PLA is ‘ca­pa­ble, pre­pared to safe­guard sovereignty’

De­fense min­is­ter notes ad­vances made in mil­i­tary re­struc­tur­ing guided by Xi

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­

The Chi­nese army will step up the pace of im­prov­ing its joint com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties and “stand ready to fight and win at any time”, State Coun­cilor and Min­is­ter of Na­tional De­fense Chang Wan­quan said on Mon­day.

Speak­ing about the cross-Straits sit­u­a­tion, Chang said the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army is “con­fi­dent, ca­pa­ble and fully pre­pared to res­o­lutely safe­guard State sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity”.

Chang made the re­marks dur­ing a speech at a grand re­cep­tion mark­ing the 90 an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the PLA, which falls on Tues­day.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and chair­man of Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, at­tended the re­cep­tion along with other Party and State lead­ers.

The PLA has come a long way since its birth dur­ing the armed upris­ing in the city of Nan­chang on Au­gust 1, 1927, when it had only 20,000 sol­diers.

Xi over­saw and ad­dressed a grand mil­i­tary pa­rade on Sun­day mark­ing the 90th an­niver­sary at the Zhurihe Train­ing Base in North China’s In­ner Mon­go­lia au­tonomous re­gion.

On Tues­day morn­ing, Xi will at­tend a grand cer­e­mony in Beijing com­mem­o­rat­ing the 90th an­niver­sary and de­liver a speech.

Led by Xi, the PLA has been ad­vanc­ing re­form and tech- no­log­i­cal up­grade and boost­ing train­ing and com­bat readi­ness, Chang said.

Through this it has achieved thor­ough re­struc­tur­ing and has greatly en­hanced its com­bat ef­fec­tive­ness, he added.

The mil­i­tary will press ahead with re­forms and staunchly fo­cus on win­ning in com­bat and train­ing for readi­ness, Chang said.

Speak­ing of the cross-Straits sit­u­a­tion, Chang said ad­her­ence to the 1992 Con­sen­sus and op­po­si­tion to Taiwan in­de­pen­dence con­sti­tute the po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion of peace and de­vel­op­ment of cross-Straits re­la­tions.

Any form of se­ces­sion­ist at­tempt by any­one at any time would surely be op­posed by the whole Chi­nese peo­ple and na­tion, he added.

Not­ing the Chi­nese mil­i­tary’s role as a con­trib­u­tor to world peace, he said the PLA fa­cil­i­tates global de­vel­op­ment and sup­ports in­ter­na­tional or­der.

As of June, the Chi­nese mil­i­tary had par­tic­i­pated in 24 UN peace­keep­ing mis­sions, send­ing 31,000 per­son­nel, 13 of whom lost their lives on duty.

Chang said the PLA is ready to fur­ther strengthen ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion with for­eign mil­i­taries and jointly make greater con­tri­bu­tions to world peace and the com­mon de­vel­op­ment.

Since 2008, the PLA Navy has dis­patched 26 es­cort task force groups, in­clud­ing more than 70 ships for es­cort mis­sions in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of So­ma­lia.


Re­cip­i­ents of the Or­der of Au­gust 1 90th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army.

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