptor of international order.
You also mentioned the so-called “Freedom of Navigation Operations”. I don’t think it’s a proper expression. Judging from what the US is doing in the South China Sea, it should be called “hegemony of navigation operations”. Such actions severely violate the sovereignty and security interests of littoral states, undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea, and endanger the safety of front-line service members. They are highly irresponsible and extremely dangerous.
A wrong action comes from a wrong view. The US adopts containment on China because its view of China is wrong. The US side’s excessive pursuit of its own absolute security is due to its narrow and selfish security view. And the damage it caused to the international order is an outcome of its wrong “world view”.
Cooperation benefits both China and the US, while confrontation hurts both. We hope that the US side can bear in mind the big picture, correct its mistakes, and work with the Chinese side towards the same goal to achieve non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Question: Just now, you mentioned the US President has signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020. The act involves containment on China in many places, and has negative provisions on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Do you have any comment?
Answer: On December 20th , local time, the US side signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The contents on China in the Act are full of Cold War mindsets and hyping up competition between the US and China and the so called “China Military Threat”. It also contains negative provisions on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. This Act severely interferes in China’s domestic affairs and violates the One China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiqués. It also undermines the relations between China and the United States and the mil-mil relationship, and hurts mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides. The Chinese military is firmly opposed to this Act, and the Chinese side has already lodged solemn representations to the US side.
China follows the path of peaceful development and a defensive national defense policy. We stay as determined as ever to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order. The development of China’s military forces is to protect China’s sovereignty, security and development interests and to address various security threats. Its growth will boost the force for peace in the world. The Chinese military is shouldering greater international responsibilities and providing more public security goods, which have been seen by all the peace-loving nations and peoples and praised by the international community.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The Taiwan question concerns China’s internal affairs and core interests, bears upon the national bond of the Chinese people and allows no external interference. We are firmly opposed to any country to conduct any kind of official exchanges or military contacts with Taiwan. We’ll never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China at any time in any form. The US side should abandon the illusion to contain China with Taiwan.
The US side openly meddles in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, interferes in China’s internal affairs with various kinds of excuses, disrupts prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and smears China’s counter-terrorism and de-extremization efforts. These actions severely violate international laws and the basic norms governing international relations. They are very mean and evil. All attempts by the US side to contain China’s development will be of no effect and will only hurt the US in the end.
We urge the US side to abandon the Cold War mindset and the hegemonic logic, stop interfere in China’s internal affairs and not put into practice the negative provisions related to China in the Act, and take concrete actions to protect the overall relations and the mil-to-mil relationship.
As for Xinjiang, I’d like to add a few words. Recently, CGTN has made two English documentaries on China’s counter-terrorism efforts in Xinjiang. You may take the DVDs of the two documentaries after the press conference.
Question: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that currently, China is the first priority of the US Department of Defense and Russia is the second. China has become the top military priority of the US. Do you have any comment?
Answer: It doesn’t matter who is the first or the second priority. The point is that some people in the US have a problem with their values and views. Today’s world is a global village. All countries live in the same community of shared future. It is an unstoppable trend of our times and the human society. I find it ridiculous that some people in the US just can’t get rid of their Cold War mentality. They are paranoid and are too obsessed with creating adversaries.
“The Goddess Peak should be amazed by the great changes of the world”. Those you-win-I-lose or zero-sum ideologies should be abandoned long ago. China follows the path of peaceful development and has no intention to take any country as its adversary. China never bullies others. Nevertheless, no one should bully China. If someone wants to force China to be its adversary, China will surely be a qualified one.
Question: I have two questions. First, China and India recently held the “Hand-in-hand” joint training exercise. Could you please give us more details? Second, this year, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held their second informal summit to discuss issues including relations between the two militaries. How do you evaluate the military relationship between China and India this year? What are the expectations of China-India military relations next year?
Answer: The exercise is the eighth joint counter-terrorism training between the Chinese and Indian armies. It is a concrete measure to implement the consensus reached by the state and military leaders of the two countries, and a practical one to enhance the friendship between the two militaries, especially the grass-roots units, and to promote regional peace and stability.
During the joint training, soldiers from the two sides had mixed team training exercises and exchanged experiences in counter-terrorism operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). They also had exchanges in culture, history, sports and culinary areas. Through the joint training, the two sides improved their capabilities to jointly address security threats and conduct diversified military missions. The training also demonstrated the two militaries’ determination to fight terrorism and protect regional stability, and strengthened mutual trust and cooperation between them.
