Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND, answers reporters' questions at a monthly press conference on August 30, 2018. (eng.mod.gov.cn/Photo by Feng Kaihua)
Senior Colonel Wu Qian: Friends from the media, good afternoon! Welcome to this month’s regular press conference of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). I would like to start today’s press conference with four announcements.
The first announcement is about the visit of the Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) General Xu Qiliang to three central Asian countries.
To implement the important consensus jointly made by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the heads of states of three countries, namely Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrghyzstan, General Xu Qilianng, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), will pay official visits to the three countries mentioned above from September 1 to 9, 2018.
During his visit, Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang will have meetings and talks with states and military leaders of the three countries mentioned above, and will also visit relevant military installations. General Xu Qiliang’s visit will deepen the strategic mutual trust with these three countries, and promote the pragmatic cooperation in the military field in a substantial and deep manner.
The second announcement is on the Beijing Xiangshan Forum.
Please display the Logo of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on the screen.
From October 24 to 26 this year, China Association for Military Science and the China International Institute for Strategic Society (CIISS) will co-host the 8th Beijing Xiangshan Forum. According to the schedule, a Chinese Party and State leader will attend the opening banquet of the Forum and deliver a keynote speech. General Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, and General Wei Fenghe, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister, will participate in the opening ceremony and other activities of this Forum. Up till the present, sponsors of this forum have already invited defense authorities, military leaders, representatives of international organizations, former military and civilian officials as well as famous scholars from 79 countries.
The theme of this year’s Forum is “building a new-type of security and partnership featuring equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation”. Participants will talk about new thinking and new ways of international security governance, threats and response of terrorism, reality and prospects of maritime and security cooperation, challenges and cooperation in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations and so on.
At the same time, participants will also exchange views and thoughts in parallel sessions of the Forum on such topics as new dynamism in Northeast Asia security, the way out for the Middle East security, the security and mutual trust mechanism of Asia-Pacific military security, artificial intelligence and the evolution of warfare forms and so forth. During the Forum, the Chinese side will also host a seminar among young officers from China and foreign countries.
The Chinese side hopes that this Forum will further strengthen strategic dialogue and communications, accumulate consensus, deepen practical cooperation, and find ways to jointly response to global challenges, and jointly maintain peace and stability. At the same time, the Chinese side will also very much welcome the coverages from the international and the domestic media during the Forum.
Finally，let me add one more thing, the Chinese side re-named the Xiangshan Forum into the Beijing Xiangshan Forum. The major consideration is that Beijing is the hosting city of the Forum, and it is also the capital city of China as well as a famous international metropolis. And this shows China’s high importance to this multilateral security dialogue. And if you need more information, please log in the official website of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum. （Chinese Website: www.xiangshanforum.org.cn; English Website: www.xiangshanforum.cn ）
The third announcement is about the visit of Chief of Singapore Armed Forces to China.
At the invitation of General Li Zuocheng, member of the CMC and chief of staff of the CMC Joint Staff Department, Chief of Singapore Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong will lead a delegation to visit China from September 4 to 6. During the visit, State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, and Li Zuocheng, member of the CMC and chief of staff of the CMC Joint Staff Department, will meet and hold talks with him, exchanging in-depth views on the international and regional security situation and military-to-military exchanges and cooperation. In addition, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong and his delegation will visit the PLA Beijing Garrison, the Southern Theatre Command and other military units. The visit will help push forward bilateral relations between Chinese and Singaporean militaries and deepen strategic mutual trust.
The fourth announcement is about the China-US-Australia Joint Exercise “Kowari”.
As agreed by the defense departments of the United States and Australia, the three parties of China, the United States and Australia will hold the Joint Exercise "Kowari" in Queensland, Australia from August 29 to September 5. The joint exercise includes such training subjects as sea kayaking, canyon crossing, mountain marching, and field survival training, etc.
Now the floor is open for questions.
