(The following English text of the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the Chinese text shall prevail.)
Question: This year marks the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), and also the 10th year of the decade in which the PLA has been engaged in the cause of building a strong military. Please share with us the historic achievements and shifts in national defense and military development since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Answer: Since the 18th CPC National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and so has the development of China's national defense and the armed forces. Standing at the strategic height of coordinating the overall strategy of realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the great changes unseen in a century in the world, President Xi Jinping has set the Party's goal of building a strong military and devised the military strategic guideline for a new era and the new three-step roadmap for modernizing China's national defense and the armed forces, that is, achieving the military's centenary goal by 2027; basically completing the modernization of national defense and the armed forces by 2035; and fully transforming the armed forces into world-class forces by the mid-21st century, leading the people's military stride forward on the path of building a strong military with Chinese characteristics. Following Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the military will thoroughly implement Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military and the military strategic guideline for a new era, gain a better understanding of the decisive significance of establishing Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and establishing the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and uphold Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership. The military will implement the CMC chairman responsibility system, continued to reinforce the political loyalty of the military, strengthen it through reform, technology and talent development, and run it in accordance with the law. We will comprehensively strengthen military training and combat readiness, fulfill missions and tasks in the new era to defend national sovereignty, security, and development interests with a tenacious fighting spirit and concrete actions, and provide strategic support for realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
First, reinforcing political loyalty of the military. President Xi made arrangements for enhancing political loyalty of the military at the Gutian Military Political Work Conference, with a view to restoring and carrying forward the glorious tradition and fine work style of the Party and the PLA, promoting political education in the spirit of rectification, strengthening Party leadership and Party building, improving Party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption. As a result, the political ecosystem of the people's military is much healthier. The military is deepening study of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military, following the fundamental principle and system of the Party's absolute leadership over the military, ensuring the highest leadership and command of the military resides in the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, and fully implementing the CMC chairman responsibility system. We will continue to cultivate revolutionary officers and soldiers of a new era with faith, ability, courage, and integrity, and build troops with ironclad faith, conviction, discipline, and commitment to ensure the military is wholesome, reliable and absolute loyal.
Second, strengthening the military through reform. Focusing on designing and shaping the future of the Chinese military, President Xi has proposed the strategy of strengthening the military through reform, and led the most extensive and profound national defense and military reform since the founding of the PRC. The reform is included in the overall process of comprehensively deepening reform, with major issues concerning the fundamental direction and of overall importance elucidated. We have reformed the leadership and command system, the modern military force structure, and military policies and institutions. The number of active-duty service members was reduced by 300,000. A new structure has been put into place with the CMC exercising overall leadership, the theater commands responsible for military operations, and the services focusing on developing capabilities. We have built a military force structure dominated by elite combat forces and established the basic framework of the socialist military policies and institutions with Chinese characteristics. The PLA as of now features a new system, a new structure, a new pattern, and a new appearance.
Third, strengthening the military through technology. Focusing on seizing the strategic commanding heights in military competitions, President Xi pointed out that technology is a core combat capability. He ordered to build an innovative people's military and required to prioritize innovation in military development. We have implemented the strategy of strengthening the military through technology, made great efforts to build an innovative people's military, and improved the capability of independent innovation in defense technology. We will continue to develop the military and generate combat power through technology and innovation, promote efficiency-centered military management reform, advance the reform in the quality, efficiency and driving force of military development, and achieve a new leap in national defense and military development.
Fourth, strengthening the military through talent. President Xi has led the armed forces to implement the strategy of strengthening the military through talent, maintain the correct political direction of talent development, prioritize combat readiness and preparedness in cultivating talent, optimize the layout in achieving military personnel modernization, deepen the reform of policies and institutions concerning military human resources, and make talent development more open and inclusive. Historic achievements have been made in this regard. The people's military will continue to promote the comprehensive transformation and upgrading of military personnel in terms of ability and quality, structural layout, development and management, while adhering to the standards of good cadres in the armed forces; build the three-pronged system for cultivating new types of military personnel through academic studies, field training and professional education, giving full play to talent development in guiding and supporting the building of a strong military.