The military relationship between China and India constitute an important component of the overall relations. With the care and efforts of the leaders of both countries, the military relationship has improved. The two sides have maintained strategic dialogues, carried out practical cooperation and strengthened border defense exchanges. As I mentioned just now, on 21st of this month, the China-India "Hand-in-Hand 2019" joint counter-terrorism training successfully concluded in the city of Silong, India, bringing a successful end to this year's exchanges between the two militaries.
The year 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and India. The two militaries will conduct various exchanges and celebration activities. Guided by the consensus of the leaders of the two countries, we are willing to work together with the Indian side to promote the military relationship in the right direction of friendly cooperation and make more positive contributions to the growth of bilateral relations.
Question: Recently, the PLA and PAP held military retirement ceremonies. A number of soldiers left the barracks. Could you please brief us on this year’s retirement work?
Answer: The retirement of soldiers is a routine work of the military. A certain number of soldiers exit from active service every year according to law. When in service, they guarded the borders, protected the country and dedicated themselves to the build-up of national defense and the armed forces. After retirement, they will continue to contribute to social and economic development and become an indispensable force for socialist modernization. The CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the CMC put great value for the veterans and have introduced a series of policies to increase preferential treatment for veterans, in terms of employment placement, businesses support, poverty relief and protection of their rights and interests. We believe that the veterans will continue to carry forward the glorious tradition and the good conduct of the Chinese military and make new contributions to the Party and the people in their new posts.
In addition, I noticed some new practices of taking retired soldiers home. I’ve read reports that some soldiers who had received awards during their service time were provided with first-class air ticket, and some who served on high altitude areas were able to take chartered planes back home. Just recently, when soldiers stationing on the Yongxing Island retired, the chartered aircraft flew two circles around the island to give the soldiers a little bit more time to say goodbye to their second home. These are special gestures to show our love for them and they deserve such respects.
Question: We noticed some pictures online showing service members wearing a new type of jacket uniform. Is it a new kind of uniform and does it have a name? Could you please brief us on this?
Answer: In order to adapt to the defense and military reform, refine our military uniform system and provide a casual and comfortable uniform for office work, we have designed and developed the work uniform and we are organizing wear tests within some units to check the effects.
Question: My question is about the joint maritime exercise held by China, Russia and Iran. We have noticed the recent increased tensions in the Gulf region. The United Sates is planning joint maritime patrols in this region. Is China, Russia and Iran’s decision to hold the joint drills at this time connected to the tensions in the region?
Answer: This joint maritime exercise is a normal military exchange arrangement of the three countries. It is in line with related international laws and practice, and is not relevant to tensions in the region. In recent years, the Chinese military has conducted friendly exchanges and cooperation and held joint exercises with navies of foreign countries around the world. These exercises and exchanges have helped to strengthen friendship and understanding between the Chinese and foreign militaries, and achieved good results.
Question: I have two questions. First, recently, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the People’s Armed Police (PAP) held enlistment ceremonies for their new recruits. Are they different from the enlistees of past years? Do you have any message for them? Second, according to foreign media reports, the pier expansion project of China’s first overseas logistic support base in Djibouti is nearing completion. The pier is over 400 meters long and can dock with the aircraft carrier Liaoning or Shandong. What is your comment?
Answer: On the first question, I’d like to underline four points.
First, there is a higher enthusiasm in the society for joining the military. The awareness was enhanced among young people of draft age to register for Selective Service. Many have registered to join the military, including 1.44 million young people with higher education background.
Second, recruits are more determined to serve. Since military career is becoming more attractive, most of them are willing to stay in the military for a long period of time and serve their country.
Third, recruits have a better educational background. The ratio of college recruits is higher than that in previous years. The number of college undergraduates, students from “double first-class universities” and college graduates all increases.
Fourth, recruits have broader specialties, including computer science, telecommunications, and health care. Many have already got national certificates for certain skills and can be entrusted to certain posts after finishing some brief training and passing tests.
I can still remember that when I joined a military school 20 years ago, my favourite poem was from Dai Shulun, a poet in the Tang Dynasty. Today, I’d like to share them with these new comrades-in-arms. “Ready to serve the country with a mortal frame till the end, never have I worried myself with coming through alive or slain.” I hope that the adventure of your life will be connected with that of your country and the glorious age.
On your second question, the construction of relevant facilities is progressing as planned. The construction and use of the facilities is to better fulfil China’s international obligations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, such as escort missions and humanitarian assistance. It will help China make new and greater contributions to maintaining peace and stability in Africa and the world.
