Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of National Defense on September 30

Source:Ministry of National Defense Editor:Li Wei 2021-10-09 11:27:55


Question: The "Shared Destiny-2021" UN peacekeeping field training exercise was carried out recently in Queshan County of Henan Province. We have noted that some foreign media were also invited to cover this event. Could you please introduce the characteristics of this exercise?

Answer: The UN peacekeeping field training exercise, "Shared Destiny-2021" was conducted from September 6 to 15 at the PLAA Queshan Combined Tactical Training Base,with more than 1,000 troops from China, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and this exercise is designed to respond to the UN “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative, promote practical cooperation among troop-contributing countries, and jointlyenhance theabilities of their peacekeeping standby forces to carry out missions.

The exercise has four characteristics as follows: First, it is pioneering. Itwas the first multilateral peacekeeping field training exercise organized by the PLA in China and the first time for the Chinese military to test the achievements of its peacekeeping standby force building through joint training exercise. During the exercise, Chinese and foreign contingents conducted joint training in mixed groups. All the foreign contingents used weapons, equipment and apparatus provided by China in the training exercise, and carried out force composition, organization and command, operational procedure and other training programs with their Chinese counterpart according to their functions and missions.

Second, it is diversified. The participating forces were comprehensive in forms, involving major components of peacekeeping forces including infantry, fast response, security, helicopter, engineering, transportation, and medical services units.It presented a multi-dimensional and panoramicpicture of China’s peacekeeping standby force building, and demonstratedabrand-new spirit of the Chinese military after the national defense and military reform.

Third, it is professional.The exercise was designed as a whole in strict accordance with the UN standard operating procedures (SOP), the rules of engagement (ROE) and real combat standard. Senior instructors with rich experience in peacekeeping training were appointed to supervise the training in the whole course. The participating forceswere mainly those professionally-trained peacekeeping standby forces, and the exercise organizers are good at both peacekeeping theory and practice.

Finally, it is an exercise in real combat conditions. The scenario, environment and plan of the exercise were designed according to real peacekeeping operations with the employment of real equipment and troops. It focused on drills including battlefield reconnaissance, security patrol, armed escort, protection of civilians, response to violent and terrorist attacks, construction of temporary operation bases, and battlefield first aid. The exercise replayed real cases of peacekeeping operations,set up environment and facilities similar to those in peacekeeping mission areas to fully test the training effectiveness of peacekeeping standby forces.

As you said, the Office for International Military Cooperationof the CMC invited a number of foreign media, such as Associated Press(AP), Reuters, Agence France Presse (AFP) and Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao, to cover the event on sitefrom different aspects. In the future, under normalizedpandemic prevention and control, the Chinese side will actively explore new methods to organize interviews and reports by foreign media to present a true, multi-dimensional and panoramic view of Chinese military to the world.

Question: It is reported that leaders of the US, the UK and Australia recently held a video conference and announced their new security partnership (AUKUS), whereby the US and the UK will provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarine technology, which is said to be targeting China. What's your comment, please?

Answer: Any form of nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia, whether it is lease, export or joint research and development, will seriously aggravate regional arms race, undermine regional peace and stability, impair international nuclear non-proliferation efforts, and threaten world peace and security. China and the international community firmly oppose and strongly condemn it.

The cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia creates serious nuclear proliferation risks, clearly violates the spirit of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The US and the UK, both nuclear weapon states, are exporting to Australia, a non-nuclear weapon state, highly sensitive nuclear submarine technology and highly enriched uranium (HEU) that can be used to make nuclear weapons, which cannot be effectively verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)safeguards mechanism. This is stark nuclear proliferation. Such a move of the US and the UK proves again their double standards on nuclear export. It is highly irresponsible as other countries may follow suit and far-reaching negative impact may be brought to the resolution of non-proliferation hotspot issues in the region. In the meantime, As a non-nuclear weapon contracting party to the NPT and a contracting party to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty, the introduction of nuclear submarine technology weapon-grade HEU with strategic and military significance by Australia seriously betrays its commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, and is extremely dangerous. China urges the international community to make joint efforts and adopt effective measures to stop such dangerous acts.

