On the afternoon of June 16, Defense Ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang answered recent media queries concerning the military.
Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, 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 June 16, 2023. (Photo/mod.gov.cn)
Resume: Zhang Xiaogang, male, was born in Hebei Province in 1977. He was admitted to the former PLA Nanjing Political College in 1995 and served as an assistant researcher and political staff officer after graduation in 1999. Zhang Xiaogang holds the rank of senior colonel and was appointed deputy director-general of the Information Office of China's Ministry of National Defense in June 2022. Zhang has a doctorate degree in Science of Military Strategy from the Academy of Military Sciences. He is married and has a daughter.
Zhang Xiaogang: Hello, friends from the press, I am Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, deputy director-general of the Information Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and a new spokesperson for the MND. I used to study and work at the former PLA Nanjing Political College, the Academy of Military Sciences, the Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and other agencies, and got to know many journalists as colleagues in the field of military news and public communication. I wish to continue the sincere communication and close coordination with friends from the press in my new post, so as to timely convey information on China's national defense and military development in the new era, and make new efforts to tell stories about the Chinese military and make its voice heard.
I have one piece of news to announce on the top. At the invitation of the Ministry of Defense of Mongolia, the PLA Army will send a team to Mongolia in mid-June to participate in the Khaan Quest 2023 multinational peacekeeping exercise.
Question: President Xi Jinping wrote a reply letter to Bangladeshi child Alifa Chin recently. According to reports, Chin was born on China's naval hospital ship Peace Ark during its visit to Bangladesh. Female Chinese military doctors helped her mother give birth smoothly, and her father named her "Chin" which means "China" in Bangladeshi. What is your comment on this, please?
Answer: President Xi Jinping recently wrote back to Bangladeshi child Alifa Chin, encouraging her to study hard, pursue her dream and carry forward the traditional friendship between China and Bangladesh. Chin is the first "peace baby" born on China's naval hospital ship Peace Ark. Her personal experience is a miniature of the friendship between the two countries.
The hospital ship Peace Ark represents the Chinese military's efforts to embrace the world for peace and build a community with a shared future for mankind. It has traveled abroad 10 times and served 43 countries and regions, provided medical services to more than 250,000 people and delivered seven "peace babies", which is thus known as the "ship of life and hope". Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Chinese military has always kept in mind the instructions of President Xi, fulfilled the international responsibilities and obligations of the armed forces of a major country, comprehensively promoted international military cooperation in the new era, and actively provided public security goods including UN peacekeeping operations (UNPKOs), vessel protection operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. The Chinese military will continue to implement the Global Security Initiative (GSI) with concrete actions, and write more heartwarming stories of mutual assistance and shared future with sincerity and love.
Question: It is reported that multiple countries, including China, India, Italy, Pakistan and Russia, had recently dispatched naval vessels and delegations to participate in the 2023 Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK). Please tell us more about China's participation.
Answer: At the invitation of the Indonesian Navy, the PLA Navy's guided-missile destroyer Zhanjiang and guided-missile frigate Xuchang participated in the 2023 Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK) at the Indonesian city of Makassar and in the surrounding waters from June 5 to 8.
The exercise consisted of two phases– harbor phase and maritime joint exercise. The PLA Navy participated in the international maritime security symposium, maritime exhibition, international fleet review, civil medical service, civil engineering programs, cultural exchanges, and the maritime joint exercise. The troops also held discussions with foreign counterparts on military operations other than war (MOOTW), which deepened mutual understanding and trust, and enhanced their capacity to respond to natural disasters and maritime threats, as well as to conduct humanitarian aid.
Vessels sail in formation during 2023 Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo. (Photo by Zhang Huzhi)
Civil medical service event is held during 2023 Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo. (Photo by He Ya'nan)
Question: It is reported that some countries expressed concern and worry about Chinese and Russian militaries' joint strategic air patrol over the Western Pacific, the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. What's your comment, please?
Answer: The Chinese and Russian militaries carried out their routine joint strategic air patrol of 2023 on June 6 and 7, the sixth joint strategic patrol by the two militaries since 2019. It has effectively tested and raised the level of coordination between the two air forces. The patrol is not targeted at any third party, nor does it have anything to do with the current international or regional situation.
Question: It is reported that the Canadian defense minister recently announced that the Royal Canadian Navy will strengthen its annual deployment of naval vessels to the Indo-Pacific to three warships, and she described China as "an increasingly disruptive global power" on the world stage. What is your comment?
Answer: The relevant remarks by the Canadian side distort facts and confound black and white. We firmly oppose that. At the Shangri-La Dialogue not long ago, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Li Shangfu clearly stated that China implements the Global Security Initiative (GSI), advocates the establishment of an open, inclusive, transparent and equitable regional security cooperation architecture, and contributes Chinese wisdom and strength to maintaining regional and global peace and stability. In contrast, the Canadian side frequently sent military aircraft to China's vicinity for reconnaissance, and traveled thousands of miles with the US ships to pass through the Taiwan Strait to flex muscles. The international community can see clearly who is a "positive energy" for world peace and who is a "destroyer" for global security.
We urge the Canadian side to rectify its perception of China, act prudently in words and deeds on China-related issues, and do more to contribute to regional peace and stability.