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

Source:China Military Online Editor:Chen Zhuo 2022-07-06 23:37:28

By Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, Deputy Director General of the Information Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND

Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesperson 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 30, 2022.(Photo/

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

Question: With the approval of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the third volume of a compilation of Xi Jinping’s views on strengthening and revitalizing the Chinese armed forces has been recently published and distributed to the whole military. Please tell us more about that. What steps will the military take to study and make good use of the book?

Answer: With the approval of the CMC, the third volume of a compilation of Xi Jinping’s views on strengthening and revitalizing the Chinese armed forces has been published and distributed across the military. This is of great importance for helping all servicemembers apprehend the significance of “the two establishments”, i.e. the establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and more firmly and conscientiously stay loyal to, support and safeguard the core. It further consolidates the guiding position of Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military in national defense and military development and promotes the cause of strengthening the military in the new era.

The book is a compilation of President Xi’s important speeches, instructions, and letters on national defense and military development in the period from July 2019 to April 2022. It is a basic textbook for comprehensively and systematically studying and understanding Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military.

The CMC has issued a notice to make arrangements for the study and use of the book. First, promoting studying the original texts. The study of the book will be included in the theoretical study program of the Party committees’ study groups of military units, rotation training for officials, the political education of the troops, and the teaching materials of political theories at military academies. Officers and soldiers are required to read the book, apprehend its principles, and truly grasp its scientific system and essence.

Second, promoting research and publicity of the book. Theoretical researchers should strengthen the study and interpretation of the book, senior military officials should give tutorial lectures to the officers and men, military media and press should have more coverage of the book through publishing theoretical articles to provide theoretical support for military units at all levels to study and grasp the Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military.

Third, attaching importance to putting results of theoretical study into practice. The armed forces should carry forward the approach of combining theories with reality to promote the integration of learning, thinking and using, and of understanding, believing and practicing, in order to make new progress on military development and preparedness, and embrace the 20th CPC National Congress with concrete actions.

Question: President Xi Jinping signed the annual training order at the beginning of 2022, asking the whole military to closely follow the evolution of technology, warfare and rivals, enhance the integration of military training and real combat, strengthen systematic training and promote technology application in military training, so as to push forward the comprehensive transformation and elevation of military training. Please brief us on the overall situation and characteristics of military training in the first half of this year.

Answer: On January 4, President Xi Jinping signed the CMC Order No.1 of 2022 to launch the annual military training. Guided by the order, the military has made further efforts to implement the CMC’s decision on establishing a new-type military training system, promote the integration of military training and real combat, and strengthen systematic training and technology application in military training, with steady progress achieved in improving realistic training and combat capabilities.

First, the intensity and difficulty of basic training have been increased. The armed forces are trained in exactly the way how real battles are fought. Combat training is carried out in the open sea, on plateaus, in alpine regions, deserts and forests. Training on difficult and complex subjects and under extreme conditions now account for a bigger share. All these efforts have effectively reinforced combat capabilities of the troops.

Second, solid progress has been made in emergency-response and combat-readiness training. Following the requirement to be ready for operations at all times, the armed forces have strengthened the study of warfare and military operations and taken vigorous actions to train troops in frontline military engagements, which further enhanced capacities of the troops to cope with security threats in all directions and domains.

Third, realistic training and exercise have been steadily strengthened. Exerting the leading role of joint training, the armed forces have worked hard to promote research on major subjects, exercises with realistic scenarios and battlefield environment, training across services and arms, and joint training, exercises and international military games with foreign militaries, pushing training for joint operations to a higher level.

Fourth, technology is widely applied in military training. Eyeing closely the moves of adversaries, the military has innovated training methods such as “technology+” ,“cyber+”, etc, invited more scientists to improve training, and promoted the integration of new equipment, new forces and new areas into the training system, with a view to accelerating the generation of new combat capabilities.

Fifth, training infrastructure has been improved steadily. Following the 14th Five-year Plan, the military has stepped up the construction of large training bases and simulated Blue Force, updated and refined the regulations and teaching materials for training to facilitate its transformation.

In the past 6 months, our service members, with a fighting spirit of fearing neither hardship nor death, have trained hard in a scientific and safe way, and enhanced their commanding and combat capabilities and style. The military is confident and determined to accomplish the missions and tasks entrusted by the Party and the people in the new era with an upbeat outlook and top-notch training effects.

Question: China’s recent launching ceremony for its third aircraft carrier, the PLANS Fujian, has captured extensive attention. Will China continue to build more large aircraft carriers? Does this mean China is changing its defensive national defense policy?

