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

Ministry of National Defense
Li Wei
2024-06-08 23:19:33

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 recent media queries concerning the military on the afternoon of May 30, 2024. (Photo/

Wu Qian: Friends from the media, good afternoon! Welcome to this month's regular press conference of the Ministry of National Defense. On my way here, fierce gales were blowing outside. Now it is pouring. If it still rains heavily after the press conference, you don’t need to rush back. You may take a rest here, and we'll provide WiFi service.

Wu Qian: According to our annual plan, the PLA Navy will dispatch the PLANS Xuchang from the 46th naval task group on escort missions to Nigeria for a multilateral joint exercise. Under the theme of counter-piracy and counter-oil theft, the exercise will include subjects such as vessel maneuvering, joint patrol and communications drill. The participation of the PLA Navy in the exercise will help deepen military exchanges and practical cooperation between China and relevant countries and promote the building of a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.

Question: It's reported that Defense Minister Admiral Dong Jun is paying a visit to Singapore and will attend the Shangri-La Dialogue. Please brief us on more details about this. The US Department of Defense announced that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin would hold talks with Chinese Defense Minister on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue. Can you confirm this?

Wu Qian: We have issued a press release on our Defense Minister's attendance at the Shangri-La Dialogue and his visit to Singapore. We will provide more updates in due course.

The Chinese side believes that high-level strategic communication between the Chinese and US militaries helps to stabilize the mil-to-mil relations and enhancing mutual understanding. The Chinese side remains open about this.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers recent media queries concerning the military on the afternoon of May 30, 2024. (Photo/

Question: President Xi Jinping recently held meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin who was on a visit to China upon invitation. The joint statement signed by the two sides pointed out that bilateral defense cooperation is steadily advancing on the basis of high-level strategic mutual trust. Please brief us on the development of China-Russia military ties in recent years.

Wu Qian: On May 16th, President Xi Jinping held meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin who was on his state visit to China upon invitation, drawing a new blueprint for the growth of state-to-state and mil-to-mil relations. According to the signed Joint Statement on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era, the two sides will further enhance military mutual trust and coordination, expand joint exercises and training, organize regular joint maritime and air patrols, and strengthen coordination and cooperation under bilateral and multilateral frameworks, so as to continuously improve capabilities for jointly addressing risks and challenges.

Over the years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era has enjoyed a robust growth. The two militaries continue to deepen substantive cooperation in areas including high-level engagement, exchanges in specialized fields and joint exercises and training. This has contributed to growing traditional friendship between the two countries and militaries, safeguarding common interests and preserving peace and stability in the region and the world.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. The Chinese military is ready to work with its Russian counterpart to follow through on the important consensus reached between the two heads of state, step up strategic communication and coordination and strengthen military mutual trust. The two sides will make concerted efforts to deliver on the Global Security Initiative (GSI) and safeguard international equity and justice, in a bid to make new contributions to maintaining global and regional security and stability and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Question: Recently, the PLA carried out the "Joint Sword - 2024A" military exercise around the Taiwan island. Has this exercise reached its expected objectives? Will the PLA continue to carry out "Joint Sword 2024B", or even "C" and "D" exercises of the series in the future?

Wu Qian: The "Joint Sword - 2024A" military exercise conducted by the PLA Eastern Theater Command was a heavy blow to the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and a warning against foreign interference. We have reached the expected objectives. As for whether there will be future exercises codenamed "Joint Sword 2024 B, C, D", I want to say that each time "Taiwan independence" separatists make provocations, they will be responded with stronger countermeasures from the PLA, until China is completely reunified. The PLA has a glorious tradition of "three don't believes" which originated from Yang Gensi, a hero of the Chinese People's Volunteers: we don't believe there are impossible missions, we don't believe there are unconquerable difficulties, and we don't believe there are invincible enemies.