Question: Recently, the South China Sea issue has become a more and more heated topic. Senior officials of the US Department of Defense（DOD）made the accusation that China’s island construction harmed freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Several US think tanks held seminars, thinking that the US military should continue its Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea. The CNN journalists took pictures in the South China Sea by a military aircraft which have been warned by the Chinese military for six times. Some critics held that it was the wind before the storm. What is your comment？
Answer: It is a fact that the islands in the South China Sea have been the Chinese territory ever since the ancient times. It is also a fact that freedom of navigation in the region has never been a problem. For a period of time, the US side has been hyping up the South China Sea issue, attempting to blame China for harming freedom of navigation in the region. I would like to point out that a lie will always remain a lie although it has been told a thousand times. The island construction by China is mainly for civilian purposes. It is reasonable and legitimate. The deployment of necessary defense facilities on these islands is also the rights a sovereign state is entitled to. It is reasonable and legitimate. When US military aircraft flew over these islands with provocation, it is also reasonable and legitimate for China to warn these aircraft according to relevant rules and regulations.
At the same time, I noticed that the US side has been ignoring the positive efforts China has made to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. For example, recently, we released a piece of news about China’s sending a professional search and rescue ship named as South China Sea Rescue-115 to the Nansha Islands. However, I did not find any media coverage from the US media. As far as I know, this ship has conducted three successful rescue operations, rescuing one fishing boat and four fishermen. I would like to remind the US side not to purposefully turn a blind eye to China’s efforts. China will, as always, make positive efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Besides, I noticed that you quoted a Chinese poem in your question: "Before the storm comes, the wind is blowing hard." I’d also like to respond by quoting two lines from another poem: "However hard the wind blows, it will not break our pace of walking.”
Question: My question is about the joint military exercise between China and the ASEAN countries. It is reported that such exercise will be held within this year. Do you have any information for us?
Answer: The joint maritime exercise between China and the ASEAN is to take place in two phases. The first phase is a tabletop exercise, which was already conducted in the Changi naval base of Singapore from 2 to 3 of August. The second phase is a live-force exercise. It is planned to take place in Zhanjiang and its adjacent waters in late October with focus on the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, joint search and rescue. The subjects of the exercise include formation maneuver, formation communication, joint search and rescue and helicopter landing on each other’s ships. All ASEAN member countries and China will participate in the exercise. This military exercise is an important action in implementing the consensus reached between defense ministers of China and the ASEAN countries in deepening security and defense cooperation as well as mutual trust. It will also help strengthen military relationship between China and the ASEAN countries; boost maritime security cooperation and enhance the joint capability in response to security threats.
Question: The “International Army Games (IAG) 2018” has already concluded. Do you have anything to say about the performance of the Chinese participating team?
Answer: The “International Army Games 2018” has come to a successful end recently. The Chinese military has participated in 22 events and competed with participating teams from Russian, Belarusian and Kazakhstani militaries. In the end, the Chinese military won first places in 4 team events, second places in 15 team events and third places in 2 team events. In addition, the Chinese military won first places in 21 individual events, second places in 18 events and third places in 8 events. Generally speaking, the result is excellent.
If you think what I just said is not enough, please watch a video chip to see the Chinese military's performance in the IAG-2018. (Click to download original video: http://vv.chinamil.com.cn/asset/category3/2018/08/30/asset_333561.mp4 )
Question：Recently, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe visited India. During his visit, General Wei Fenghe held talks with Indian Prime Minister and Defense Minister. How does China view the achievements of General Wei Fenghe’s visit to India? Secondly, according to Indian media reports, China and India are revising the defense agreement signed by the two governments in 2016 and it is said that a new draft has been introduced. Can you introduce the progress of the new agreement? My third question is about the Chinese and Indian military hotline. It seems that the building of the hotline has been delayed. Could you please introduce what is the reason of the delay?
Answer: From August 21 to 24, State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe made an official friendly visit to India. During his visit, the Indian Prime Minister Modi and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met and held talks with Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.
The two sides held in-depth discussions on further implementing the important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi, deepening military and security exchanges and cooperation and strengthening defense mutual trust mechanism building. Specifically, they talked about establishing the mutual visits mechanism between the defense ministers, setting up direct confidential telephone between two defense ministries, strengthening exchanges at all levels including defense authorities, theater commands and different services, setting up border hotlines between adjacent military commands, and better playing the role of defense and security consultation mechanisms and the meeting mechanism between the working delegations of defense ministries. During his visit, Defense Minister Wei also invited Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to visit China.
