Re­forms can en­sure PLA bet­ter ful­fills all its du­ties

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

On the 90th an­niver­sary of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army on Tues­day, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping de­liv­ered a speech on its his­tor­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions, development and the ne­ces­sity of fur­ther re­form. What the PLA has ac­com­plished over the past 90 years can be boiled down to its in­dis­pens­abil­ity to the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, the ir­re­place­able role it has played in guar­an­tee­ing a peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment for the repub­lic’s eco­nomic development and so­cial progress and the con­tri­bu­tions it has made to maintaining world peace.

With­out a strong mil­i­tary, it would have been unimag­in­able for China to achieve what it has and make the con­tri­bu­tions it has to the over­all development of the global econ­omy.

And it should go with­out say­ing that the coun­try needs a strong and mod­ern mil­i­tary to counter any ag­gres­sion and to de­fend its sovereignty and ter­ri­tory in­tegrity.

Just as Pres­i­dent Xi said in his speech, Chi­nese peo­ple trea­sure peace and will never wage a war of ag­gres­sion, but they will never al­low any of its ter­ri­tory to be scraped away, in any form, at any time.

To guar­an­tee it never has to swallow this bit­ter pill and en­sure it can counter any ag­gres­sion, fur­ther re­form is needed to make its na­tional de­fense stronger.

Tai­wan still has to be re­uni­fied with the moth­er­land, and some se­ces­sion­ists on the is­land har­bor the in­ten­tion of mak­ing it an “in­de­pen­dent” coun­try, and there are also the threats of ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism.

To counter these threats and safe­guard the coun­try’s sovereignty, se­cu­rity and development in­ter­ests, the mil­i­tary needs fur­ther re­form so that it is not only ready to fight but also able to win.

A found­ing mem­ber of the United Na­tions and a per­ma­nent mem­ber of its Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, China has also be­come in­creas­ingly in­volved in the UN’s global peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions as its ca­pa­bil­i­ties have de­vel­oped. In re­cent years, the PLA has un­der­taken a grow­ing num­ber of peace­keep­ing and anti-piracy mis­sions, and the num­ber of troops China has con­trib­uted to such mis­sions is more than any other Se­cu­rity Coun­cil mem­ber.

But to do a bet­ter job of ful­fill­ing its UN obli­ga­tions, China needs fur­ther re­form to mod­ern­ize its mil­i­tary.

As the PLA cel­e­brates its 90th an­niver­sary, the con­tri­bu­tions it has made to a po­lit­i­cally sta­ble and eco­nom­i­cally pros­per­ous China can never be over­es­ti­mated, and its ef­forts to bet­ter shoulder its in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties should be wel­comed.

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