Question: The US Department of Defense recently released its Freedom of Navigation Report for Fiscal Year 2023. According to the report, during the period from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023, US forces operationally challenged 29 different "excessive maritime claims" advanced by 17 different countries and regions including China. What's your comment on this?

Wu Qian: The so-called "freedom of navigation" is a false proposition. Take the South China Sea as an example, it is untenable for the US to make an issue of "freedom of navigation" when the South China Sea is one of the world's freest and safest waters for navigation. The true purpose of the US is to use it as an excuse for meddling in regional affairs and maintaining its own hegemony. The Chinese side always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight entitled to countries under international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). However, there is a huge difference between navigation and trespassing and between freedom and willfulness. We firmly stand against "willful trespassing" and oppose any country conducting unlawful provocations in the name of "freedom of navigation" to harm the sovereignty and security of coastal countries and undermine regional peace and stability.

The US liked to choose unilateral and reckless actions over communication when problems occur, and they do need to change this old habit now. We ask the US side to earnestly respect the sovereignty and security of regional countries, and stop provoking troubles and walking down the wrong path. The PLA will take resolute measures to firmly safeguard our national sovereignty and security and maintain regional peace and stability.

Question: It's reported that an African delegation of middle and junior level officers recently visited China. Please brief us on more details.

Wu Qian: At the invitation of the Ministry of National Defense, a delegation of nearly 100 middle and junior level officers from more than 40 African countries visited China. During the trip, the delegation visited cities including Beijing, Changsha, Shaoshan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, attended seminars on the theme of "the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Africa Community with a Shared Future" and "National Security and Scientific and Technological Development Strategy", toured military units and high-tech and defense industrial enterprises and conducted exchanges with their Chinese counterparts. This is the third visit of this kind organized by the Ministry of National Defense of China. Such visits are designed to strengthen mutual understanding and engagement between young officers, renew traditional friendship between the Chinese and African militaries and build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.

Question: I have three questions. First, at the very beginning you mentioned that it was raining heavily outside. Media outlets recently often use the phrase "high winds and strong waves" when describing the situation in the Taiwan Strait. How does the Ministry of National Defense assess the situation? Second, after the Eastern Theater Command recently conducted drills around the Taiwan island, Taiwan's military authorities said that the PLA's exercises had changed the status quo of regional peace and stability and its troops was closely monitoring PLA actions. It also released photos showing a PLA J-16 aircraft locked by its F-16 fighter jet. What is your comment on this? The third question is about Defense Minister's meeting with the US Secretary of Defense during the Shangri-La Dialogue. Some analysts believe that this marks the full restoration of China-US military communication. However, the US has not stopped its military provocations in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. Will this meeting ease the tension between the Chinese and US militaries?

Wu Qian: On your first question, recently, with the provocations of "Taiwan independence" separatists and the interference of external forces, the situation in the Taiwan Strait has escalated. The PLA is always combat-ready to resolutely thwart any forms of "Taiwan independence" separatist attempts. As for the "high winds and strong waves" you just mentioned, the PLA has full confidence to "sit tight on the fishing boat despite the rising wind and waves".

Regarding the second question, it seems to me that some Taiwan media outlets always like to publish some self-satisfied news, which stems from a misperception of their own strength.

On the third question, recently, under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, the Chinese and US militaries have stepped up communication and exchanges. This momentum does not come by easily and thus should be cherished dearly. But I also need to point out that the US side has been provoking confrontation with China in disregard of China's core interests and major concerns on certain questions. This is the root cause of the instabilities in China-US mil-to-mil relations. We hope that the US side will work with us in the same direction, earnestly implement the important consensus between the two heads of state and uphold the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation, so as to add more positive factors to the mil-to-mil relations. As for whether the two defense chiefs will meet on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue, we will hold a press briefing in time if that happens and we welcome your attention and coverage.

Question: This year marks the 105th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement. President Xi Jinping said recently that young people should carry forward the spirit of the May Fourth Movement, unswervingly follow the instructions and guidance of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and live youth to the full by taking due responsibility to contribute to Chinese modernization. Could you please tell us what measures has the PLA taken to implement the important instructions of President Xi?