Both China and India are important countries in Asia. Both the two countries shoulder their important responsibilities in maintaining regional peace and stability. If the dragon and the elephant dance together, the two sides benefit; and If they compete and fight with each other, it will benefit neither but others. We are willing to work together with India to actively implement consensus reached by the two heads of states, to enhance communication and coordination, to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, to appropriately manage differences and to facilitate the development of the mil-to-mil relationship in a healthy and steady manner.
On your second question, back in 2006, China and India signed a memorandum of understanding on defense exchanges and cooperation. Recently, the Indian side conveyed its willingness to sign a new version of MOU. China has positive attitude toward it. The two sides are in communication with each other.
On your third question, I have mentioned it when answering your first question. In the next phase, the two sides will communicate and coordinate with each other regarding the specifics.
Question：The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will soon to be hold. I‘d like to know how you would comment on the current military relationship between China and African countries.
Answer：President Xi Jinping remarked that China and Africa have always been a community with shared future of which the military relationship between China and Africa is an important component. Looking back, the history has seen the sincerity, friendliness and brotherhood between the Chinese and African countries’ militaries. The military cooperation between China and Africa countries had made historical contributions to these countries to cast off the yoke of colonialism and fight for their national liberation and independence. In the future, the Chinese military will continue to help African countries to reinforce the independent security construction and will have more cooperation with African countries in many fields such as personnel training, logistics, escort missions, peacekeeping operations, health care, and humanitarian relief, in order to open up a new era of the military relations between China and Africa, make positive contributions to peace and security of Africa and the world.
Now I’d like to share with you something happening in Sino-Africa Friendship Primary School of Sudan. Actually, the story happened 11 years ago in 2007 when China’s first peacekeeping engineer detachment to Darfur of Sudan arrived at their mission area and upon arrival they found that there was not a regular primary school in Nyala, the city nearby their camp. Seeing the eager eyes of the local children, they decided to raise money and build a primary school for the children.
With the assistance and help from all sides, the Sino-Africa Friendship Primary School was eventually completed in 2009. Since then each batch of Chinese peacekeepers has come there to talk with the kids, maintains their school facilities and delivers stationery sports goods. Up to now, thousands of students have graduated from the school and the school has also become another witness and epitome of the friendship between China and Africa.
Question: On August 20, the Ministry of National Defense released a piece of news, saying that China would participate in the strategic exercise code-named Vostok-2018 in Russia. Please brief us on the force projection.
Answer:We actually have done some preparations. I will explain to you with the help of a map. (Insert piture)
According to the execution plan, the Chinese participating troops will be projected across the border in three ways: railway, road and aviation. Currently, the majority of participating troops has already been deployed in Russia. By railway, we’ve projected 28 groups of more than 3000 people, 900 pieces of weaponry and equipment. They were sent to Zabaikalsk, Chita and Stepy via Manchuria. And then they were deployed to the designated place by motorcycles. 30 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters were transported to the Chitta Airport and Stepy Airport.
I hope I have made a satisfying reply to your question.
Question: The Guideline on Opening the Military Facilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has already released to the public and the first barracks open day activity has recently been held in Wuhan, Hubei Province. I wonder if there will be any future open day activities and which military barracks will open to the public visit.
Answer: According to the Guideline on Opening the Military Facilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and with the approval of the Central Military Commission, the Chinese military opens the first group of more than 600 military barracks to public society this year. The 600-odd barracks are located in multiple cities in 31 provincial regions across China. The Army, Navy, Air Force and the Rocket Force of the PLA as well as the People’s Armed Police Force participated in the open day plan with multiple-level units of division, brigade, regiment, battalion and company involved.
In the next step, these approved military units will decide the open day timing flexibly according to their training requirement while considering the special needs for festivals and holidays and memorial days. Once the open day time is finalized, they will be jointly released by both local defense educational authorities and the military units.
Actually, the most recent open day activity is being hosted by the PLA Air Force. Starting from today, the Air Force is hosting an open day activity called “Catching Dreams in the Sky” in Changchun, Jilin Province. During the open day, visitors will be offered flight shows put on by the Bayi Acrobatic team of the PLA and two acrobatic teams from the Air Force Aviation University. The PLA Air Force will also showcase part of its armaments at the open day activity. The Air Force Aviation University will open to the public visit some of its campus installations including teaching buildings, cadet’s dormitory and training facilities. You are all welcome to the barracks to get a close look at the Chinese military and the Chinese soldiers.
