|Speech by Ambassador Ma Keqing at the Reception in Commemoration of 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese PLA|
Mr Jaroslav Kubera, vice president of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic,
Mr. Vojtěch Filip, vice president of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic,
Mr. Tomáš Kuchta, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased to welcome you to join us in celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Over the past 90 years, the PLA has made remarkable contribution to the Chinese nation’s independence and liberation, as well as to China’s modernization drive. Today, the PLA has become the backbone in realizing the national rejuvenation of China and protecting world peace and development.
A new round of reform in China’s defense system and armed forces has been pushed forward in full swing since 2015, aiming at building a modern system of military forces with Chinese characteristics. The PLA will be equipped with a more effective commanding mechanism and a strengthened capacity of fulfilling its due duties of safeguarding the national sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests.
China is building a strong national defense which is commensurate with China’s international standing and meets the needs of its security and development interests, while pursues a national defense policy which is defensive in nature. It not only serves the fundamental interest of China, but also contributes to the peace and prosperity for the whole world.
Under the volatile and complex international situation, China has been honestly fulfilling its international responsibilities and obligations. China carries out regular escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, safeguarding the security of international strategic sea lines of communication. Among the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, China is the biggest contributor to the peacekeeping operations. During the past 27 years, the Chinese armed forces have dispatched more than 31,000 military personnel to 29 UN peacekeeping missions. At present, there are about 3000 Chinese peacekeepers on duty around the world.
In his speech on the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in May this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, spanning thousands of miles and years, the Silk Road is a symbol for the time-honored spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. “Peace” is the core value of the Chinese civilization. China’s national defense policy is an inevitable outcome of the inheritance of the Chinese culture.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In March 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a historical visit to the Czech Republic, which upgraded the bilateral relations to strategic height, and opened a new era for China-Czech relationship. Exchange and cooperation between our two countries are flourishing in many domains, with bilateral trade and investment on the constant rise. Three direct flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu to Prague respectively have made possible the immense increase of the Chinese tourists to the Czech Republic. Mutual exchanges are booming in the field of technology, education and culture. The communication and exchange between the two armed forces are also carried on steadily. I believe, through joint efforts of both countries, and within the framework of “Belt and Road” Initiative and “16+1” Cooperation, we will achieve more fruitful results, and bring more benefits to the people of our two countries.
Finally, I propose a toast, to the overall development of China-Czech relationship, to the friendly cooperation between the PLA and the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, and to the health of all distinguished guests present today, cheers!