Wu Qian: The Chinese military has taken three measures to study and implement the important instructions by President Xi on May 4th. First, the PLA and the PAP carried out thematic education of "Taking Due Responsibilities on the New Journey Towards Building a Strong Military". According to the notice issued by the CMC Political Work Department, organizations of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) at all levels thoroughly studied the instructions, carried out activities including mass education, exemplary deeds sharing and admission ceremonies, and put what they have learned into real practices. The activities encouraged CYLC members to strengthen loyalty to the Party, hone capabilities to fight and win, cultivate a practical work style, and achieve new feats. Second, the CMC Political Work Department and the CYLC Central Committee jointly organized representatives of military and civilian youth role models to share their stories with military personnel in primary-level units. From May 7th to 15th, sixteen young representatives in two groups went to Shaanxi, Shanxi, Yunnan and Guangxi and visited eleven military units at regiment and brigade levels, three military academies and two junior military schools. Through the firsthand experience of interacting with the representatives and learning form their stories, young service members and students had a stronger sense of mission to contribute to building a strong country with a strong military. On May 6th, the first experiences-sharing meeting was held in the Beijing Aerospace City, live-broadcasted by 25 mainstream media and watched by around 2,680,000 people online. Third, we launched an online publicity and education campaign under the theme of "Paying Tribute to Heroes". It is jointly hosted by "China Bugle", "Bayi Youth Formation" and the CYLCCC new media platform. The goal of the campaign was to pay tribute to martyrs and heroes of our times, spread their stories and carry forward their revolutionary traditions through activities such as online exhibition about hero's and role models, singing classic military songs, reciting heroes' stories, showing revolutionary films, and thematic live-streaming programs. The campaign built an online platform for educating the military and civilian youth with heroic culture.

Working hard is the brightest color of youth, and taking actions is the best trial for young people. Young officers and soldiers will internalize the care and encouragement of President Xi, firmly follow the instructions and guidance of the Party, and live life to the full and make dreams come true while contributing to the cause of building a strong military.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers recent media queries concerning the military on the afternoon of May 30, 2024. (Photo/

Question: It is reported that Lai Ching-te, leader of the Taiwan region, delivered a so-called "inaugural speech" on May 20th, claiming that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait "are not subordinate to each other", and the Chinese mainland's military operations are "the greatest strategic challenges to peace and stability". He also clamored for "not harbor any delusion as we pursue the ideal of peace" and "strengthen national defense". What's your comment?

Wu Qian: Lai Ching-te's address is full of deception to Taiwan compatriots and hostility against people in the Chinese mainland. He brownnosed his "foreign master" and harbors the delusion for "seeking independence by force". This is a confession of his attempt to solicit external support and use force for "Taiwan independence". The PLA firmly opposes this and responds with strong countermeasures.

Taiwan has been China's territory since ancient times. This is backed by clear historical and jurisprudential basis. The 1943 Cairo Declaration and the 1945 Potsdam Proclamation clearly stipulated that Taiwan, a Chinese territory stolen by Japan, shall be restored to China. UNGA Resolution 2758 made it clear that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. Just several days ago, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General explicitly said that Taiwan is "a province of China". In disregard of this fact, the DPP authorities have been hellbent on the separatist stance of "Taiwan independence", provoke antagonism and confrontation across the Strait and act as a pawn of foreign forces to contain China. Its behaviors seriously challenge the international order and severely damage regional peace. "Taiwan independence" separatist activities constitute the biggest real threat to peace across the Taiwan Strait.

The trend of the world is surging forward. Those who follow the trend will prosper; those who go against it will perish. China's national reunification is the overwhelming and irresistible trend of history. "Taiwan independence" means war, and division brings no peace. With the sacred mission of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity on our shoulders, the PLA is fully prepared and stays highly vigilant. We will take resolute actions to smash any "Taiwan independence" separatist attempts and thwart any foreign interference.