Question: Us President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 on December 20, which defines space as an operational domain and approved the establishment of the sixth service，Space Force. Some analysts say that this move shows that the US is pushing for militarization of the space. Do you have any comment?
Answer: The outer space is the common asset of all human beings. The Chinese side has always advocated the peaceful use of outer space, opposed the weaponization and arms race in the outer space. Moreover, we are against the use of force, or the threat of using force against outer space objects. The US uses the so-called military threat from other countries as an excuse to set up the space force. Its true intention is seeking absolute military advantage in space. It can easily trigger an arms race in outer space, seriously undermine peace and security in space and threaten global strategic stability. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to that.
Question: There have been remarkable achievements and many high-profile moments in China’s international military cooperation in 2019. Can you give us more details?
Answer: The Chinese military stays true to its founding mission and actively promotes international military cooperation in 2019 for new achievements with the following features:
First, guided by Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era, the military seeks to build comprehensive and constructive military relations with foreign countries and enhance mutual trust through high-level visits, defense dialogues, exchanges in specialized areas, military assistance and training cooperation.
Second, military exchanges and cooperation are oriented to improve combat readiness and capabilities and implement Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the military. We carried out 41 joint exercises and army games with foreign countries to increase the contribution of international military cooperation to combat capabilities.
Third, the Chinese military is committed to building a peaceful and stable international strategic security pattern. The military relationship between China and Russia continues to develop at a high level. China-US military relationship remains generally stable. We have deepened practical cooperation with neighboring countries and strengthened exchanges and cooperation with developing countries.
Fourth, we actively participate in bilateral and multilateral platforms for international military cooperation. This year, we successfully held the 7th CISM Military World Games, the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum and the the Field Training Exercise of ADMM Plus Experts’ Working Group on counter-terrorism in Guilin, Guangxi, published the white paper China’s National Defense in the New Era, which offered an in-depth explanation of China’s defensive national defense policy, and promoted the initiative of building a maritime community with a shared future.
Fifth, we’ve made practical efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind. The Chinese military is an active participant in the UN peacekeeping operations, vessel protection missions and global HADR efforts. We are committed to providing more public security goods to the international community and contributing to world peace and development.
Looking forward into the new year, the Chinese military will faithfully practice the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, actively fulfill its international responsibilities, promote international military cooperation in the new ear, and make new contributions to building a beautiful world with lasting peace and universal security.
Question: I have two questions. First, it is reported that PLAN hospital ship Ark Peace was bestowed the title of "Role Model of the Times" by the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the CPC. Could you please brief us on that? Second, we noticed that on December 18, the CMC Vice Chairman General Xu Qiliang and State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe met with Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono. Could you please tell us the outcomes of these meetings and what is your comment on the China-Japan defense relationship?
A11 The PLAN hospital ship Ark Peace is the first standard ocean-going hospital ship of China and a pioneer in practicing the Party’s goal of building a strong military in the new era, and advancing the transformation of the PLAN.
Following Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the military and Xi Jinping thought on diplomacy, Ark Peace makes its own efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind and a maritime community with a shared future. Through its voyages coded Mission Harmony, Ark Peace has enhanced its medical support capabilities. It provides humanitarian medical services to other countries and passes the message of peace, adding a gentle touch to PLA’s commitment to world peace and development.
Since it entered service in December 2008, Ark Peace has fulfilled 9 voyages covering a distance of over 240,000 nautical miles, visited 43 countries and regions, and provided medical services for more than 230,000 people. These efforts support China’s overall political and diplomatic vision and are highly praised at home and abroad. Ark Peace is hailed as “an envoy of friendship sailing thousands of miles for peace”.
At invitation of the Chinese side, Japanese Defense Minister visited China from December 18 to 19. CMC Vice Chairman General Xu Qiliang and State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe held meetings with Mr. Taro Kono. They had candid discussions on issues of common concern, and discussed future defense cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.
The current China-Japan defense exchange has maintained a good momentum. Minister Kono is the first Japanese defense minister to visit China in the past 10 years. It is the continuation of high-level exchanges between the two defense departments, which shows the improvement in the defense relationship. We hope the two sides can work together towards the same goal, implement the strategic consensuses reached by the leaders, strengthen defense exchanges, properly handle sensitive issues, enhance mutual trust and promote a constructive bilateral security relationship so as to accumulate positive factors for the overall relations between the two countries.
Question: A few days ago, the Training Session for Heads of Military Schools opened in the National Defense University. What are the features of this session? What does it mean to the reform of military educational institutions?
Answer: As China’s military educational institutions undergoing transformation, the training session was held at a critical moment since there is an urgent need for talents in our efforts to build a strong military. It is also a milestone for China’s military education in the new era.