Question: Recently, foreign media reported that the Chinese navy's "surveillance ship" and warships have visited the Pacific island countries and increased the navigation frequency in that area. And there was speculation that the Chinese PLA might build naval bases or facilities in the Pacific island countries. Can you comment on this? What is China's strategic goal there?
Answer: The Chinese vessels’ activities are completely reasonable and lawful. China adheres to the path of peaceful development, firmly pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and does not seek hegemony or sphere of influence.
Question：Recently, the United States passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, which includes clauses such as directing a whole-of-government strategy on China. The Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2018 published by the US defense ministry claimed that China conducted targeted training to counter the US and its allies. How does China view these signals from the US? Will these actions affect the military exchanges between China and the United States? Will the preplanned visit by Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe to the United States change?
Secondly, the defense ministry recently said that China will send 3,200 troops to participate in Russian “Vostok-2018” strategic military drills. The size of the participating troops of both Russia and China is unprecedented. What is the purpose of the large-scale joint military exercises between China and Russia? What signals are being sent to the outside world? Does it have anything to do with the current international situation that Russia and China face?
Answer: On your first question, the spokesperson has already released statements in response to the two reports respectively and expressed China’s firm opposition. I will not repeat our positions.
On the preplanned visit to the United States by Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, to realize mutual visits between two defense ministers is a very important consensus reached by the two heads of states. We also noticed that Defense Secretary Mattis has said repeatedly that he welcomes the visit of Defense Minister Wei Fenghe within this year. Wei’s visit is a big event in the relationship between our countries and the two sides are in close communication with each other regarding this visit.
On Russian “Vostok-2018” strategic military drills, China’s participation is aimed at consolidating and further developing the comprehensive and strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia, deepening practical and friendly cooperation between the two militaries, further enhancing the joint capabilities of the two militaries to respond to security threats. It helps maintain regional peace and security and it is not targeted at any third party, nor it has anything to do with the regional situation.
Question：It is reported that a U.S. military aircraft B-52 took off from Guam, flew over the Miyako Strait, entered the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone(ADIZ), flew along the bounds of the ADIZ for some time and then went back. It didn’t enter he territorial airspace of China during the flight. Do you have any response to that?
Answer：A U.S. military aircraft entered the ADIZ on August 23. The PLA’s air force military aircraft were dispatched for putting on alert and keeping watch, and meanwhile getting prepared for other emergency actions.
Question: On the morning of August 28, the Japanese government released their Defense White Paper for FY 2018. It says that the opaque military expansion and the maritime activities of China are a potential threat to security and stability of regional as well as international community, including Japan. What is your comment?
Answer: The Defense White Paper for Fiscal Year 2018 released by the Japanese government is full of old rhetoric and slanders on China’s military. It is also full of wrong justifications for history and reality. We are firmly opposed to it and we will make solemn representations to the Japanese government.
It is a basic fact that the Diaoyu Island and its adjacent isles are an inherent part of China’s territory. It is supported by sufficient historic and legal evidence. China’s activities in the area are proper, legitimate and indisputable, and we’ll continue to carry out such activities.
As is known to all, China adheres to a defense police that is defensive nature and a military strategy of active defense. China has always carried out its responsibilities as a responsible big country. It has participated actively in peacekeeping and escort missions mandated by the UN. It has provided humanitarian aid to other countries and safe goods to the international community. Japan chose to turn a blind eye to the contributions that the Chinese military has made to world peace. Instead, it hyped up China military threat. We are firmly opposed to that.
In recent years, Japan made drastic adjustment to its military and security policy, attempting to find an excuse to revise its peace constitution and resume military expansion by hyping up peripheral security threat. The international community should remain highly vigilant against this. We urge the Japanese side to reflect on its historical mistakes and draw lessons from them. They should be careful about their remarks on the field of military security in order not to repeat the mistake in history.
Question: There is news that Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong, commander of the PLA Navy, will visit the United States in September. Can you confirm the news?