Fifth, running of the military in accordance with the law. President Xi pointed out that effective and strict implementation of law-based governance underpins the effort to build a strong military. It is an important policy of the CPC in building and governing the military. He has led the armed forces to implement the strategy of governing the military in accordance with the law, build a military legal system with Chinese characteristics, accelerate the fundamental transformation in our way of running the military, strengthen the belief and awareness of service members in law-based governance, emphasize stricter discipline across the military, pushing the modernization process to a higher level. The people's military will continue to improve the system of military laws and regulations and the enforcement, supervision and support systems of law-based governance, establish a pattern in which all Party committees, executive branches, military units and service members act in compliance with laws and established rules, and improve law-based governance in national defense and military development.
Sixth, strengthening training and combat readiness. President Xi has required the military to put its focus back on combat readiness and preparedness, follow the military strategic thinking and the military strategic guideline for a new era, and fulfill its responsibility of promoting training and being combat-ready. The people's military has taken combat effectiveness as the sole and fundamental criterion, aimed at the goal of being able to fight and win, strengthened our strategic forces and new combat forces in new domains, and enhanced the joint operations command system and capacity building. We have vigorously promoted the integration of combat and training, systematic training, and technology-based training to push forward the transformation and upgrading of military training. We have emphasized military preparedness, cultivated fighting spirit, advanced high-quality development of modern logistic support, and made leapfrog progress and historic achievements in developing weapons and equipment. The deterrence and combat power of the Chinese military have been significantly improved.
Seventh, fulfilling the missions and tasks in the new era. President Xi has clearly set the missions and tasks of the military in the new era. The people's military stays committed to serving the Party's historical missions. To meet the strategic needs of national security in the new era, the armed forces have resolutely fulfilled missions and tasks in the new era, made efforts to build strong and modern border defense, coastal defense and air defense, carried out operations in a firm but flexible manner, effectively responded to external military provocations, and deterred "Taiwan independence" separatist acts. We have carried out major tasks such as border defense, maritime rights protection, anti-terrorism and stability maintenance, disaster rescue and relief, fighting against epidemics, peacekeeping and maritime escort, humanitarian rescue, and international military cooperation. The armed forces have defended China's sovereignty, security and development interests with a tenacious fighting spirit and tangible actions. Meanwhile, as the military of a major country, the PLA has made great contributions to world and regional peace and stability.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, we have made historic achievements and shifts in national defense and military development, which attributes to the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and the scientific guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military. On the new journey, the people's military will unite more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military, promote the modernization of national defense and armed forces, comprehensively improve the strategic capabilities in defending national sovereignty, security and development interests, and make unremitting efforts to realize the Party's goal of building a strong and world-class military, the second centenary goal and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Question: This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the 25th anniversary since the troops of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison entered Hong Kong. On July 1, President Xi inspected the PLA Hong Kong Garrison and delivered an important speech, which was warmly received among the military. Please brief us on the plans and actions of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison to study and implement the spirit of President Xi's important speech, and the development of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison in the past 25 years.
Answer: On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, President Xi inspected the PLA Hong Kong Garrison and delivered an important speech. He spoke highly of the outstanding contributions made by the troops, put forward clear requirements, and expressed high expectations for the development of the garrison under the new circumstances, providing a guidance for the garrison to fulfill its missions in defending the great practice of "one country, two systems". Encouraged by President Xi's inspection, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has made efforts to study and implement the spirit of President Xi's important speech with high morale. The Party committee of the garrison is leading the studying with a focus on the missions and tasks of the troops, adding a strong momentum for the garrison to forge ahead and write a new chapter of its development. At the critical moment when Hong Kong starts the transition from stability to greater prosperity, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison will resolutely unify thoughts and actions with the spirit of President Xi's important speech to thoroughly implement the military strategic guideline for a new era, enhance realistic training, and take further efforts to exert strict discipline in the PLA and run the military in accordance with the law. It will comprehensively improve the level of development and defense capabilities, and make greater contributions to safeguarding national security, Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability, and the sound and sustained practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong.
The PLA Hong Kong Garrison is an important embodiment of national sovereignty, an important force to safeguard "one country, two systems", and an important cornerstone of Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. It shoulders great responsibility and a glorious mission. Since starting its defense duty in Hong Kong in 1997, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has steadfastly implemented the decisions and instructions of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, earnestly implemented the "one country, two systems" policy, the Basic Law and the Garrison Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, successfully fulfilled various defense-centered tasks, winning wide acclaim from compatriots in Hong Kong. In particular, in recent years, in the face of a complex and evolving situation in Hong Kong, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has strictly implemented the important instructions of the CPC Central Committee, the CMC and President Xi, and played an important role in Hong Kong's transition from chaos to order by dutifully serving the CPC Central Committee's work on Hong Kong affairs.