Question: Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro declined to comment on the exercise carried out by the PLA Eastern Theater Command around the Taiwan island, and said that it is an internal matter of China. Do you have any comment on this?

Wu Qian: Taiwan is part of China. This has been wildly recognized by the international community including the Philippines.

Question: I have two questions. The first is that the US Department of State said in a statement that the United States is deeply concerned over the People's Liberation Army joint military drills around Taiwan, and urged China to act with restraint. The US Department of Defense spokesperson said that the US is closely monitoring the drills and is concerned about this. What's your comment on this? The second question is that the CCG task group 2304 conducted comprehensive law enforcement exercises in waters to the east of the Taiwan island on May 24th. The exercises focused on subjects including identification and verification, and warning and repelling and tested the vessels' capabilities of joint patrol and emergency response. This is the first time for the CCG to announce an operation in the waters east of the Taiwan island. What message does this send?

Wu Qian: On your first question, Taiwan is part of China and how to resolve the Taiwan question is a matter for over 1.4 billion Chinese people. The US side is in no position to point fingers at China. The fundamental approach to easing tension in the Taiwan Strait is to stop any "Taiwan independence" separatist activities and external interference. National reunification is the common aspiration of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. The PLA will speak with actions and always be the vanguard in fighting "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and pursuing national reunification.

On your second question, we have released official information on this and I'd refer you to the China Coast Guard for more details. Just now you asked what message it sends. I think the message is pretty clear, that is, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.

Question: I have two questions. The first is that it's reported that China's newly appointed ambassador to India recently said in an interview that the Chinese and Indian militaries had disengaged at four points. However, the Indian External Affairs Minister said that in 2020 China violated multiple agreements by deploying a large number of forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). And given the strained India-China relations, India should not disregard the security challenges of the country. What's your comment on this? The second question is that recently, the Philippines has stepped up infringements in the South China Sea by staging accidents and playing the victim, and carried out organized provocations. The Philippine side said that its navy would not recognize the bans imposed by the Chinese side in the South China Sea, including the summer fishing moratorium. What is your comment on this?

Wu Qian: On your first question. The remarks of the Indian side are not consistent with the fact. The rights and wrongs of the tension in the China-India border areas in 2020 are crystal clear. It was caused by the Indian side's provocations with illegal border-crossing in violation of the agreements and protocols signed by the two sides and the basic norms governing international relations. Thus, the responsibility does not lie with the Chinese side. Since then, the Chinese side has maintained communications with the Indian side through diplomatic and military channels. The current situation in the border areas is generally stable. We hope the Indian side can work with us in the same direction to reach a mutually acceptable resolution through dialogue and consultation at an early date.

Regarding your second question, I'd refer you to the competent authorities for more information. In principle, the PLA will take resolute measures to protect the peaceful labor of Chinese fishermen.

Question: I have three questions. First, it's reported that the PLA Air Force recently sent a delegation to Nigeria to attend the 3rd Africa Air Force Forum and celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Nigerian Air Force. Please introduce more details. Second, in mid May, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Japan would provide a loan worth more than 400 million dollars to the Philippines for the acquisition of five patrol-capable multi-role response vessels (MRRVs). Some analysts pointed out that this move was aimed at confronting the CCG in the waters of Huangyan Dao. What's your comment? Third, the US Pacific Fleet announced on May 22 that the 2024 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise will be held on June 26, and 29 Pacific countries including Japan and the Philippines will participate in the exercise. The press release said that the exercise would enhance the capability to deter and defeat aggression by major powers. Some analysts say it is clearly aimed at containing China. What's your comment?

Wu Qian: On your first question, at the invitation of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the PLA Air Force sent a delegation to Nigeria to attend the 3rd Africa Air Force Forum with the theme of "Nigerian Air Force at 60: Leveraging Strategic Partnerships in Aerospace Innovations for Regional Security" and participate in celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the NAF. This visit aims at strengthening friendly exchanges and substantive cooperation between the Chinese and Nigerian militaries and promoting the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future.