Answer: At the invitation of Admiral John Michael Richardson, chief of Naval Operations of the U.S. Armed Forces, the PLA Navy Commander Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong will leave for the United States in mid and late September to attend the International Seapower Symposium and visit the United States. During the visit, Shen Jinlong will hold working talks with his U.S. counterpart and will also visit some military establishment.
Question: The Chinese and Vietnamese militaries held an opening ceremony in Vietnam on August 22 for their joint free medical treatment in border areas. This is the first time that the two militaries have conducted such a coordinated and joint free medical treatment activity in the border areas of the two countries. What challenges did they encounter during the activity?
Answer: Thank you for your question, you speak Chinese very well. From August 22 to 28, two military medical teams from China and Vietnam jointly provided free medical services to the residents in Hoa Thuan township of Vietnam’s northern border province Cao Bang and Longzhou County in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. During the activity, the two medical teams provided free medical treatment to more than 4,108 people in the border areas of China and Vietnam, distributed 2,300 medicaments in 130 specifications, and handed out more than 4,800 copies of health education materials.
Of course, as you pointed out, there were some challenges in the process of joint medical treatment. For example, the local medical conditions were very limited and the quantity of free medical treatment was insufficient.
This joint free medical treatment was the first such activity that the Chinese and Vietnamese militaries have jointly conducted in the border regions of the two countries. It will help deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two militaries, enhance mutual trust and friendship, and provide more positive energy to the development of the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Question: New school term is approaching. Could you please introduce this year’s recruitment of all military academies? To newly recruited cadets, what do you want to say?
Answer: The recruitment of military academies for the year 2018 has ended successfully. Altogether, 30,000 cadets are recruited into 32 institutions of the Chinese PLA and the Armed Police Force. Actually, the military institutions remain very popular for high school graduates. The average involvement score is substantially higher than previous years.
Firstly, I want to congratulate the newly recruited cadets. I want to congratulate you on becoming a member of this big family. Choosing a career meaning choosing a sort of life. I want to share with you four key phrases.
The first is a strong belief for you as cadets. You have sunny days, but you also have stormy nights. When you meet difficulties, don’t just give up and think why you are here in the first place. Give the idea and the belief a little bit more time.
The second is a sound knowledge base. Study is the most important thing for your future career and the cornerstone of your future development. So I really hope that you can use every minute in the military academy to study and paint a very colorful life with knowledge.
The third is the teamwork. The military is a fighting group. The war is a systematic confrontation. No one can do it all. In the melting pot called the military, you cannot fight alone.
The fourth is the international perspective. We believe that if you can’t really think globally, and you really can’t act locally. The Chinese military will not stop in its continued opening up to the outside world, and it will undertake more and more international responsibilities. So I sincerely hope that while you are studying on campus, you can always think about the outside world and live up to today.
Question：I would like to ask whether Russia will participate in Beijing Xiangshan Forum and who will lead the delegation? Thank you.
Answer：As I said, the organizers have sent out invitations to national defense departments and military leaders of 79 countries, and of course that includes an invitation to Russia. As to the specific delegation leaders, we are still waiting for Russia’s final confirmation.
Question：We noticed that the Embassy of Afghanistan in China said that China is helping the country to set up a mountain brigade in the northern part of the country to enhance its capabilities of counter-terrorism. Of course, they denied that China would deploy troops in Afghanistan. What is your comment?
Answer：There is normal cooperation between China and Afghanistan in the field of military security. China and the international community are helping the country with its construction of national defense and counter-terrorism capabilities. Currently, the two sides are consulting on relevant issues. The Chinese side is willing to work with Afghanistan to maintain peace and stability in the two countries and also in the region.
The report about China’s deployment of troops in Afghanistan does not accord to the fact.
Question: It is reported that recently defense industry companies from China participated in the 2018 international technological forum hosted by the Russian Defense Ministry. According to the news report, the participation of the Chinese defense-related companies in the forum is designed to conduct more defense cooperation with Russia while it is under embargo of the Western countries. Can you confirm this speculation? There are media reports saying that China’s first home-made aircraft carrier has conducted its second sea trial recently. What is the focus of the sea trial? Has the schedule for the commissioning of the aircraft carrier to the navy been made?
Answer: Regarding the first question, please ask the defense industry authorities.