First, unswervingly holding high the banner of the CPC and strengthening the faith. The garrison has unremittingly used Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to equip the troops, highlighted Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military, earnestly implemented the policy to enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces in the new era, continuously strengthened political work, which is the lifeline of the Chinese military, comprehensively enhanced Party building, and forged strong forces at the grassroots level. It has guided the officers and soldiers to gain a better understanding of the decisive significance of establishing Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and establishing the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; strengthen their consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and uphold Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership; implement the CMC chairman responsibility system, and always uphold the leadership core and unswervingly follow the command of the Party.
Second, constantly enhancing defense capabilities. The PLA Hong Kong Garrison has vigorously strengthened realistic training with a focus on its missions and tasks, carried out researches and tackled key problems in improving combat readiness, conducted regular military exercises and joint patrols by giving full play to the advantage of its establishment with combined land, air and naval forces, and sent troops abroad to participate in joint exercises. Besides, it has accelerated the commission of new-type weapons and equipment, and completed the renovation of various battlefield facilities, with its foundation of combat effectiveness being continuously consolidated.
Third, consistently observing disciplines and abiding by the law in a strict manner. The PLA Hong Kong Garrison follows the strategy of running the military in accordance with the law and governing the military with strict discipline. It has vigorously strengthened study and education of the Basic Law and the Garrison Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the National Security Law in Hong Kong and other laws. It has improved the system and regulations on readiness training, guard duty, traffic and transportation, and exit and entry. The service members therein have been conscious of the need to respect, learn, abide by and use the laws, with the image of the garrison troops as mighty and civilized forces deeply rooted in the hearts of Hong Kong citizens.
Fourth, loving Hong Kong and staying close to the people with sincerity. The PLA Hong Kong Garrison has regularly carried out activities such as visiting the elderly and caring for the young, voluntary tree planting and voluntary blood donation, national defense education in local schools, and training on national flag-raising ceremonies in Hong Kong primary and secondary schools. The garrison has opened military camps to the public 31 times, with visits by over 800,000 Hong Kong citizens, hosted annually military summer camps for middle school students and military life experience camps for college students with more than 5,800 students getting trained, built and opened the PLA Hong Kong Garrison Exhibition Center, and organized formation training for the Hong Kong Disciplined Services at invitation. In all, its solid footprint of loving Hong Kong and being amiable to the people has kept moving forward.
As the dutiful guard of Hong Kong, the twenty-five-year practice has fully proved that the PLA Hong Kong Garrison is the "anchor" in safeguarding national security and Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability, and well deserves to be the "guardians of Hong Kong” that can be trusted by the Party, the people and the compatriots in Hong Kong.
Question: It is reported that the second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Ministerial Conference was recently held in Beijing via video link. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the forum. Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe attended the conference and gave a keynote speech. Please tell us more about the conference.
Answer: The second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Ministerial Conference was held in Beijing via video link on July 25. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the forum. He emphasized that China and Africa are good friends, good partners and good brothers that have helped each other through thick and thin. China is committed to pursuing the greater good and shared interests and develops its relations with African countries under the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith. We are willing to work with our African friends to promote common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, uphold the UN-centered international system and international fairness and justice, put into practice the Global Security Initiative, and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era. President Xi's congratulatory letter was echoed by the attendees and received warm responses from the public.
State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe attended the conference and gave a keynote speech. 50 ministerial officials and senior representatives from the African Union and African countries participated in the conference. They had discussions around the forum 's theme of "Enhance Solidarity and Collaboration to Achieve Common Security".
This year's conference has three main outcomes. First, it advanced a common vision. Both sides agreed that against the background of complicated and profound changes in the international security situation, China and Africa should join hands in implementing the Global Security Initiative and maintaining world peace and security. Second, it strengthened strategic communication. Both sides expressed their willingness to jointly safeguard international and regional peace and security, and uphold international fairness and justice and the security interests of developing countries. Third, it built stronger consensus on cooperation. The two sides exchanged their views on deepening practical cooperation and underscored the necessity to put into action the related consensus and action plans reached between Chinese and African leaders, so as to upgrade and improve the quality of the China-Africa peace and security cooperation.