Regarding your second question, China firmly opposes cooperation between Japan and the Philippines targeting any third party and undermining regional peace and stability. Nansha Qundao is China's inherent territory and the Chinese side will firmly safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

The third question is about the RIMPAC. We are closely following relevant developments. We firmly oppose countries concerned piecing together targeted "small cliques" that undermine regional peace and stability. The Chinese people love peace, but we were not, are not and will never be cowed by external forces.

Question: Some analysts believe that China will continue to increase the frequency of military exercises, including joint military exercises with other countries. Does China plan to increase the frequency of military exercises in the next few years? What is the purpose of this?

Wu Qian: As for the frequency of exercises you mentioned, I think the country who holds exercises most frequently is another major country on the other side of the Pacific, not China. And for the purposes of our exercises, first, it is to improve the PLA's ability to resist aggression and strengthen national defense. Second, it is to promote friendship and mutual trust between China and other participating countries.

Question: The US military recently deployed the Typhon Mid-Range Capability missile system to the Philippines for joint exercises. Some analysts believe that this is an important part of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy and is obviously targeted at China. What's your comment, please?

Wu Qian: The US side recently deployed a Mid-Range Capability (MRC) missile system to the Philippines under the excuse of military exercises. This is the first time the US has deployed a mid-range missile system overseas and to the Asia-Pacific since the end of the Cold War. It’s also the first time the US has deployed such kind of weapon since it withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 2019. What the US and the Philippines did has put the whole Asia-Pacific region under the threat of US weaponry. Such moves cause great risk of war and will seriously impact the security architecture and undermine peace and stability in the region. The Chinese side is highly vigilant against and firmly opposed to this.

The mid-range missile system is a strategic and offensive weapon reminiscent of the Cold War. The US attempts to turn back the wheel of history, provokes bloc confrontation, strengthens military alliance, and squeezes the security space of other countries. This will break strategic balance in the region and create new tension and antagonism. The Philippines chooses to tie itself onto the US chariot, which severely deviates from the guiding principles for ASEAN countries, severely violates the spirit of the ASEAN Charter, severely undercuts the principles of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and undermines the ASEAN-led architecture of regional cooperation. Those who invite wolves into their house will get bitten and those who pull chestnuts out of fire for others can only get themselves burnt. We urge the US and the Philippines to respect the security concerns of regional countries and immediately stop these dangerous acts.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers recent media queries concerning the military on the afternoon of May 30, 2024. (Photo/

Question: It is reported that China has signed agreements with multiple countries on the protection and management of overseas martyr memorial facilities and has sent delegations to relevant countries for site surveys and exchanges. So far, China has completed protection projects in countries including the DPRK, Ethiopia and Zambia. Could you please share more information with us?

Wu Qian: The Party, the country and the military always set great store by the work of honoring Chinese martyrs overseas. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, President Xi Jinping has made important instructions and directives on honoring martyrs, and visited overseas martyr memorial facilities multiple times. Under the unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, major headway has been made in the protection and management of overseas martyr memorial facilities.

First, we actively advanced renovation and protection of overseas martyr memorial facilities. Up to now, China has completed renovation projects for cemeteries of the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) martyrs at five places in the DPRK, including Hoechang County and Kaesong, and started renovating six more cemeteries, including one in Hyongjesan-Guyok, Pyongyang. We are moving forward the renovation and protection of nearly twenty memorial facilities in over ten countries, including the Tazara Memorial Park and the monument honoring fallen soldiers of the Chinese Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Myitkyina, Myanmar.

Second, we made steady progress in protecting remains of martyrs overseas. Since 2014, we have worked with the ROK annually to bring back remains of 938 CPV martyrs from the ROK for reburial to pay the highest tribute to the martyrs. We have also organized searches for the remains of fallen members of the CEF who made the ultimate sacrifice overseas during the World Anti-Fascist War, and have built special memorial facilities for reburial.