As for the second question, according to the building plan, the second aircraft carrier has set sail from the shipyard in Dalian for sea trail in related waters. The aim of the sea trial is to test the equipment platform and weapon system. It is normal arrangement according to the ship building plan. Currently, the building of China’s second aircraft carrier is in steady progress according to plan along with safe and smooth sea trails, which has met the preset objectives.
Question: Recently, Dennis Blair, retired commander of the former U.S. Pacific Command, wrote a signed article saying that Japan and Taiwan should not continue to intercept the Chinese military’s vessels and aircraft. Instead, they should engage in the tit-for-tat reciprocal actions. He suggested Japan and Taiwan patrol the coastal areas of the Chinese mainland or launch simulated attacks on the aircraft carrier Liaoning circling Taiwan. What is your response?
Answer: The suggestions mentioned above provoke cross-Strait military confrontation and destroy the China-Japan relationship. They are irresponsible and also very dangerous. Taiwan is an integral part of China. Any attempt by Taiwan to resist reunification through force and violence is overrated and will get Taiwan nowhere.
Question: China has held joint military exercises with many countries in the past, and now plans to hold more in the future. How will these exercises help maintain regional and world peace and security?
Answer: Indeed, as you mentioned, China and many countries have carried out joint exercises, training and competitions, which surely includes the friendly Pakistani armed forces. These joint exercises, training and competition help the militaries of participating countries to enhance understanding, deepen mutual trust, improve ability to deal with multiple security threats and jointly maintain regional peace and stability.
Question: Do you think the "Vostok-2018" military exercises will become another normalized military cooperation between China and Russia? Can you share with us the specific subjects which China will participate in? The second question is that you said in April that China and Russia have completed the second round of consultations in the Russia-China naval drills 2018, can you brief us on the recent progress of the drills? Finally, Russian said the last batch of Sukhoi Su-35 was to be delivered to China by the end of this year, can you confirm it?
Answer：As for whether China will take part in the "Vostok-2018" "exercise in the future, that will be decided in further consultations. We will release information in due course. As to the specific exercise subjects, they are maneuver and defense, fire strike, counter-offensive, etc.
As to the Russia-China naval drills, the two militaries are in a close communication upon the joint drills matters concerned. Regarding the delivery of aircraft to China, the joint projects on military technology between China and Russia are in steady progress as planned. The two sides will promote further cooperation in accordance with the principle of mutual benefit, win-win cooperation and negotiation and mutual agreement.
Question：According to media reports, President Trump accused China of exerting pressure on the DPRK because of the trade dispute between China and US and said that the US side could resume immediately the military exercise with the South Korea. Are you worried that the situation on the peninsula could further deteriorate? Does China have any countermeasures? Could you please brief us on the deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea?
Answer：On the Korean Peninsula issue, China’s stance of ‘three insists’ is very clear. We hope that relevant parties could do more and contribute to the peace and stability in the peninsula, but not the opposite. As for the THAAD system you just mentioned, China is firmly opposed to the deployment of the system in South Korea and the China’s military will take concrete actions to safeguard national security and regional peace and stability.
Question：My question is on the China-US relationship. The US military has resumed or activated the Second Flee by using ‘responding to the threat from China and Russia’ as an excuse. Do you have any comment on that?
Answer: On your question, I’d like to say that China firmly adheres to the path of peaceful development and committed to the national defense policy that is defensive in nature. The excuses of responding to so-called “China threat” adopted by the US to expand its military capabilities are untenable.
Question: This year, Tsinghua University required its 2018 freshmen from Hong Kong and Macao to participate in military training, which was voluntary in previous years. What is your comment? Does Tsinghai’s move have anything to do with the future promotion of Hong Kong residents to join the army?
Answer: I myself have also noticed this regulation of Tsinghua University. As to the specifics, I suggest you ask the Tsinghua University.
On the question of Hong Kong people to join the army, since the return of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong residents have had a deeper understanding of their motherland and the People’s Liberation Army. Some Hong Kong compatriots have expressed their willingness to join the army and contribute to cause of national defense. We welcome the patriotic fervor of the Hong Kong people. The relevant authorities are studying this.
If there are no more questions, here concludes today’s regular press conference, thank you!