Standing at the historical starting point of building the China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, China is willing to work with African countries to further enhance strategic communication, strengthen equipment and technological cooperation, advance joint maritime exercises and training, and expand exchanges in specialized fields, so as to achieve more tangible results in China-Africa peace and security cooperation.
Question: Recently, many students posted online their admission letters to PLA education institutions, receiving much public attention. Please tell us more about the admission of military students this year.
Answer: The military education institutions have completed their admissions in all provinces and municipalities except in Shanghai, where the college entrance examination and admissions had been postponed. A total of 15,000 examinees have received their admission letters and will embark on their journey in the military.
Generally speaking, this year's recruitment by military education institutions is marked by three features. Firstly, the students admitted have more comprehensive qualities. 86.8% of the newly enrolled students are members of the CPC or the Communist Youth League, 79.5% ever served as student cadres, 67% have special talents in sports or regularly take physical exercises, 49.4% are prize winners in various competitions, and 26% are owners of certificates of various types and levels. Secondly, the admission scores have set a new record. The scores of admission of 27 military education institutions are higher than those of first-tier universities in the same provinces - 84 points higher on average. Of all the examinees admitted by the National University of Defense Technology this year, 39.1% rank among the top 5% in their provinces. Thirdly, military education institutions are much more attractive to students. The number of students applying for military education institutions is more than ten times the number of admission plans. The targets of admissions have almost been fully met, and 95% of the students have been admitted to the institutions of their first choice.
Fulfill your military dream, and live a different life. Here I'd like to congratulate those freshmen in military education institutions. Military campuses are like a battlefield to temper your courage and character and a stage on which you can live youth to the full and make your dreams come true. As you devote your best years to your country, you are bound to live a brilliant life through your endeavors.
Question: It is reported that by the end of June 2022, all transport airports in China have opened priority lanes for service members in accordance with the law. Please elaborate on the policies and the future measures.
Answer: The report of the 19th CPC National Congress stated that "we will make military service an occupation that enjoys public respect". Opening priority lanes for service members at civilian airports in accordance with the law is an important step to implement President Xi Jingping's instructions on establishing the honors and awards system for service members, it is a favorable policy whereby the military and local authorities work together to provide better services for the armed forces, and also a concrete step taken by the civil aviation system to assist in national defense development and better serve service members.
Since 2017, the military and local transportation departments have made all-out efforts to promote the work of granting service members priority in accordance with the law. This work piloted at the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, then expanded to 81 major airports nationwide, and has now covered all transport airports across the country with improved operational procedures and better coordination and quality of service. Such priority measures have facilitated the travel of service members and their families to the greatest extent, fully conveyed President Xi and the CMC's care for the military and helped enhance the sense of mission, honor and satisfaction of service members. It has become a heartwarming project benefiting the military and service members, and also an exemplary project of supporting the military by the civil aviation system.
In the future, relevant military and civilian functional departments will continue to upgrade the priority services for service members in accordance with the law, innovate and improve the contents of the service and support modes by expanding from priority service with high quality to preferential treatment, so that service members and their families can enjoy more convenient and considerate services. In the meantime, efforts will be made to educate the service members to support, understand and make good use of the priority policy and maintain the fine conduct of service members.
The people support the military, and the military serve the people. Cherishing the honor bestowed by the Party and the people, our officers and soldiers will give themselves the same “priority” to charge forward as the vanguard on the battlefield, in disaster-hit areas, and in defending our borders– anywhere the country and the people need them most.
Question: It is reported that six departments, including the CMC Logistic Support Department, State Administration for Market Regulation, and National Intellectual Property Administration, jointly issued a notice banning the sale of tobacco, alcohol, and other goods bearing the Chinese character of "military". No institution or individual is allowed to conduct any form of commercial marketing or publicity in the name of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) or the People's Armed Police Force (PAP), or to sale tobacco, alcohol, and other goods bearing the Chinese character of “military” either online or offline. Please elaborate on that.