Third, we strengthened international exchanges and cooperation on the work of honoring Chinese martyrs overseas. China has signed 26 cooperation agreements on the protection and management of overseas martyr memorial facilities with countries including the DPRK, the ROK, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Russia. We have completed site surveys of nearly 100 overseas martyr memorial facilities in 15 countries (regions). This laid a solid foundation for better protecting and managing these memorial facilities.

As President Xi points out, a nation without heroes has no future, and a promising nation cannot live without vanguards. Remembrance is for a better start of a new journey. The best way to honor heroes is to have more heroes in future generations. The Chinese military will carry forward the spirit of heroes and strive to accomplish the heroic feats of our generation.

Question: I have two questions. The first is that according to Japanese media reports, 20 field officers from China visited Japan in the second half of May. Some analysts said that it was the first PLA officers delegation to Japan since 2019. Could you confirm this? The second is that will the CCG conduct regular patrols and law enforcement operations in the waters east of the Taiwan island?

Wu Qian: On your first question. The PLA sent its 13th delegation of junior and mid-level officers to Japan from May 14th to20th at the invitation of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. During the visit, the delegation went to the Japanese Ministry of Defense and the National Institute for Defense Studies, and had exchanges and discussions there. They also visited the Medical Service School of the Ground Self-Defense Force, the Komaki Air Base of the Air Self-Defense Force and the Maizuru Naval Base of the Maritime Self-Defense Force. We are willing to continue to work with the Japanese side to enhance mutual understanding, build up consensus and manage differences, so as to promote defense relations between the two countries.

Regarding the second question, I'd refer you to the CCG for more details. In principle, we will make independent decisions based on the development of the situation.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers recent media queries concerning the military on the afternoon of May 30, 2024. (Photo/

Question: It is reported that the Chinese and Mongolian militaries recently held the China-Mongolia "Steppe Partner-2024" joint army training. Please share with us relevant information and highlights of the training.

Wu Qian: The PLA and the Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) organized the first joint army training "Steppe Partner-2024" in Dornogovi Province of Mongolia. This training is of great significance to deepening the China-Mongolia comprehensive strategic partnership, improving interoperability and safeguarding regional security and stability. There are three points to highlight about this joint training. First, joint and integrated command and control. The two sides set up a joint command post to determine operational purpose and principles of command, formulate action plans and detail the operational process, in a bid to explore and improve joint command mechanisms. Second, real-combat standard. With the focus of "Combating Illegal Armed Groups", the two sides studied and conducted drills on specific operations including joint reconnaissance, collaborative strike and encirclement and annihilation, and tested the tactics of "in-depth precision strike on key targets", "converging assault from multiple directions" and "encirclement and elimination in segmented regions" with real-combat standard. Such design fully tested and improved the two sides' capabilities of collaborative strike. Third, exchanges and cooperation featuring mutual trust and friendship. During the training, the two sides carried out military sports competitions, cultural performance and other activities. The joint training is not only a practical platform to enhance interoperability, but also a great opportunity to strengthen friendship, mutual trust and cooperation between the two militaries.

China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations. The PLA is ready to follow through on the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and step up substantive cooperation with the MAF on defense and security. China and Mongolia will always be amiable neighbors helping each other, reliable partners sharing mutual benefit and close friends making frequent exchanges.

Question: I have two questions. First, just now you mentioned that the inaugural speech made by Lai Ching-te is a confession of his attempts for "Taiwan independence", and recently, the PLA carried out military exercises around the Taiwan island. You also said that Taiwan independence means war and division brings no peace, and reiterated the PLA's position of fighting against "Taiwan independence" separatists and pursuing reunification. Is it still possible for cross-Strait relations to develop peacefully? What are the ways to reduce military tension? Second, in early April, China and the US militaries held the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meeting in Hawaii. Did the Chinese side notify the US military of this military exercise in advance? Will stronger support from US politicians to Taiwan affect the restored communication mechanisms between the two militaries?