Answer: China develops and improves its weapons and equipment for the purpose of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. It does not target any country or specific entity, nor pose threats to any country or region. As for the future of China’s aircraft carrier program, we will make comprehensive consideration according to the needs of national security and the development of equipment and technology.

I want to emphasize that China’s nature as a socialist country, its strategic choice to take the path of peaceful development, and its independent foreign policy of peace determine that China will stay committed to a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. History has proved and will continue to prove that China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of international order, and a provider of public goods.

Question: Reports say that the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said recently that the latest meeting between Chinese and US defense leaders at the Shangri-La Dialogue was an important step toward establishing open channels of communication between the two militaries. According to Foreign Policy, a US magazine, the Pentagon hopes to open more hotlines with China, and the US side is seeking to build better communication channels between US Defense Secretary, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, and their counterpart Chinese officials. Could you please comment on that?

Answer: Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe held talks with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the recent Shangri-La Dialogue. Both sides believed the two militaries should act on the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, maintain high-level strategic communication, improve strategic mutual trust, and properly manage differences and disputes.

Regarding the hope to have more hotlines with China by the US side, I should say the defense and military leaders of the two countries have long maintained communication through the Defense Telephone Link (DTL) and other channels, which has played an important role in increasing mutual understanding, managing disagreements, and avoiding miscalculation. At the moment, the communication channel between the two militaries is unimpeded. China is open to promoting mil-to-mil exchanges and cooperation, but that requires sincerity and real efforts from both sides.

For some time, the US side, clinging to the Cold War mentality, has been pursuing bloc politics to serve its own interests. It has tightened bilateral military alliances, put together the AUKUS trilateral security partnership, peddled the Quad mechanism, and enhanced the Five Eyes Alliance, all clearly targeted at China. The mil-to-mil relationship between China and the US is at a critical crossroads. There are a number of dialogues and exchanges scheduled between the two militaries. China urges the US side to abandon the Cold War and zero-sum mentality, work together with China and take concrete actions to create favorable conditions for a sound and stable relationship between the two militaries.

Question: June is the season for China's National College Entrance Examination. Many high school graduates and their parents are highly interested in military academies. Could you please brief on the enrollment plan of military academies in 2022?

Answer: In 2022, a total of 27 PLA educational institutions will enroll 15,000 high school graduates in 31 provinces. The institutions involved, application conditions and selection procedures remain the same as last year. To implement the strategy of strengthening the military through talent development, the 2022 enrollment will focus on defense and military modernization, and the needs of the military for combat-ready talents. Majors related to new type and new areas of combat forces or in urgent need will have more students enrolled, while the majors related to traditional military specialties will see a reduction of enrollment. The category of majors and the ratio of commanding and technical majors will be further optimized. In the meantime, the system of enrollment, way of military medical examination, and model of talent cultivation will be reformed and innovated, so as to select a new type of high-calibre and professional military talents with both integrity and capability. The enrollment will be transparent, with relevant information made public in a timely manner. Relevant policies, standards and procedures will be strictly observed, and the process will be put under the scrutiny of the applicants, their parents, and the public.

Young hearts go with the Party, and youth shines in the pursuit of the military dream. To the young students, you are living in a time when there are lofty missions on your shoulders. Welcome to join the young men and women in military educational institutions, where you can live up to your ambitions, achieve great feats, demonstrate the vigor of youth, and make your contributions to strengthening the country and the military.

Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesperson 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 30, 2022.(Photo/

Question: Foreign media reported that an anonymous Pentagon official claimed Cambodia has granted the Chinese military the exclusive right to use some facilities at the Ream Naval Base, which “shows an extraordinary lack of transparency”. The official also claimed that China plans to build a global network of bases to enhance its military projection capability, monitor the operations of US troops and deter US overseas bases. What is your comment on that?

Answer: Certain media have been continuously hyping up the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Cambodia with ulterior motives. A Cambodian proverb likens trust to the growth of a tree. China and Cambodia are comprehensive strategic partners of cooperation that have long trusted and supported each other, with open, transparent and legitimate bilateral cooperation in various fields. On June 8, the upgrade and renovation project of Ream Naval Base, an aid project undertaken by China, officially kicked off. The project is the result of mutual respect and equal consultation between the two countries, and a symbol of the iron-clad friendship between the two militaries. It complies with the domestic laws of both countries, the relevant international law, and international practice, and it is not against any third party. The Cambodian Defense Ministry has also responded that the renovation of Ream Naval Base is to enhance the Cambodian Navy’s capability of protecting the integrity of its territorial waters and combating maritime crimes.

China is committed to protecting peace and stability in the region and beyond. However, some people in some countries always have biased mindsets and presume others’ behavior based on their own pattern. Through colored lens, they see everything as opaque and are paranoid about others doing everything against them. We urge these people to stop making irresponsible remarks, stop hyping up the so-called military threat from China, and do more things that contribute to regional peace and stability.