China always holds that any regional mechanism should be in consistence with the trends of the times for peace and development and help enhance mutual trust and cooperation among regional countries. The US always talks about building an “open Indo-Pacific”, but what it does is forming exclusive cliques, which fully exposes its hypocrisy. The UK and Australia that blindly follow the US lead will estrange themselves from the times. Their attempts to contain China are doomed to failure. China urges the three countries to give up the Cold War and zero-sum game mentality, revoke the wrong decision to cooperate on nuclear submarines and do more to contribute to regional peace, stability and development rather than the opposite.

Question: Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi recently said that “Chinese military trends, including the rapid strengthening, increasing activity and expansion of its operational capabilities, combined with the lack of transparency regarding its defense policy and military capabilities, have become a strong security concern for Japan, the region and the international community”. He claimed that the Diaoyu Islands are “unquestionably Japanese territory and would be defended as such.”Given the geographical proximity between Japan and Taiwan island, “what could happen in Taiwan could likely be an issue for Japan, and in that case, Japan will have to take the necessary response to that situation.” Yasuhide Nakayama, Japan's Deputy Defense Minister, said that "What's happening in Taiwan is directly linked to Japan". Please comment on that.

Answer: Senior Japanese defense officials have repeatedly hyped up the so-called “China military threat”, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, and damaged China’s sovereignty. China deplores and firmly opposes that.

China is committed to the coordinated development of national defense and the economy. China’s defense expenditure is open and transparent, and its spending is reasonable and appropriate. For the past three decades, China’s defense expenditure as a percentage of GDP has remained below 2%, which is lower than that of other major countries and the world average of 2.6%. China's per capita military spending only accounts for one fifth of Japan’s. In contrast, Japan, instead of sincerely reflecting on its aggressive history, has kept increasing its defense budget to new records. It has also reinforced military forces on its southwestern islands and developed emerging combat forces such as the cyber force and space force, which far exceeds the needs of “exclusively defense-oriented strategy”. The Asian neighbors and the international community should be highly vigilant about what Japan is up to.

The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are an inherent territory of China. This is a basic fact that cannot be changed no matter how Japan clamors. Japan should stop its provocations against China on the Diaoyu Islands issue, and stop confounding right and wrong and putting the blame on China.

At last, I want to emphasize that the Taiwan question is fully and completely an internal affair of China. It has nothing to do with Japan. The so-called “geographical proximity” is just an excuse used by Japanese politicians to meddle in Taiwan affairs. It is a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, which reminds us of Japan’s history of waging aggressive wars and colonizing other Asian countries. The Chinese side has a solemn message for the Japanese side that China today is not what it used to be. We will not allow any country to meddle in the Taiwan question by any means.

Question: The International Army Games (IAG) 2021 has wrapped up. The Chinese military hosted multiple events at home and participated in a number of events abroad, with excellent results. Please give us more details.

Answer: The IAG 2021 has successfully come to an end. It was the first time for the Chinese military to host events at home and send troops overseas at large scale to participate in the games under the conditions of COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese side attached great importance to the games, hosted three events in Xinjiang, and dispatched troops to participate in 17 events in four countries. In total, the Chinese participating troops won first place in three team events, second place in eight team events and third place in seven team events. while for individual events, the Chinese troops won first place in 21 events, second place in 15 events and third place in 12 events. The games fully demonstrated the excellent capability and fine conduct of the Chinese military, deepened the pragmatic cooperation between the Chinese military and their Russian counterparts, strengthened the friendship and mutual trust with friendly countries, and generated a positive response at home and abroad. Generally speaking, the games have three main characteristics:

The first is the innovation in hosting and participating in the games. The Chinese military used existing venues and facilities to host the games, preferentially participated in the events with more military characteristics, and actively took part in the newly-added events such as marksmanship in special operations, and military surveying and mapping. The PLA Rocket Force, the PLA Strategic Support Force and the PLA Joint Logistic Support Force participated in the games for the first time, injecting new elements into the games. Thus, all the services of the Chinese armed forces participated in an international military competition at the same time.

The second is the remarkable results of training the troops by opening the door for international exchange. The Chinese side has deeply studied foreign militaries, rules and tactics, made preparation as required by real combats, and strengthened specialized training in order to maximize the equipment performance and personal potential. The participating troops broke records again in traditional events such as “Suvorov Attack” and “Safe Environment” and made excellent performances in new events such as “Tactical Shooter” and “Meridian”. In the “Clear Sky” event, participating troops from the PLA Army, Navy and Air Force competed with foreign counterparts. Such progress has remarkably stimulated training efforts beyond the participating troops.