In President Xi’s speech at the opening ceremony, he laid out the guidelines on military education and announced the strategy of strengthening the military through cultivating talents and prioritized the development of military educational institutions.
The training session included six parts, namely guiding principles; clarification of demands; problem solving; experience exchange; study of laws and regulations; and expert review. Participating heads of schools said the session was a great brainstorming and extremely enlightening. It was a template of good teaching and a test for themselves. The Training Session is of great significance to the deepening of reform in our military educational institutions.
First, it builds consensus. The session sets the direction for education and personnel cultivation in military schools in the post-reform era. It underscores the role of the headmasters and the efforts of all military units in advancing education and grooming talents.
Second, it updates concepts. The headmasters talked about the history and future of military education and compared their schools with each other’s and with world-class foreign military academies and civilian educational agencies. As a result, they have had a deeper understanding of the characteristics, internal laws and standards for world-class military education.
Third, it draws a blueprint. Participants discussed matters such as demands, policies, lessons learned, and problems and came up with a primary road map for the transformation of military educational agencies into world-class ones.
Fourth, it cracks problems. To improve efficacy, the training session took a problem-oriented approach. Representatives from the CMC organs, services and military schools pooled their wisdom together to find out underlying causes and solutions to existing problems.
Question: Retired Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of the PLA Nanjing Military Area Command, said at a symposium in Beijing on last Saturday that if the mainland launches an attack on Taiwan, the PLA can soon capture the Dongying Island, Dongsha Islands and Penghu Islands. Do you agree with Lieutenant General Wang's remarks? Does this run counter to the concept of "Peaceful Reunification and One Country, Two Systems" proposed at the fourth plenary session of the 19th CPCCC?
Answer: I will not comment on the personal views of experts and scholars. As a matter of principle, we follow the policy of peaceful reunification. We expect compatriots across the Taiwan Straits to jointly oppose and contain "Taiwan Independence”, safeguard peace and stability across the straits, and jointly promote peaceful development of cross-straits relations and the peaceful reunification of the motherland.
Answer: On the first question, I have no information to release.
On the second question, we pay close attention to the development in the space, and strive to build an air-space defense system to meet the needs of information-based operations. China advocates the peaceful use of outer space and opposing weaponization and arms race in outer space. This position remains unchanged.
Question: Taiwan's military signed three quotation and acceptance documents with the US for arms purchase including F-16V fighter jets on December 13, indicating that the three arms purchase plans have entered the implementation phase. What’s your comment on that?
Answer: China is firmly opposed to arms sale to Taiwan by any foreign countries. Containing China through Taiwan will be of no effect and relying on foreign support will also be a dead end.
Question: The second aircraft carrier of China was commissioned on December 17 and it has been in service for ten days. Could you please brief us on its conditions?
Answer: Everything is going smoothly. After its commissioning, the Shandong aircraft carrier will continue to conduct trials and task group training to form combat capabilities. In the future, we will have an overall consideration of the deployment and use of the Shandong aircraft carrier according to situations and our missions.
Question: According to think tank reports from Taiwan, by the year 2030, the PLA will have four aircraft carrier battle groups. In addition, the commissioning of China’s first home-made aircraft carrier Shandong is also closely watched by media in Taiwanese. Do you have any response to the concerns from Taiwan for the aircraft carriers?
Answer: On the future development of the aircraft carriers, we will make overall decisions based on the national security needs and equipment development.
We follow the policy of peaceful reunification and urge the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to jointly oppose and contain “Taiwan independence” and protect peace and stability across the Straits, promote peaceful development of the cross-strait relations and push forward the peaceful reunification of China.
Question: The situation in Hong Kong has yet to calm down. The Ministry of National Defense said that the PLA Hong Kong Garrison will obey the instructions of the Party’s Central Committee. Under what circumstance will the central government take actions? If the PLA were involved, would you worry that the US might end Hong Kong's special status?
Answer: We are highly concerned about the situations in Hong Kong. The continuing violent criminal activities in Hong Kong have severely violated the rule of law and social order, seriously undermined Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and seriously challenged the bottom line of the principle of "One Country, Two Systems". We are firmly opposed to them.
Hong Kong is facing its most severe situation since it returned to the motherland. The central government supports Chief Executive Carrie Lam in leading the SAR Government to administer in accordance with the law, supports the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing the law, and hopes violence and chaos can be stopped, and order restored in Hong Kong as soon as possible.