Question: President Xi Jinping recently signed an order to promulgate a set of trial outlines on military operations other than war (MOOTW). Some foreign media commented that the outlines will provide legal basis for the Chinese military to protect strategic passages and investments, projects and personnel overseas, and achieve the goal of safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests. What is the purpose and meaning of promulgating the outlines?

Answer: The trial outlines on military operations other than war (MOOTW) came into effect on June 15, 2022.

The outlines, comprising 59 articles in six chapters, systematically standardize the basic principles, organization and command, types of operations, support for operations, political work, and other aspects of MOOTW.

Guided by the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the outlines implement Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military, and uphold a holistic approach to national security. They aim to effectively prevent and defuse risks and challenges, cope with emergencies, protect people’s life and property, safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests, maintain regional and world peace and stability, innovate the way the armed forces are employed, and standardize the organization and execution of MOOTW. The outlines are of great importance for the armed forces to effectively fulfill their missions and tasks in the new era.

Question: It’s reported that General Zhang Youxia, Vice Chairman of the CMC, recently held a meeting with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army, in Qingdao. Please give us more details on the China-Pakistan military relations.

Answer: In spite of the complicated and changing international and regional situations, China and Pakistan have always maintained sound and stable exchanges and cooperation. The all-weather friendship between the two sides is unbreakable. The bilateral military relationship serves as the mainstay of China-Pakistan friendship. The two sides have conducted all-round, wide-ranging and multi-level exchanges, and deepened cooperation in multiple fields such as defense and security consultations, troops and personnel training, academic exchanges and other non-traditional security areas. These have played a positive role in safeguarding the sovereign, security and development interests of the two countries. The Chinese military is willing to further strengthen strategic communication with its Pakistani counterpart, reinforce the cooperation foundation, promote further development of bilateral relations, and accelerate the building of a closer community of shared future with Pakistan in the new era.

Question: According to reports, the PLA Army Engineering University recently held the International Symposium on Rapid Repair and Construction Capacity Building. Please share with us more details.

Answer: The PLA Army Engineering University hosted the International Symposium on Rapid Repair and Construction Capacity Building in Nanjing from June 23 to 24. There were representatives from the militaries of 12 countries, namely China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei, and representatives from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

With the theme of “Rapid Repair and Construction Capacity Building in the New Era”, the symposium has organized discussions and exchanges on the three topics of “New Technologies for Rapid Repair and Construction”, “Rapid Repair and Construction in International Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations”, and “Rapid Repair and Construction Capacity Building under the COVID-19 Pandemic”. It is aimed at exploring the future trend for rapid repair and construction capacity building, sharing experience in HADR operations, providing a platform for professional exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign militaries, strengthening the joint efforts of all parties to deal with global public security challenges, and promoting a community with a shared future for mankind.

Question: According to media reports, Australia and Canada recently complained a lot about the so-called interceptions of their military aircraft by the Chinese military. The Australian side said that an Australian warplane was intercepted by a Chinese military aircraft while operating in “international airspace”. Canada’s Defense Minister said on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue that it was “very concerning and unprofessional” for China to “intercept” Canadian military aircraft, which was just carrying out missions regarding UN resolutions on the DPRK. What is your comment on that, please?

Answer: We have noticed relevant reports. China has repeatedly stated the fact concerning these issues and our policies and positions. I want to reiterate here that China has handled the situation in a reasonable, effective, safe and professional manner. The remarks by the Australian and Canadian sides were not true. The Australian military aircraft came near the airspace of China’s Xisha Islands for close-in reconnaissance. Then the aircraft continued to approach China’s airspace in disregard of repeated warnings from the Chinese side. The Canadian military aircraft used implementing UN Security Council resolutions as a pretext to step up close-in reconnaissance and provocations against China. Its operations endanger China's national security. China firmly opposes these acts and urges the countries concerned to stop spreading disinformation, stop operations that undermine China’s security and heighten tensions, and take concrete actions to maintain regional peace and stability.

What is the duty of service members? That is to defend their country. No matter under what banner and with what pretexts, it is completely unjustifiable to send military aircraft to other country’s doorsteps to provoke and endanger their national security. No armed forces in any country will sit idly by when it comes to such a situation, and the Chinese military is certainly no exception. Regarding such risky and provocative acts, I want to underline two points here: first, China will take countermeasures whenever it falls into such a situation; second, those who come uninvited will bear the consequences of their own acts.

Question: According to reports, the 13th China-ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Informal Meeting was held via video link on June 22. Could you please share further details and comment on the current China-ASEAN defense relations?

