Defense Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks on Recent Media Queries Concerning the Military

Ministry of National Defense
Huang Panyue
2023-09-20 13:56:05

I have a piece of news to announce at the top.

According to the annual plan and consensus of the two sides, the China-Cambodia "Peace Angel 2023" joint military medical service exercise will be held in Cambodia in mid-to-late September. This joint exercise will improve the interoperability and emergency response capabilities of the two militaries in medical service, and further deepen practical cooperation between the two militaries.

Question: It is reported that the China-Pakistan "Shaheen (Eagle)–X" joint air force training was held recently. Please give us more details on the joint training and comment on the current relations between the two militaries.

Answer: According to the annual international military cooperation plan, China and Pakistan held the "Shaheen– X" joint air force training in Jiuquan and Yinchuan, China from August 27 to September 13. This is the 10th joint training of its kind between the Chinese and Pakistani air forces. The training focused on typical combat scenarios such as joint air defense, joint countermeasures, and joint seizure-and-control. It aimed to further deepen practical cooperation, improve training and interoperability, and promote in-depth exchanges and cooperation on military technology between the two militaries. The joint training saw the participation of multiple types of aircraft such as fighter jets and airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, as well as ground forces including surface-to-air missiles, radar, and communications elements. The PLA Navy also sent aviation troops to participate in the training.

China-Pakistan friendship is rock-solid. The two militaries have maintained frequent high-level exchanges since the beginning of this year, achieving positive results in joint exercises and training, professional exchanges, personnel training, and equipment and technological cooperation. The Chinese military is willing to work with the Pakistani side to explore new areas of cooperation and build cultivate new highlights of cooperation to better cope with various security risks and challenges, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.

Question: It is reported that China and Singapore recently held the "Cooperation-2023" joint army training. What's your comment on the current mil-to-mil relations between China and Singapore?

Answer: The "Cooperation" joint army training is a traditional cooperation project between the Chinese and Singaporean militaries. This year's training marks the fifth of its kind. The joint training helps enhance the interoperability between the two armies, improve their real combat capabilities in counter-terrorism special operations, and further deepen practical cooperation between the two militaries.

In recent years, under the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, China-Singapore mil-to-mil relations have maintained a sound momentum. In April 2023, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong jointly announced the upgrading of the bilateral relations to an all-round, high-quality, future-oriented partnership, charting the course for the future development of bilateral ties. The Chinese military is willing to work with the Singapore side to implement the important consensus reached by the two leaders, strengthen high-level strategic communication, facilitate practical bilateral cooperation, reinforce multilateral exchanges and collaboration, and continuously promote high-quality development of the relations between the two militaries.

Question: It is reported that the PLA Army Engineering University recently organized training courses on demining for Cambodia and Laos. Please give us more details.

Answer: The PLA Army Engineering University organized training courses on demining for Cambodia and Laos from June to September. The two training courses were held at the same time in separate classes, with a total of 40 trainees. The courses were designed in accordance with the real mine challenges facing Cambodia and Laos and the characteristics of explosive remnants of war there. It focused on command, operations and management in the field of humanitarian mine action, strictly followed international policies, regulations and standards related to landmine issues, and comprised five parts including theoretical knowledge, special skills, real detonation operations, minefield simulation training and comprehensive exercises. In addition, new technologies, such as minefield inspection drones, explosive disposal robots, and laser demining and destruction, were also integrated into the courses.

On September 8, Cambodian and Lao officials including Ly Thuch, senior minister and first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), and MG. Saichay Kommasith, permanent secretary of defense of the Lao Ministry of Defense, as well as 32 delegates from 11 countries attending the High-level Regional Dialogue on “Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Resource Mobilization in ASEAN Mine/ERW Action” in Nanjing, participated in the comprehensive exercise and related activities for graduation. The delegates spoke highly of the training courses held by China, stating that the courses are a practical step taken by the Chinese military to implement the Global Security Initiative and serve the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. They further deepened China-ASEAN practical cooperation and traditional friendship in defense and security, and was conducive to regional peace and stability.

Question: It was reported that Philippine and US warships conducted their first joint patrol in the South China Sea. What's your comment?

Answer: We are closely following the relevant developments. China believes that defense and security cooperation between relevant countries should not harm the interests of third parties or regional peace and stability. The South China Sea is a shared home of regional countries. We firmly oppose the US meddling in the South China Sea issue for its selfish interests, flexing its muscles and stirring up troubles in the South China Sea under the pretext of "freedom of navigation" and undermining regional peace and stability. The Chinese military is resolute in safeguarding national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Question: According to reports, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities plan to purchase 14 Volcano vehicle-launched mine-laying systems from the US. Some in Taiwan say that turning into a "mine island" is a foregone conclusion for Taiwan. In addition, there are reports saying that Taiwan recently participated in a military exercise led by the US National Guard. Taiwan’s 2024 defense budget proposal indicates that some of the Tow and Javelin missiles purchased from the US will be delivered next year. What is your comment?

Answer: We strongly oppose any form of US official exchanges and military contacts with and arms sales to China's Taiwan region. We urge the US to honor its solemn commitment of not supporting "Taiwan independence", cease all forms of military contacts with Taiwan, and stop escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

The DPP authorities, in pursuit of their selfish interests, are not hesitant to use the hard-earned money of the Taiwan people to curry favor with the US and create cross-Strait antagonism and confrontation. Their actions are turning Taiwan into a "mine island" and an "ammunition depot", seriously harming the safety and well-being of Taiwan compatriots. The collusion between Taiwan and the US does nothing but harm and destroy Taiwan. Soliciting US support for "Taiwan independence" will only push Taiwan towards military conflict. The PLA will stay on high alert, and take resolute measures to thwart any form of "Taiwan independence" separatist activities and foreign attempts of interference, and defend China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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