The third is the in-depth and systematic transformation of games results into experience of military training. The Chinese participating troops strengthened the study on combat training throughout the process, put emphasis on analyzing the differences in operational thought, training level, weaponry and equipment, fields and facilities between Chinese and foreign militaries, discovered the shortcomings in our combat capability, learned from the strengths of foreign militaries, so as to improve the combat and training theories and training methods. After the games, the Chinese side carried out an in-depth review and summary to promote good experience from the games to contribute to the development of troops and military academies.

Question: This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-Laos diplomatic ties and is the "Year of China-Laos Friendship". Please further introduce the relationship between the Chinese military and the Lao military.

Answer: China and Laos are connected by mountains and rivers and enjoy a long traditional friendship. We are like-minded good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners, and constitute an unbreakable community with a shared future. Under the leadership of the leaders of the two parties and two countries, China-Laos comprehensive strategic and cooperative relations continue to expand, and the relationship between the two militaries are steadily moving forward.

Firstly, the two sides have close high-level exchanges. In the context of the pandemic, senior leaders of the two militaries have maintained close communication and coordination through telephone calls and letters. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in China last year, Chansamone Chanyalath, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, immediately sent a letter to express his sympathy and support. After the pandemic in China was basically brought under control, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe talked with Minister Chansamone on the phone, expressing China's firm support for Laos in fighting the pandemic. This year, Minister Chansamone sent letters of congratulations to China on the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the 94th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Secondly, the two sides work together to fight the pandemic. At the early stage of the pandemic in China last year, the Lao Ministry of National Defense provided China with aid of medical supplies. Later, the pandemic broke out in Laos, and the Chinese military sent medical experts and provided materials and vaccine assistance to Laos. The mutual assistance vividly demonstrates the spirit of the China-Laos community with a shared future which features support for each other through thick and thin, and has strengthened the brotherhood between the two militaries.

Finally, the two sides maintain exchanges in professional areas. In recent years, the Chinese and Lao armed forces have carried out many friendly exchanges, joint counter-terrorism exercises and the "Peace Train" humanitarian and medical joint rescue exercise. Since last year, the Chinese military has sent two groups of experts to the television station of the Lao People’s Armed Forces (LPAF) to assist in the construction and operation of the station. The exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in the field of military media have become a new highlight in the mil-to-mil relationship.

The plumerias always bloom, and the brotherhood always exists. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Laos and is the Year of China-Laos Friendship. The Chinese military is willing to work with the Lao military to implement the important consensus of the leaders of the two parties and the two countries, strengthen communication and deepen cooperation to share weal and woe and move towards a bright future together.

Question: The media platform of China's Ministry of National Defense "MODIO" has recently released a special program titled "International Officers' Stories of China", which was produced by the CCTV National Defense and Military Channel. Which of these stories are impressive? Are there interesting stories behind that you want to share with us?

Answer: In my eyes, the Chinese stories are colorful, multidimensional and really touching. The “International Officers' Stories of China” gives us a new perspective for us to understand the Chinese military. The Chinese media reporters went to some foreign embassies in China and Chinese military academies, interviewed 14 foreign military attachés, and recorded the stories of more than 40 foreign military cadets from more than 20 countries on video to tell different “Chinese stories” from perspectives of foreign military personnel. There was a story that impressed me a lot. In one of the videos named "Ibrahim Aslam's impression of Shanghai", the Maldivian military cadet Ibrahim Aslam talked about his visit to the site of the first National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Shanghai on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. During the visit, he further learned the history of the CPC and China. While studying in Shanghai, he deeply felt the rapid progress, openness and inclusiveness of China. The happiness of the Chinese people also deeply touched these foreign military personnel in China.

From the stories of these foreign military members, we have seen a vivid and lovely China. Stories of China belong to the world. The concepts of loving peace, resistance to bullying and win-win cooperation are shared around the world. The “Red Star Over China” written by American journalist Edgar Snow more than 80 years ago objectively shows the real situation of the CPC and the Chinese military to the world. In the face of the changing international situation, we believe that all the military personnel who love and safeguard peace, whether they are Chinese or foreigners, will make new and greater contributions to China's integration into the world and the world's understanding of China.

