Home Semasa #Semasa: China bent on promoting global peace, while defending its interests

#Semasa: China bent on promoting global peace, while defending its interests

by Air Times Correspondent

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 AUGUST – China is committed to the path of peaceful development as it unswervingly pursues a national defence policy to protect its interests.

China’s defence attache Zhang Ge stressed that his country adhered to the independent foreign policy of peace, although its national policy was defensive in nature.

“China is committed to building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

“China firmly opposes hegemonism and power politics,” Zhang said.

He added that China’s armed forces would defend its national sovereignty, security and deveIopment interests with a stronger determination, stronger capabilities and more reliable means in the future.

He said over the past 96 years, the PLA had grown from small to large, weak to strong, and from a single service into a strong, modernised armed forces.

“Upholding the Communist Party of China (CPC) absolute leadership over the Army has always been the root and soul of the PLA.

“Last year, China President Xi Jinping put forward the global security initiative, which follows a new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

“This firmly opposes the Cold War mentality, unilateralism, bloc politics and camp confrontation, charting the course for resolving global security dilemmas and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

“Upholding the new concept of security, China’s armed forces will deepen exchanges and cooperation with the militaries of other countries, actively participate in international and regional security affairs and make greater contribution to world peace and stability,” Zhang said at the ‘96th Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’ reception at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Present were guest-of-honour Malaysian Chief of Defence Force General Tan Sri Seri Affendi Buang, his wife Tengku Puteri Seri Teja Puan Sri Tengku Muhaini Sultan Ahmad Shah, China ambassador Ouyang Yujing and China National Defence University president Lieutenant-General Xiao Tian-liang.

Zhang said that China was an active participant and an important contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping operations.

“Since 1990, China has participated in 25 UN peacekeeping missions and sent nearly 50,000 military personnel.

“China is the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council and the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. “Over the past three decades and more, the number of peacekeepers dispatched by the Chinese Armed Forces has

increased and their types have expanded, from military observers to engineer, medical, transport, helicopter, security and infantry battalions as well as staff officers and contract officers,” he said.

China, he added, had made positive contributions to maintaining world peace and promoting common development, demonstrating its image as a force of peace, justice and civilization.

Since December 26, 2008 the Chinese Navy had sent consecutively 44 escort taskforces to the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast.

Zhang said that the PLA-Navy had the past 15 years broadcast a ‘voice of peace’ announcement in both Chinese and English, to guide ships in the Gulf of Aden: ‘This is the Chinese Navy escort taskforce. If you need help, please call me on Channel 16’!

“As of early last month, the Chinese Navy had dispatched more than 100 ships and completed more than 7,000 escort missions in more than 1,568 batches of Chinese and foreign ships.

“It also rescued and protected nearly 100 ships of various types of which more than 50% were foreign ships.

“Next month, the 43rd Chinese naval escort taskforce will return home via Malaysia after completing its escort mission for nearly half a year,” he revealed.

On the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, he said it was a people’s army created by the CPC on August 1, 1927.

“Over the past 96 years, under the strong leadership of the party, the heroic people’s army has fought bravely and indomitably, fearing no sacrifice and has made immortal contributions to the national independence, people’s liberation and national prosperity.

“It has provided strong support for safeguarding China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests and has also made important contributions to world peace and tranquility,” Zhang said.

Last year in October, the 20th National Congress of the CPC made a series of strategic arrangements and proposed to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the PLA in 2027.

“The congress also wished to accelerate the transformation of the people’s army into a world-class military,” Zhang said.

He highlighted how China and Malaysia were neighbours separated only by a strip of water and enjoyed a time-honoured traditional friendship.

Zhang recounted how in the early 15th century, Chinese navigator Admiral Zheng He led a huge fleet and made seven voyages to the lands around the Indian Ocean – officially staying in Malacca five times.

“To this day, many stories of peace and friendship are still being told about Zheng He, among the people of the two countries.

“We will never forget that Malaysia was the first Asean member country to establish diplomatic relations with China. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries,” Zhang said.

In March this year, Chinese President Xi and the visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reached an important consensus of building a China-Malaysia community with a shared future, drawing a blueprint for the development of bilateral relations in the new era.

“The two sides agreed on the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

“President Xi’s proposal was highly compatible with the concept of building ‘Malaysia Madani’ as proposed by Anwar,” he said.

In recent years, President Xi proposed the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilisation Initiative to solve the problems of development and security, and promote the progress of human civilisation.

“Malaysia expressed its willingness to actively support it,” Zhang said.

Next year (2024), China and Malaysia will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

“Guided by the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, China will work closely with Malaysia to strengthen high-quality cooperation, promote the implementation and effectiveness of relevant initiatives, promote the well-being of the two countries and its people, contribute to the building of a China-Malaysia community with a shared future, and inject strong energy into regional and global peace, stability, development and prosperity.

“The military-to-military relationship between China and Malaysia is an important part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries,” Zhang said.

In May this year during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA 2023) exhibition, China sent the August 1st aerobatic team from the PLA-Air Force along with the naval vessel DDG 165 Zhanjiang to fully demonstrate the friendly relations between the two militaries.

Zhang said that later this year, the two sides would jointly hold ‘Peace and Friendship’ exercises in China.

“We are willing to work with Malaysia to actively implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, further deepen bilateral military exchanges and cooperation, and constantly enrich the connotation of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries,” said Zhang.

Meanwhile, Affendi paid tribute to the PLA’s anniversary when the whole nation stood in solidarity to honour their men and women in uniform, who had judiciously upheld their commitment and sacrifice with the highest standard of professionalism.

“This historical day may not only bring great joy and jubilation, but also signify a strong legacy of sacrifice for the citizens of the People’s Republic of China.

“Similarly, this day of great joy also marks the strengthening of the special relationship enjoyed between the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

“The bond between our two armed forces was established soon after Malaysia forged a diplomatic relationship with China in 1974 and has since flourished into a lasting friendship.

“Despite its humble beginning dominated by continuous people-to-people interactions, the cooperation was strengthened from leaps to bounds which culminated in the launching of the ‘EX AMAN YOUYI’ series in 2014 affording the opportunity for elements of both armed forces to conduct exercises together on a reciprocal basis,” said Affendi.

He revealted that to date, four series of the exercise had been conducted, with Malaysia hosting two.

He noted that the People’s Liberation Army would host an extended version of the exercise in Zhanjiang in November.

“On the same score, our armed forces have participated in numerous multilateral exercises, especially under the auspices of the Asean Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM)-Plus 8 which further strengthened our friendship.

“I give my assurance towards further strengthening the longstanding defence collaboration between the Malaysian Armed Forces and the People’s Liberation Army on a wider spectrum.

“We are committed to further enhancing our existing defence cooperation.

“Both armed forces mutually share many commonalities which have been demonstrated through our collaborative avenues.

“This essentially marked the way forward and certainly boosted both forces towards greater heights.

“It is my utmost and sincere hope that we should stay on track by working together for common benefits in enhancing our bilateral engagements,” Affendi said.

He was optimistic that the bilateral relationship would not only be enhanced but contribute to and accentuate peace, stability, and security in the region.

“I am confident that coupled with your strong wisdom and wise leadership, our close relationship and mutual understanding will continue to grow to reach for even greater heights,” Affendi said. – airtimes.my

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