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Joint Efforts to Safeguard Reginal Peace and Prosperity
2020/08/03

Joint Efforts to Safeguard Reginal Peace and Prosperity

--celebrating the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the PLA of China

Sr. Col. Li Jianzhong DA of China Embassy to Brunei Darussalam

 

August 1, 2020 marks the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Over the past 93 years, the PLA has fought many battles, stridden forward from victory to victory, and become world-famous as a formidable, civilized and peaceful military force.

China has always pursued a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. The fundamental mission of China’s national defense is resolutely safeguarding China’s sovereignty, security and development interests. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 71 years ago, China has never started any war or conflict, and voluntarily downsized the PLA several times. China advocates partnerships rather than alliances and does not join any military bloc. The development of China’s national defense aims to meet its rightful security needs and contribute to the growth of the world’s peaceful forces. History proves and will continue to prove that China will never follow the beaten track of big powers in seeking hegemony. A strong military of China is a staunch force for world peace, stability and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Since raining season this year, southern part of China has suffered long lasting rains, which caused flooding in many provinces. The PLA rushed to the frontline, nearly 30000 troops participating in flood rescue and disaster relief. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, Chinese armed forces have been fought bravely against the disease to protect people’s lives and health, and made great contributions to the strategic achievements in preventing and controlling the epidemic. The PLA has actively engaged in international anti-epidemic cooperation with militaries of many countries. The Chinese military provided epidemic control supplies to the militaries of more than 50 countries, shared anti-epidemic experiences, and contributed the ‘Chinese strength’ to the global anti-virus efforts.

Committed to the principle of win-win cooperation, China’s armed forces actively fulfill their international responsibilities and obligations, and provide more public security goods to the international community to the best of their capacity. They actively participate in the UN peacekeeping operations, vessel protection operations, and international efforts in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. China is a major contributing to the UN peacekeeping budget and the largest troop contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Since it entered service, the PLA Navy’s hospital ship Ark Peace has fulfilled 7 voyages coded as Mission Harmony, visited 43 countries, including Brunei Darussalam, and provided medical services to the local communities.

China endeavors to deepen military partnership with its neighbors, and keeps close contacts with the military leaderships of the neighboring countries. The strategic mutual trust between China and its neighbors is continuously growing. In recent years, China has regularly held serial joint exercises and training on counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, search and rescue, and tactical skills with the regional countries, and carried out extensive exchanges on border and coastal defense, academic institutions, think tanks, education, training, medical science, medical service, and equipment and technology. The defense cooperation between China and ASEAN countries are moving forward. The military relationships between China and its neighboring countries are generally stable.

China actively participates in multilateral dialogues and cooperation mechanisms including the ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting Plus, ASEAN Regional Forum, regularly holds China-ASEAN defense ministers’ informal meetings, proposes and constructively promotes initiatives to strengthen regional defense cooperation. The China-ASEAN Maritime Exercise-2018, the first between Chinese and ASEAN militaries, was held in October 2018 and demonstrated the confidence and determination of the countries in maintaining regional peace and stability. China is committed to peacefully resolving the disputes over territory and maritime demarcation through negotiation and consultation. China and the ASEAN countries have comprehensively and effectively implemented the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and actively advanced the consultation on Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, and are committed to extending practical maritime security cooperation, developing regional security mechanisms.

China and Brunei have more than 2000 years history of exchanges and traditional friendship, and are good neighbors facing each other across the sea. In 2018, the Chinese H.E. President Xi Jinping successfully made his state visit to Brunei and the bilateral relations have been upgraded to Strategic Cooperative Partnership. During the most difficult period of time when the pandemic broke out in China, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’ izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam sent letters to H.E. President Xi Jinping and H.E. Premier Li Keqiang, and the government of Brunei Darussalam donated to Hubei Charity Federation. With the outbreak of epidemic in Brunei, the Chinese central government, local governments and Chinese enterprises in China and Brunei, donated funds or medical supplies to Brunei,contributing to Brunei’s efforts to protect the people’s health and lives.

The Ministry of National Defense of China and the Ministry of Defense of Brunei, the PLA and the RBAF also enjoy friendly and cooperative ties. The military-to-military contacts between the two Ministries and two Armed Forces have been expanding and deepening throughout the years in the fields of high level visits, ship visits, multilateral joint exercises and personnel training. In April 2019, the Royal Brunei Navy sent high level naval delegation and ship to participate in the 70th anniversary celebration of the founding of the PLA Navy and the China-Southeast Asian countries joint naval exercise. In September 2019, the PLA Navy training ship Qi Ji Guang successfully visited Brunei and strengthen the friendship. With the COVID-19 raged in China and Brunei, General Wei Fenghe, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense of China and the Honorable Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General(Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi Bin Haji Mohd Yussof, the Minister of Defense II of Brunei, exchanged letters of sympathy to extend support and express the fraternal friendship between the PLA and the RBAF. Such exchanges, cooperation and mutual help enhanced the friendly relations between the two countries and militaries.

I sincerely hope that the exchange and cooperation between our two countries and two armed forces will strengthen continuously. We will go forward shoulder by shoulder and work closely to jointly create a bright future of regional peace, stability and prosperity.

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