Wu Qian: As for your first question, we are willing to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with greatest sincerity and utmost efforts, but we make no promise to renounce the use of force. "Taiwan independence" separatist forces are the biggest real threat to peace across the Taiwan Strait. As long as they exist, the Taiwan Strait will not be stable. The PLA has the confidence and capability to safeguard our sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

On your second question, why do we need to communicate with the US beforehand? The Taiwan question is purely China's internal affair and brooks no external interference. We ask the US side to stop its official exchanges and military contacts with Taiwan, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and take concrete actions to create a favorable atmosphere for exchanges between the two militaries.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers recent media queries concerning the military on the afternoon of May 30, 2024. (Photo/

Question: May 29th is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. The MND Peacekeeping Affairs Center recently held a reception in Beijing to commemorate this day. Please give us more details on the participation of the Chinese military in UN peacekeeping operations.

Wu Qian: On May 25th, the MND Peacekeeping Affairs Center held a reception in Beijing to mark the 22nd International Day of UN Peacekeepers. Officials from UN agencies in China, diplomatic missions of main troop and fund-contributing countries for UN peacekeeping operations, the representative office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Public Security of China, attended the reception.

China upholds peace and honors our commitment with real actions. We have actively participated in UN peacekeeping operations. China is a main contributor to both UN peacekeeping assessments and the UN's regular budget, and the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. In recent years, the PLA has earnestly implemented the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, built an 8,000-strong standby peacekeeping force, and sent more than 50,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping missions in over 20 countries and regions. As we speak, over 1,700 PLA peacekeepers are performing their duties in 6 mission areas, including South Sudan, Lebanon and the Abyei Area, making positive contributions to world peace and common development.

In the new era, the Chinese military will thoroughly deliver on the pledges announced by President Xi Jinping during the UN Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping. Guided by the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind, we will step up our support for and participation in UN peacekeeping operations to bring greater confidence in and hope of peace and development to conflict zones. Facts show that the PLA has become a critical element and key force in the UN peacekeeping operations and will bring more positive energy to world peace and development.

Question: UK Defense Secretary recently said that deepening relations between China and Russia as the West struggles to arm Ukraine is a "threat" to the West. US State Secretary Antony Blinken recently said at a Congress hearing that the US had not seen China sending actual weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, but China is providing overwhelming support to Russia's defense industrial base. What's your comment on this?

Wu Qian: Relevant remarks made by the UK politician reflect nothing but the Cold-War mentality and are intended to instigate confrontation. We strongly deplore and firmly oppose that. China and Russia uphold the principles of non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of any third party, and have established a new type of major country relations which is completely different from the Cold War pattern. The sound and stable growth of China-Russia relationship not only serves the fundamental interests of our two countries and two peoples, but also contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world. We urge the UK side to stop making unfounded accusations against China, reflect on itself and do things that are truly conducive to world peace and security.

We firmly oppose the US side shifting blame to China. China stays committed to promoting peace talks and finding a political settlement of the crisis. Unlike the US side, we don't deliberately protract wars for profiteering. The Chinese side always adopts a prudent and responsible attitude towards export of military products, and strictly manages export of dual-use articles. Statistics show that Russia imports more than 60% of weapon components and dual-use items from western countries. The US side, on the one hand, provides military aid to Ukraine at an unprecedented level, and on the other hand, makes baseless accusations against normal economic and trade activities between China and Russia. This is textbook double standard and is extremely hypocritical and irresponsible.

Question: The Philippines sent a very big delegation to participate in the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue and the Philippine president will deliver a keynote speech. The Chinese and Philippine militaries have not had many exchanges recently and the Philippine side did not send anyone to attend the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) held at the end of April. On the sidelines of this Shangri-La Dialogue, will the two sides have any meeting or dialogue?

