Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of National Defense on September 30

Ministry of National Defense
Li Wei
2021-10-09 11:27:55

By Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers reporters' questions at a regular press conference on September 30, 2021.(

(The following English text of the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the Chinese text shall prevail.)

First of all, I would like to announce a piece of news.

In light of the continuous impact of COVID-19, the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum will be put off once again. To enhance academic exchanges and cooperation and assemble the wisdom of experts and scholars from different countries, the Secretariat of Beijing Xiangshan Forum will continue to hold video workshops from October 25 to 26 in Beijing. Themed on “Pursuing Cooperation and Mutual Benefit, Promoting Global Security Governance”, the workshops consist of six panels, namely, “Major-Country Relations and Asia-Pacific Security”, “Multilateralism and International System”, “Roles of Medium and Small Countries in International Security”, “Impact of the Afghanistan Situation on Regional Security”, “Strategic Stability: Dilemma and Way Out”, and “International Security Cooperation in the Context of COVID-19”.

Amid changing COVID-19 dynamics and international situation, the video workshops are committed to carrying forward the philosophy of win-win cooperation and having in-depth discussions on international security hotspots with the experts. We will focus on cooperation, deepen exchanges and contribute wisdom and strength in jointly responding to global security challenges and maintaining international peace and stability.

Question: On September 13, 2016, at the inaugural meeting of the PLA Joint Logistic Support Force (JLSF) in Beijing, President Xi Jinping presented the military flag and gave instructions to Wuhan Joint Logistic Support Base and other joint logistic support centers. President Xi underlined that the JLSF should accelerate force building in accordance with the requirements of joint operations, joint training and joint support and strive to build a strong and modernized joint logistic support force. Please introduce what the JLSF has achieved since its establishment in the military reform.

Answer: As the mainstay force in providing joint logistic support and carrying out strategic and operational support, the Joint Logistic Support Force is an important part of the modern military force structure with Chinese characteristics. Established in September 2016 as one of the PLA's services and arms, the JLSF is under the direct leadership and administration of the CMC. Over the past five years, the JLSF has firmly followed President Xi's instructions and resolutely obeyed the Party's command. To build a strong and modernized joint logistic support force, the JLSF puts its focus on fighting and winning wars, makes pioneering efforts in promoting reforms and innovations and provides quality and efficient support.

Firstly, the joint logistic support system has been reshaped in the reform. The JLSF has set up a joint support system in compliance with the new joint operations system, reorganized force strength with a steady pace, straightened out the relations between the providers and receivers of joint logistic support, and defined the scopes and functions of different arms of the JLSF. The force structure has transformed from logistic forces scattered in different regions into a joint logistic support force directly led by the CMC. The support mode has changed from mainly supporting the PLA Army into supporting all the services and arms, and the function has shifted from focusing on providing living materials support for troops to providing logistic support for combat. In this way, the JLSF has formed an integrated operational pattern of serving the whole military in both peacetime and wartime, and given full play to the advantages of the joint logistic support system that supports the theater commands in operations and the services in developing capabilities and serves all the service members of the PLA.

Secondly, military training and readiness has been strengthened in an all-round way in the transformation. The JLSF has pressed forward to improve its integrated joint support capacity and made great efforts to provide joint logistic support for different strategic directions and special missions. The scope of joint support has been expanded and transformed to new type and new areas of combat forces. The JLSF is working to build itself into a multifunctional force engaged in military logistics, transportation and projection, and medical service. The JLSF has been proactive in participating in joint military exercises, training and competitions held at home and abroad and has established training exercises such as the "Joint Logistic Mission" and the "Mastery of Skills for Joint Logistic Professions". It has blazed a new trail of military training with joint logistic characteristics, and made its operational functions, joint support nature and force identification more prominent.

Finally, its joint support capabilities have been strengthened in fulfilling missions. The JLSF provides all-area support for the theater commands in performing emergency response and combat readiness tasks, and effectively supports important military operations in international peacekeeping, counterterrorism, stability maintenance, and emergency rescue and disaster relief. In particular, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the JLSF fought on the front-line as a very important force. It led and managed three special hospitals including the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan and played an important role in defending Wuhan. The integration and efficiency of its joint logistic support capabilities stood the test of the emergency. In addition, the JLSF actively participates in international cooperation against the pandemic. It sent medical experts to Pakistan and Cambodia, provided medical supplies such as protective gears and face masks and COVID-19 vaccines to many countries, and conducted video conference to share experience in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic with militaries of multiple countries, making a contribution to the building of a global community of health for all.

Question: On September 10, when taking a phone call from his US counterpart, Joseph R. Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that relevant departments of the two nations may continue their engagement and dialogue to add more positive factors to bilateral relations. According to Reuters, a US deputy assistant secretary of defense recently had a video conference with a leader of China’s Office for International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission (OIMC, CMC). A Pentagon official stated that this was the first time a senior defense official in the Biden administration had held talks with the Chinese military. Despite tensions between the two countries, the communication between the Chinese and American militaries has been maintained. What is your comment on this, please?

Answer: The China-US military-to-military relationship is an important part of their state-to-state relations. As we all know, due to the constant US provocations and containment against China, the China-US military relationship is now facing manifold difficulties and challenges. However, the two militaries have always maintained communication. On August 19th, a leader of the OIMC, CMC of China and US deputy assistant secretary of defense had a video conference. On September 28 and 29, a leader of OIMC, CMC of China and US deputy assistant secretary of defense held another video conference to co-chair the 16th China-US Defense Policy Coordination Talks. During the two interactions, the two sides exchanged in-depth views on the relations between the two countries and two militaries, and on issues of common interest.

The Chinese side has stressed on many occasions that we develop bilateral military relations on the premise that China's sovereignty, dignity and core interests are not to be violated. We welcome communication and cooperation, face up to differences and oppose coercion. We have always been open-minded and acted on what we say. Whereas, the US side has serious problems with the cognition of China, itself and the world today, which is the root cause of the current difficult situation in the relations between the two countries and two militaries. As a US saying goes, “The time is always right to do what is right.” We hope that the US side has the courage to correct its mistakes, and join hands with China to provide a good answer to the question of how to have sound China-US relations, so as to bring benefits to the peoples of both countries and the rest of the world.

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