Question: According to reports, China and Cambodia recently co-chaired the experts' working group meeting on humanitarian mine action under ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)- Plus via video link. Is there any other defense cooperation between China and ASEAN in the near future?

Answer: China firmly supports the ASEAN-centered regional defense and security mechanism and actively participated in cooperation of various forms under the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus mechanism. On September 14, China and Cambodia co-chaired the experts' working group meeting on humanitarian mine action under ADMM-Plus via video link. The leaders of the CMC International Military Cooperation Office and the International Military Cooperation General Bureau of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defence jointly attended the opening ceremony. Representatives from ADMM-Plus countries, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation (ICRC) for East Asia attended the meeting.

Participants exchanged views on the cooperation program of the experts' working groups for the next three years, the challenges for and the future cooperation mode of de-mining actions in the region. From September 14 to 15, Chinese representatives attended the online symposium hosted by the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine (ACMM) on COVID-19 prevention and control, and 150 participants from military medical departments of ASEAN members, the United States, India, New Zealand and some other dialogue partners attended the event. The Chinese participants were invited to make a key-note speech on “To jointly build a community of common health for mankind”, and introduced the Chinese military’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and its cooperation with international counterparts. China’s successful experience in the fight against the pandemic brought about strong repercussions among the participants.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and ASEAN. There is a new historic opportunity for stronger bilateral cooperation. China will continue to take active part in the cooperation under ASEAN defense and security cooperation mechanism at all levels and in all fields, and make new contributions to building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future and maintaining regional peace and stability.

Question:It is reported that the US House of Representatives recently passed the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022”, which called China and Russia America’s primary threats. It also claimed that the Chinese mainland's "threat of military force against Taiwan" is contrary to the expectation of the peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question, and the US should continue to provide support to "enhance the defense of Taiwan." It even suggested inviting Taiwan to the Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2022. Please comment on that.

Answer: The relevant US Act clings to the Cold War mentality, makes groundless hype about the so-called “China threat”, and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs. China is firmly opposed to it. We’ve noticed that whenever budget and appropriation come into question, some American politicians will make a big fuss over China and exaggerate the non-existent “China threat”. This is an extremely irresponsible and dangerous move. In fact, it is exactly these self-serving politicians that pose threat to the US.

The US Act also encourages develop military ties between the US and Taiwan, which is a very dangerous move. The Taiwan question belongs to China’s internal affairs. It concerns China’s core interests and brooks no foreign interference. Chinese people will cherish China’s sovereign and territorial integrity like they cherish their eyes, and they will allow no sand in the eyes. If anyone dares to challenge China’s bottom line on the Taiwan question, the PLA will never agree with it and will resolutely defend China's sovereign and territorial integrity.

Question: It is reported that the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) plans to organize the largest military exercise in 28 years with 100,000 troops, which will last till November. Please comment on that.

Answer: We have noticed relevant reports. For some time, the Japanese side has significantly increased its defense expenses, purchased weapons and equipment in large quantities, and frequently held large-scale military exercises. This goes contrary to its commitment to the “exclusively defense-oriented” policy and is detrimental to regional peace and stability.

We hope the Japanese side will bear firmly in mind the historical lessons and take a peaceful path of development instead of going the opposite way.

Question: Indian media reported that a "Chinese delegation" has recently visited the Bagram Airfield, the largest US military base in Afghanistan, for "reconnaissance". Can you confirm that?

Answer: The relevant reports by Indian media are sheer fabrication.

Question: We are now once again at this time of year when demobilized soldiers are leaving the camps. Recently the transportation of new conscripts and demobilized soldiers for the 2nd half of 2021 has been launched, and various units have organized the demobilization of soldiers who had completed their active service. Please give us more information about the demobilization work this year, and what are the characteristics?

Answer: The demobilization of soldiers is a routine work of the military. A certain number of soldiers are demobilized from active service each year in accordance with the law. When in service, they guarded the borders, protected the country and dedicated themselves to the development of national defense and the armed forces. After demobilization, they will continue to contribute to social and economic development and become an indispensable force for socialist modernization. The demobilization work this year has some new characteristics.