Answer: The positive image of the military cannot be used as a lucrative tool for businesses. In recent years, some businessmen illegally used the military's name, or words and images suggestive of the military, either publicly or in disguise, to produce and sell counterfeit and shoddy goods, which seriously harmed the military's reputation and image, and undermined economic governance in the country. Therefore, the CMC Logistic Support Department, together with five other state authorities, issued the notice on banning the sale of tobacco, alcohol and other goods bearing the Chinese character of "military", for the purpose of maintaining the military's sound image, protecting public interests, and regulating market order. The notice defined the use of the Chinese character of "military" on tobacco, alcohol, and other goods, prohibited any institution or individual to conduct any form of commercial marketing or publicity in the name of the PLA or the PAP, and banned online and offline sale of such products. Relevant military and civilian departments will work together to tighten the supervision against illegal production and sale of tobacco, alcohol, and other goods bearing the Chinese character of "military" and the registration of military-related trademarks. Any problem identified will be strictly rectified, and anyone refusing to make correction and continuing with the illegal practices will be punished in accordance with the law and regulations.
Question: General Li Zuocheng, member of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and Chief of the Joint Staff Department of the CMC, recently had a video talk with General Mark Milley, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to an official of the US Department of Defense, General Milley instructed the US military to collect all the interactions between the two militaries during the past five years, so as to evaluate the increasing overall interactions between the two sides in the South China Sea and other areas. Please share more details and make comments.
Answer: Lately, General Li Zuocheng, member of the CMC and Chief of the Joint Staff Department of the CMC, had a video talk with General Mark Milley, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on international and regional situations, China-US relations and mil-mil relationship, the Taiwan question, and aerial and maritime military security. They reached an important consensus on maintaining a stable mil-to-mil relationship and avoiding conflicts and confrontations. It was a candid, in-depth and constructive strategic communication.
China-US mil-to-mil relationship is an important part of the relations between the two countries. China values the mil-to-mil relationship. However, we have a principle in developing this relationship. China's sovereignty, dignity and core interests are inviolable. For some comments made by the US side, the Chinese side will not only listen to what they say but also look at what they do. Some people on the US side stick to their misconceptions about China and insist on containing and suppressing China in an all-around way. China will not stand idly by and will surely make firm responses.
As for aerial and maritime military security issues you mentioned, the fundamental cause lies in the long-term, extensive and intensive close-in reconnaissance and highly targeted military exercises conducted by the US side in the vicinity of China. China is firmly opposed to this and has made reasonable and effective responses in a safe and professional manner. We demand the US side stop provocations in violation of China's sovereignty, strictly discipline troops on the ground, and prevent any accident from happening.
Question: It is reported that the navies of China and Pakistan recently held a joint maritime exercise "Sea Guardians-2" in the waters and airspace near Shanghai, which attracted much public attention. Please further introduce the highlights and outcomes of the event.
Answer: The China-Pakistan joint maritime exercise "Sea Guardians- 2" was held in the waters and airspace near Shanghai from July 10 to 13. This joint exercise strengthened the traditional friendship between the two countries and the two militaries, and enhanced capabilities of the two navies to jointly deal with maritime security threats. There are four main characteristics. First, the participating troops are from multiple arms. Both sides sent surface ships, submarines, aviation and other forces to perform a joint exercise under complex conditions. Second, the subjects mainly focused on real combat confrontation. All the subjects had been set against real combat scenarios. Emphasis was placed on joint tactical maneuver, joint anti-surface strike, joint anti-submarine action, and joint air and missile defense, which tempered real combat capabilities of the troops. Third, tactical coordination between the task forces were close and efficient. During the exercise, the two sides had a high degree of inter-operability and close coordination. They assigned tasks in light of the battlefield situation and gave full play to technical and tactical strength of each ship, so as to realize the combat effectiveness of synergy. Fourth, the two sides had extensive, in-depth and friendly exchanges and discussions. The personnel of the two sides made full use of this rare opportunity to communicate, learn from each other, improve together, and promote the exchange of professional skills and experience.
When brothers are of the same mind, they can cut through metal. Going forward, under the guidance of the leaders of the two countries, the Chinese and Pakistani armed forces will continue to deepen practical cooperation in various fields, add new impetus into the all-weather strategic partnership between the two countries, and make new contributions to regional peace and stability.
Question: It is reported that the China-Laos "Peace Train-2022" joint humanitarian medical rescue exercise is ongoing. Please brief us more on the exercise and its main features.