The PLA Hong Kong Garrison will continue to perform its duties in accordance with the Basic Law and the Garrison Law, and firmly safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.
Question: At the end of the year, many websites are having various kinds of reviews. One of the most popular videos online is a collection of strong remarks made by MND spokespersons. Many netizens thought these remarks are very exciting and became fans of MND. So, Mr. Spokesperson, have you watched these videos? And what do you think of the comments made by netizens?
Answer: I have watched some, but I can't assure you that I have covered all of them.
I believe that actions speak louder than words. To make a good remark, you need good actions first. I would like to pass your encouragement and the appreciation of the netizens to all the service members, who are on the borders, or on a remote island, or anywhere their country needs them. We may not know their names, but their contributions will always be remembered. Personally, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be the spokesperson for such a military.
Question: With improving combat readiness and capacities as its top priority, the Chinese armed forces has put military training at a strategic position in 2019 and conducted training with a focus on real combat. Can you brief us on this year’s military training and its highlights?
Answer: Chinese President Xi signed the CMC Order No.1 on January 4, 2019, to roll out the annual military training. All service members were encouraged to conduct combat-oriented training in line with the doctrines. The Chinese military carried out strict training inspection and explored new training practices for the new era, which ushered in a surge of realistic training in the armed forces.
First, the strategic level training has inspired innovative development in theater-command level joint training and training in services and arms. The CMC functional organs have institutionalized training programs and set a good example for the whole military.
Second, more targeted training were conducted by different directions in specific areas to address relevant security threats.
Third, more emphasis was put on key positions, core capacities and new type combat forces in mass training activities.
Fourth, China held the 7th CISM Military World Games with first-class organization and performance and left a remarkable Chinese print in the history of the CISM Games.
Fifth, the Chinese military capitalized on international cooperation through 41 joint exercises and army games with over 30 foreign militaries.
Sixth, China held the training session for all the heads of military schools. The meeting prioritized strategies on developing talents and educational institutions and set guidelines for military education in the new era.
Seventh, a new regulation on training inspection was launched to strengthen oversight and advance realistic training.
Eighth, the support system for training was restructured. We’ve made progress in the building of training bases and the OPFORCE and refined regulations and curricula on training by compiling over 600 training outlines and over 4000 textbooks.
For the past year, China’s service members have been training hard and properly to hone their skills and become elite forces. We have the confidence, determination and capabilities to fulfill the missions entrusted by the Party and the people in the new era.
Question: The year 2019 witnessed remarkable development in China’s domestic weaponry. On occasions such as the maritime fleet review in April, the National Day Parade, the commissioning of the domestic aircraft carrier, and the Helicopter Expo in Tiajin, China unveiled a series of new equipment and weaponry. What is your comment on the remarkable development of indigenous weaponry and equipment in 2019?
Answer: In recent years, China independently and innovatively developed its own weapon system and promoted the modernization of its equipment system. By far, we have built a modernized equipment system with full functions and elements. China’s development of weaponry and equipment do not target any country or region nor pose threat to other countries and regions. These efforts aim to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests and contribute to world peace, stability and prosperity.
Question: The US military is highly alert to the intense situation on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK side expressed that it would send a Christmas gift to the US side. Does the Chinese military know what the Christmas gift could be?
Answer: The current easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula is hard-earned. We hope both the DPRK and the United States can cherish the opportunity for a political solution of the Peninsula issue and value the constructive achievements already made, continue to follow the path of dialogue and consultation, keep patient and work together towards the same goal, so as to find a way to address the current impasse and make new progress in realizing a political solution of the peninsula issue.
The DPRK and the United States are the main contradictory parties in the peninsula issue, and it requires common and concrete efforts from both parties to realize denuclearization and lasting peace in the Korean peninsula.
As for the Christmas gift you mentioned, I don’t think I am the person to answer the question.
Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND, answers reporters' questions at a monthly press conference on December 26, 2019. (eng.mod.gov.cn/Photo by Wu Xingjian)
If there are no more questions, I would like to add a few more words.
The New Year is just around the corner. The busy year of 2019 witnessed our happiness and tears, and the coming year of 2020 will bring us more hopes and dreams. Although we are still in the cold winter, the spring is not far away. Here I would like to thank friends from the press, and the public for your support for the news release of the MND.
There is a little surprises before the end of the press conference. The PLA Navy has made some commemorative envelopes and ship caps of the newly-commissioned domestic aircraft carrier Shandong. All attending friends from the media are welcomed to take them after the press conference so that we can all share the glory of the PLA Navy. Today’s world is more beautiful. Happy New Year and may all your dreams come true!