First, the CPC Central Committee, State Council and Central Military Commission attach great importance to the demobilization work. With the enactment and implementation of the Military Service Law of the People's Republic of China, Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of the Status, Rights and Interests of Military Personnel and the Law on Support for Veterans of the People’s Republic of China, a series of policies to increase preferential treatment for veterans, in terms of employment and resettlement, support for starting up businesses, poverty relief and protection of their rights and interests, have been introduced.

Second, through Party history education and the thematic education of "passing down revolutionary traditions and fulfilling the mission of strengthening the military", the vast number of demobilized soldiers have further strengthen their faith of continuing contributing to the Party and the people.

Finally, the military authorities and local governments at different levels have organized the demobilization with affection and warmth. Some held ceremonies for the veterans to bid farewell to the PLA flag and their posts, some invited the veterans’ families to participate in the demobilization ceremony, and some arranged chartered planes for the home journey of veterans stationed on islands or in border areas. The attentive and practical arrangements have made the veterans feel the respect and warmth. By now, all the demobilized soldiers in this summer and autumn season have left the camps.

Though they may work on different positions in the future, deep at heart they will always be honorable PLA service members. I wish all the demobilized soldiers would stay true to their original aspiration, work hard and achieve new feats on their new positions. Salute to the veterans!

Question: The US Central Command recently admitted that the US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan at the end of August killed 10 civilians – including seven children – and not Islamic State extremists as first claimed. Please comment on that.

Answer: Afghan lives matter. We have the deepest condolences for the families of the Afghan civilians and children who lost their lives. The US always prides itself on being the “beacon of human rights”, but the wars and military operations it has waged have caused serious humanitarian crises. Statistics show that the wars and military operations waged by the US have caused the death of 335,000 civilians since 2001 and rendered numerous others homeless.

On its own soil, the US displaced and decimated the Indians through the Westward Movement, creating an “American massacre” that lived up to the term in every sense. The US is also troubled by deep-rooted racial discrimination. In May 2020, African American man George Floyd died because of a white police officer’s violent law enforcement, triggering nationwide protests.

We cannot help but ask, what human rights did the US protect when it waged aggressive wars, when its troops and police forces shot civilians, and when its military planes dropped Afghan youths from the air? Facts have proven over and over that the US is the real destroyer of world order and the real violator of international human rights. This so-called “beacon of human rights” should have collapsed long ago.

Question: It is reported that the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) kicked off recently. During the exhibition, new fighter jets and a number of main battle equipment in active service of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) will conduct demo flights as well as static displays. Please tell us more about the PLAAF’s participation in the show.

Answer: The 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) is being held from September 28 to October 3 in Zhuhai City, southern China’s Guangdong Province. The Airshow China this year coincides with the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Under the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military, the PLAAF has historically become a strategic air force. At the Airshow China 2021, the PLAAF will display its new achievements in advancing strategic transformation and toward a world-class air force.

During the exhibition, the J-20 stealth fighter jets and JL-10 trainer jet conducted demo flights. The Y-20 transport aircraft and KJ-500 AWACS had static displays. The J-16D EW aircraft and WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drones made their debuts. And the Bayi Aerobatics Team of the PLAAF and the Red Eagle Aerobatic Team of the PLAAF Aviation University performed at the air show. All of these demonstrate the PLAAF’s parallel developments in real-combat training, equipment development and talent cultivation. The CMC Office for International Military Cooperation invited more than 70 foreign military attachés in China to Zhuhai to attend the opening ceremony and observe the air show. Many foreign military attachés said that they had been deeply impressed by the efficient organization, considerate arrangements and stringent anti-pandemic measures of the air show. In addition, the PLAAF also held the International Military Flight Training Conference on September 27 as part of the Airshow China 2021 to share the transforming experience in military flight training of countries around the world.

Staying loyal to the Party and defending peace in the sky, the PLAAF will embark on a new journey and score new heights in the new era with more openness and confidence.

Tomorrow is the National Day when the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 72nd birthday. I would like to wish our great motherland a happy birthday, peace and prosperity. All service members of the Chinese military will stay in position and join people across the country in celebrating the motherland’s birthday and sharing its glory!


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