Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai At the Reception Celebrating the 88th Anniversary of the Founding of the PLA


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us this evening in celebrating the 88th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). I would like to extend my warm congratulations to our men and women in uniform, and pay high tribute to our PLA heroes in the past 88 years for their courage, devotion and sacrifice.

For 88 years, the PLA has been fighting heroically for the independence and liberation of the Chinese nation. It merits its reputation as China's Great Wall of Steel for its indispensable role in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. The PLA is also tasked with so many other important missions, such as rescue and relief, and supporting economic and social undertakings. It stands rock-firm as a pillar for China's economic development and social stability.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China remains committed to the path of peaceful development, and continues to pursue the national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Building a defense capability commensurate with China's international standing, which meets the needs of national security and development interests, is not only in the fundamental interests of China, but also conducive to peace and stability across the world. While performing its duty to safeguard China's national security, the PLA has undertaken more and more international obligations in recent years. It participates extensively in United Nations peacekeeping missions and international humanitarian operations. To date, China has sent over 30,000 peacekeepers to 24 UN peacekeeping operations, more than any other permanent members of the UN Security Council. China has dispatched 19 escort convoys to the Gulf of Aden in a multi-national effort to protect international shipping lanes. When Ebola put millions of lives in danger last year, PLA medical teams headed to West Africa on relief missions. They provided supplies and medical assistance, and treated more than 1,000 patients affected by the fatal virus. Increasingly, the PLA is now providing public security goods to the international community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we celebrate the 88th anniversary of the PLA, we will soon commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. China has been going all out to protect the outcome of World War II, and safeguard the basic norms governing international relations centering around the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. As a participant, facilitator and contributor to the current international order, China is working closely with other countries to promote greater equity and justice in the international system.

We are committed to the international and regional security that is common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable. We are opposed to Cold War mentality.

We believe that international order shall be maintained by all countries, and that international rules shall be written by all. We are opposed to any attempt to take this as an exclusive privilege of just a few. We are also opposed to any attempt to distort international law or apply double standards for selfish gains.

We are committed to peaceful settlement of international disputes. We are opposed to any willful use or threat of force. And we are opposed to the attempt of ganging up to undermine the interests of other countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you walked across the Embassy's Central Hall down to this room, you must have noticed the photo exhibition of China-U.S. Cooperation during World War II. It relives the profound friendship that China and the United States fostered in fighting Fascists side by side more than 70 years ago.

Seven decades is just a short span of time in human history. Vicissitudes in history do not stand in the way of closer cooperation between China and the United States on major issues concerning the future and destiny of mankind, and peace, stability and development of the world. Such cooperation has become more essential and necessary in light of the current trends and international situation in the 21st century. And thanks to the guidance by President Xi Jinping and President Obama, China and the United States have made further important progress in their cooperation in recent years.

As an integral part of China-U.S. relations, the mil-to-mil relationship is moving forward on the right track of steady development. The two militaries have established the mechanism of notification of major military activities, and agreed on the Rules of Behavior for the Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters. They have also made new headways in high-level exchanges, consultation and dialogue mechanisms, joint military exercises and training, and other areas of cooperation. During the visit to the United States last month by General Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, the two sides reached important consensus on having closer exchanges, stronger cooperation and better risk management. This has instilled positive energy to the continued and steady development of a sound mil-to-mil relationship between China and the United States.

As you know, President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to the United States in September at the invitation of President Obama. It will be an important visit that lays out the blueprint for China-U.S. relations and injects new impetus to the new model of major-country relationship. The two presidents will take this opportunity to have candid and in-depth exchanges of views on major issues concerning bilateral relations as well as peace and development of the world, and push for closer cooperation, greater consensuses, and more deliverables. We hope to work together with the U.S. side to make the visit a complete success, thus, opening up broader prospects for China-U.S. relations, benefiting our two peoples, and promoting win-win cooperation in the international community.

Now I would like to propose a toast,

To the 88th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army,

To a stronger relationship between China and the United States, and between Chinese and American militaries,

To the friendship between Chinese and American peoples, and

To the health of everyone present!



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