Answer: The 13th China-ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Informal Meeting was held recently via video link. The meeting was co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Tea Banh, with Cambodia currently holding the rotating chair position of ASEAN. Defense leaders of ASEAN countries attended the meeting. The parties made positive comments on the China-ASEAN relations, appreciated China's respect for ASEAN’s centrality in regional cooperation, and thanked China for providing assistance to regional countries in fighting the pandemic and in military development. They mentioned that they were willing to further strengthen defense and security cooperation with China to jointly maintain regional peace, stability and sustainable development.

Over the past 30 years, China-ASEAN friendly cooperation has been developing steadily with fruitful results. China and ASEAN are in an indivisible community of shared security. Going forward, the Chinese military is willing to further deepen strategic mutual trust with ASEAN, improve exchange and cooperation mechanisms, focus on common security needs, and expand dialogue, exchanges and practical cooperation in defense and security areas. It is incumbent on China and the ASEAN countries to safeguard regional security and work together to build a closer China-ASEAN community of shared future.

Question: According to foreign media reports, the commander of US Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency recently admitted that the US has sent "offensive" cyber forces to Ukraine and launched cyber operations against Russia. A report from the US Army Times said the US Army would greatly expand the size of its cyber and electronic warfare forces. What is your comment, please?

Answer: We have noted relevant reports. As a victim of cyber attacks and an active advocator for a peaceful, safe, open and cooperative cyberspace, China is highly concerned about such irresponsible and dangerous acts.

For a long time, the US has violated international law and basic norms of international relations by conducting large-scale, organized and indiscriminate cyber theft, surveillance and attacks against foreign governments, enterprises and individuals. From “PRISM”, “Irritant Horn” and “Stellar Wind”, to “Operation Telescreen” (Bvp47), “Hive” platforms, and the Quantum attack system, it turns out that the US has undoubtedly become a true empire of hacking, surveillance and espionage. In recent years, the US side has made great efforts to militarize cyberspace. The Cyber Strategy released by the US Department of Defense has adjusted the “active cyber defense” to a more offensive “defend forward” strategy. The US military has doubled its efforts to develop offensive cyber warfare forces, accelerate the application of cyber weapons to real combat, and create systematic cyber-attack platforms and standardized equipment depots. Cyber hegemony cannot bring absolute security. Seeking absolute security for oneself at the expense of other countries’ cyber sovereignty and information security is typical of double standards and zero-sum game thinking. It can easily lead to a cyber arms race and undermine global strategic stability.

We call on the international community to work together in resisting cyber hegemony and opposing the arms race in cyberspace. China will take necessary measures to defend national cyber sovereignty and information security.

Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesperson 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 30, 2022.(Photo/

Question: Some media speculated that the Japanese government might soon send some civilian officials of the Ministry of Defense to station in Taiwan. What’s your comment, please?

Answer: China firmly opposes any form of official contacts and military ties between Japan and China's Taiwan region under any pretext. We have expressed serious concern to the Japanese side and demanded responsible clarifications from the Japanese side.

The Taiwan question concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is China’s core interests and a matter of principle concerning the political foundation of China-Japan relations. The Japanese side has made clear statements in the four political documents between China and Japan that it recognizes the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government representing China, and fully understands and respects the position of the Chinese government that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China”, while merely maintaining exchanges of private and regional nature with Taiwan. Now, if the Japanese side insists on provoking troubles, and attempts to make a breakthrough in its relations with the Taiwan region, or even rocks the boat in the highly-sensitive field of military security, it is bound to cause serious consequences. We urge the Japanese side not to send wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces in any form, not to interfere in China’s internal affairs in any form, and do more things conducive to promoting China-Japan political mutual trust and regional peace and stability.

Question: According to reports, the US recently held a so-called annual national and military security meeting with Taiwan, known as the "Monterey Talks", to discuss the provision of arms and other military assistance to Taiwan, which aimed to help Taiwan improve its asymmetric warfare capability. The US also planned to strengthen cooperation with Taiwan through the State Partnership Program (SPP) of the US National Guard. What’s your comment, please?

Answer: The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations. If not handled properly, it may have a disruptive impact on the bilateral relations. US President Joe Biden has promised clearly to the Chinese side that the United States does not support “Taiwan independence”. However, what the US has done runs counter to what it has said. Its support and connivance for the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces are of a bad nature and have a very bad impact. China makes clear to the US side that any attempt to contain China with Taiwan and help Taiwan to reject reunification by force is futile. China urges the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiqués, stop arms sale to Taiwan and its military collusion with Taiwan, and stop any form of official exchanges and military ties with Taiwan. China will continue to take firm and effective measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.