Answer: According to the annual plan of exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese and Lao militaries, the two sides organized the "Peace Train-2022" joint humanitarian medical rescue exercise and medical service activities in Vientiane, Phonhong and surrounding areas in Laos from July 19 to 29, with more than 420 participants in total. This exercise marks the first time for a Chinese military medical train to go abroad for an exercise and conduct cross-border projection. The exercise has three features. First, it emphasized a high level of jointness, which was manifested in four aspects, namely joint command and control, joint treatment of the wounded, joint epidemic prevention and control, and joint evacuation of the wounded. It has effectively expanded the breadth and depth of the exercise. Second, it innovated methods of joint rescue missions. Focusing on disaster rescue in the context of the pandemic, the mode of "connecting the medical train with a level-II hospital, and combining medical treatment with pandemic prevention and control" has been adopted, which provided a useful experience for international humanitarian rescue tasks. Third, it explored the application of new equipment. Incorporating the latest medical service concept, it highlighted the use of advanced medical equipment such as medical train, new-type field tent hospital system, nucleic acid detection cabin, pharmacy intravenous compounding robot, disinfecting drone, etc.
This exercise is the continuation and upgrading of the "Peace Train" activities from 2017 to 2019. It has tempered the joint operation, emergency response and collaborative capabilities of medical service units of the two militaries, and has deepened the friendship, mutual trust and cooperation between the two militaries.
Question: It is reported that the recent NATO Summit in Madrid released a new strategic concept document, which mentioned China for the first time, defining China as a "systemic challenge to NATO", and criticized China's national defense development. What’s your comment on this?
Answer: NATO's new strategic concept document makes a false account of facts and stokes confrontation. There are irresponsible comments and arbitrary accusations against China’s normal military development and defense policy in it. China is firmly opposed to it.
China follows the path of peaceful development, actively promotes the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and remains a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of international order and a provider of public goods. The development of the Chinese military is out of the need to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and the need to safeguard world peace and stability and provide more international public security goods. In recent years, the Chinese military has played a more active role in international peacekeeping, maritime vessel protection, humanitarian rescue and anti-pandemic cooperation, and made important contributions to safeguarding world peace. These facts have proved time and again that the growth of the Chinese military brings opportunities rather than challenges to world peace.
NATO, on the other hand, has since its founding launched and participated in wars and killed innocent people from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The wars launched and participated in by NATO after 2001 have killed 900,000 people and displaced tens of millions of refugees. The Chinese people will never forget the atrocity of NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 23 years ago. NATO is the abbreviation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but in recent years, it has come to the Asia-Pacific region to throw its weight around, copying bloc confrontation to the Asia-Pacific and threatening regional security. It is fair to say that wherever NATO goes, it brings turmoil. In essence, NATO is a "war machine", a "military tool" for the US to maintain hegemony, and a "systematic challenge" to world peace and stability.
We want to make it clear to NATO that suppression and containment will not scare the Chinese military, and lying and smearing will not deceive the people around the world. The era of bullying China has gone forever. We urge NATO to stop making up lies, stirring up bloc confrontation and creating tensions. China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, and will not allow outside forces to mess up the Asia-Pacific region.
Question: "China's disruptive and destabilizing actions threaten to undermine our values, our interests and our shared conviction that all states should be free to choose their own paths without coercion or intimidation," said the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently. US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said that the Chinese military had become more aggressive and dangerous in the past five years. Chief of Staff of the US Air Force Charles Brown said that the US military needed to turn its attention to the "long-term challenges" from China, or it might someday fail. What's your comment on these, please?
Answer: Spreading the so-called "China military threat" is an old trick used by some people in the US for two purposes. One is to make excuses for their military development through cooking up threats. Second is to discredit China's image and serve their strategic purpose of containing and suppressing China. China firmly opposes this.
All rumormongers will end up with nothing but complete failure. On the one hand, China resolutely refutes these lies and proves to the world with tangible actions that the Chinese military will always be a staunch force for world peace. On the other hand, we will not give up our right for self-development because of slanders from the US. The mountain can not stop the running of the river. The development and growth of the Chinese military is independent of the will of others, and no force can stop it.
Question: Recently, some media revealed that since 2021, Japan and the US have conspired many times to induce and pressure the Kishida government to cooperate with and assist the US military in deploying intermediate-range ballistic missile forces on the southwestern islands of Japan. What is China's comment on this, please?
Answer: The United States' pushing for the deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Japan is a dangerous move that will seriously threaten the security of regional countries and undermine regional peace and stability. If it is put into practice, China will take resolute countermeasures, and the US and Japan should have no illusions about this.