Wu Qian: As for whether the Chinese side and the Philippine side will meet with each other on the sidelines of this Shangri-La Dialogue, we will release information in time if we have any updates.

Question: Chinese new rules on administrative law enforcement procedures for Coast Guard will take effect on June 15th. Could the Ministry clarify if Article 257 applies to the waters in the South China Sea? And As the Philippine President said, the new rules, if implemented, could result in an escalation of tensions in the South China Sea and are worrisome. Does the Defense Ministry have a comment?

Wu Qian: I'd refer you to the China Coast Guard for more details about the "Regulations on Administrative Law Enforcement Procedures for Coast Guard Agencies".

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), answers recent media queries concerning the military on the afternoon of May 30, 2024. (Photo/

Wu Qian: Before we conclude, please allow me to introduce our special guest today. She is from China Bugle app, the newly launched mobile platform of the PLA News Media Center where loads of military-related information people are interested in is first released, such as major military news and updates on military enrollment. Now, who is this special guest? Please turn to the screen.

Mulan: Good afternoon, Mr. Spokesperson. I'm Mulan, the first digital military journalist of China Bugle app. It's my first time to attend the MND regular press conference and I feel a little bit nervous. I'm really impressed by the lively atmosphere and all the valuable information you can get here.

Wu Qian: Welcome, Mulan. I've heard about you before. You share the same surname with Mu Guiying, and the last character with the name of Hua Mulan. Both are famous heroines in ancient China. Thank you for following the MND press conference. Please feel free to ask any questions.

Mulan: Thank you, I have a question about the China-Cambodia joint exercise. Not long ago, China-Cambodia joint exercise "Golden Dragon-2024" attracted wild attention. My colleagues also went to the site to report on it. This exercise showcased a lot of technologies. Some foreign media outlets said that the robot dog unveiled in the drill will be an effective Close Quarter Battle weapon for the PLA. Please introduce the main features and highlights of the exercise.

Wu Qian: From May 16th to 30th, the PLA and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) jointly organized the "Golden Dragon-2024" joint military exercise in Kampong Chhnang Province and waters off the Sihanoukville port. This is a solid step to deliver on the important consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries as well as the relevant arrangements made in the Joint Statement on Building a China-Cambodia Community with a Shared Future in the New Era. The exercise also serves as an important platform for exchanges and mutual learning between and realistic training of the two militaries. "Golden Dragon-2024" is the 6th edition of China-Cambodia joint military exercise, and it has three main features. First, more emphasis on building a community of shared security. Under the theme of "joint counter-terrorism and humanitarian assistance operations", the subjects designed and organized in the exercise did not target any third party and had nothing to do with the current regional situation and sensitive topics. This reflects the determination of the two sides to safeguard regional peace and development and advance the building of a community of shared security. During the joint exercise, the PLA contingent donated school and medical supplies to a local school and a medical center. Second, greater interoperability between services and arms. As agreed through consultation, the two sides sent troops from army, navy, air force and joint logistics support force. The participating troops were regrouped into mixed teams, and conducted coordinated operations in different battlefields. The exercise honed their capabilities in commanding, coordination and logistics support to advance the interoperability of the two militaries. Third, wilder use of new combat capabilities. Different types of drones and robot dogs performed tasks including joint battlefield reconnaissance, low-altitude real-time guidance and targeted strike in the exercise. They played an important role in operations such as hostage-rescue in urban blocks, encirclement and elimination in mountainous regions and camps, and maritime anti-hijacking, and made the exercise more digitalized and intelligent.

Friendship and solidarity between China and Cambodia are as solid as iron and steel. The Chinese side is ready to work hand in hand with the Cambodian side to comprehensively implement the important consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries, act on the Global Development Initiative and make greater efforts to build a high-quality, high-level, and high-standard China-Cambodia community with a shared future in the new era.

Next, please watch a short video.

Wu Qian: Thank you, Mulan! Thank you, everyone. This concludes today’s press conference. I think the rain should stop by now.

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