Question: It is reported that Chinese naval vessels recently sailed into the contiguous zone of the Diaoyu Islands. The Japanese Defense Minister said that China's move was a unilateral act that escalated tensions. The Japanese side was seriously worried and concerned about it, and the Japanese Defense Ministry would maintain regular vigilance and surveillance. According to another report, the Japanese Coast Guard and Maritime Self-Defense Force recently conducted joint training in the waters east of Izu-Oshima, Tokyo, to deal with the "grey-zone situation" of Chinese warships ' approaching the Diaoyu Islands. What is China's comment on this?
Answer: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory, and China's will to safeguard its national sovereignty is unwavering. The activities of Chinese ships in waters off the Diaoyu Islands are completely legitimate and lawful, and the Japanese side has no right to make irresponsible comments. We urge the Japanese side to stop all provocative actions, manage differences through dialogue and consultation, and avoid causing unexpected maritime accidents.
Question: It is reported that the Chinese and Indian militaries recently held the 16th round of Corps Commander-Level Meeting, and discussed the settlement of the friction points along the Line of Actual Control. Can you share more about it？
Answer: At present, the situation in the border areas between China and India is generally stable, and the communication through the military and diplomatic channels between the two sides remain open. In the 16th round of China-India Corps Commander-Level Meeting, the two sides discussed issues in a constructive and forward-looking way, and reached a four-point consensus: first, following the political guidance and implementing the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries; second, focusing on the overall situation and maintaining the momentum in improving bilateral relations; third, effectively managing and controlling differences, and safeguarding the security and stability in border areas until the issue is solved; fourth, maintaining communication and dialogue, and reaching a mutually acceptable solution as soon as possible.
Question: The US House of Representatives recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, which reaffirmed the so-called "US support for Taiwan's defense" and claimed that the US military had the right to conduct joint exercises with Taiwan and invite Taiwan to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise. The US government recently approved a new round of arms sales to Taiwan. What's your comment, please?
Answer: Taiwan is China's Taiwan. The Taiwan question is purely China's internal affair, which brooks no interfere from the US. For some time, the US side has not been matching its actions with its words. Though the US claims its one-China policy remains unchanged and does not support "Taiwan independence", it has strengthened military and political ties with the Taiwan region, and put forward plans to sell arms to it. This act of playing with fire is very dangerous. It will seriously impact the relations between the two countries and two militaries, threaten peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and exacerbate the risk of military confrontation between the two countries.
It is the sacred mission of the PLA to realize national reunification and deter separatist attempts. We will, as always, have zero tolerance for "Taiwan independence", never hesitate to crack down on it, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Question: A few days ago, Taiwan authorities' defense department claimed that PLA fighters crossed the so-called "median line of the Taiwan Strait" many times, seriously undermining regional peace and stability. They claimed that a PLA warship recently appeared off the coast of Hualien county. Taiwan sources said that in view of US Senator Rick Scott 's visit to Taiwan, the PLA "obviously released a provocative message". What's your comment, please?
Answer: Taiwan is an integral part of China, and there is no such thing as a median line of the Taiwan Strait. At present, the root cause of the tensions and instability across the Taiwan Strait lies in the collusion between the "Taiwan independence" separatists and external forces. Who is undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait? It is the Democratic Progressive Party authorities who pursues "independence" with constant provocative actions and the external forces who attempt to use Taiwan to contain China.
The PLA will never tolerate separatist actions for "Taiwan independence" and interference from external forces. We will resolutely respond to these acts. Action is the most powerful language. Relevant parties should learn to adapt, reflect, and more importantly, learn to pull back before it is too late.
In a few days, it will be the 95th anniversary of the founding of the PLA. Over the past 95 years, the PLA has devoted itself to the Party and fought under the absolute leadership of the Party. Over the past 95 years, the PLA has defended national sovereignty, security, and development interests like an iron great wall. Over the past 95 years, the PLA has served the people wholeheartedly and been the people’s military, like a head-bowed willing ox.
Loyally upholding the core and striving to strengthen itself, the military will rally more closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and thoroughly implement Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military. Following the direction pointed out and the blueprint drawn by President Xi, the military will forge ahead on a new journey and make greater achievements in the new era, and set the stage for the 20th CPC National Congress through concrete actions.