Senior Colonel Wu Qian, deputy director of the Information Office of China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) and spokesperson for the MND, answers reporters' questions at a regular press conference on March 30, 2017. (mod.gov.cn/Li Aiming)
(The following English text of the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretations, the Chinese text shall prevail.)
Senior Colonel Wu Qian: Dear friends from the media, good afternoon! Welcome to this month’s regular press conference of the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on this spring day.
Today also present here are friends from a seminar on spokesperson’s training organized by the Communication University of China (CUC). Thank you for coming!
I have two announcements to make at the beginning.
The first is about Swiss Defense Minister’s visit to China.
At the invitation of General Chang Wanquan, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, Swiss Defense Minister Parmelin will pay a visit to China from March 30 to April 3, 2017.
During the visit, Gen. Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and Gen. Chang Wanquan, State Councilor and Defense Minister, will meet and hold talks with him respectively, and exchange views with him on bilateral and mil-to-mil relations, international and regional security situations, and other issues of common interest.
The visit will also take the Swiss Defense Minister Parmelin and his entourage to an army aviation unit and an air force military academy of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Through this visit, the two sides wish to implement the important consensus reached between the two countries during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Switzerland in January this year, further enhance high-level exchanges between the two defense establishments, and promote the in-depth development of mil-to-mil relations.
The second announcement is about the Defense Strategic Dialogue between Chinese and French Defense Ministries.
The 13th Defense Strategic Dialogue between Chinese and French Defense Ministries will be held in Beijing from April 3 to 7, 2017. The Joint Staff Department of the CMC and the General Directorate for International Relations and Strategic Affairs of the French Ministry of Defense will jointly host the consultation. The two sides will exchange views on China-France mil-to-mil relationship, international and regional security situations and other issues of common concern.
Question: Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Trump are to meet each other soon. We noticed that, this year, there haven’t been many exchanges between the two militaries. Experience tells us that the two militaries should have conducted a number of high-level exchanges before February, but it is not the case this year. How would you comment on this?
My second question is about the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. It is likely that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is going to have a new round of nuclear test recently, and the US and the Republic of Korea(ROK) have beefed up their military deployment in the ROK. It is reported that China has also enhanced its military presence along the border area. Could you please confirm?
Answer: Mil-to-mil relationship is an important component of China-US bilateral ties. To develop China-US mil-to-mil relationship accords with the common interests of both sides and is conducive to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.
Since the beginning of this year, China-US military relations have been developing smoothly. In mid January, the two sides conducted the 12th China-US Defense Policy Consultation Talk in the US. In late February, the US Air Force War College delegation visited China. In mid-March, a Chinese work team visited the US to attend the planning conference for the China-US Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise and exchange, during which a lot of consensus has been reached. In early April, the People’s Liberation Army(PLA) military medicine delegation and the PLA Air Force Command College delegation will visit the US, and the US War College delegation will visit China. Within this year, the two sides will conduct exchanges and cooperation in high-level delegation visits, institutionalized dialogues, warship port calls and joint exercises and training.
Just as Chinese President Xi Jinping has pointed out, cooperation is the only right option for China and the US. We are willing to make joint efforts with the US side, uphold the principle of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, have a vision for future while keeping our feet on the ground and expand exchanges and cooperation while properly managing differences so as to maintain a stable mil-to-mil relationship while striving to make new achievements.
Your second question is a hypothetical one. I won’t answer hypothetical question. What I can tell you is that the Chinese military is maintaining the normal level of combat preparedness and training.
Question: When attending the plenary meeting of the PLA delegation to the 5th Session of the 12th National People’s Congress, President Xi Jinping pointed out that greater efforts should be made to cultivate military talents by utilizing both civilian and military resources, to cultivate and introduce more talents to the military, and to improve the scientific and technological capabilities of the officers and soldiers, which should be considered as a matter of fundamental importance. What are the concrete measures to be taken by the military in this regard?
Answer: President Xi attaches great importance to talents cultivation for the armed forces and has made a series of important instructions on this issue, stressing on several occasions that we should strive to build a world–class strong military by adopting the strategy of cultivating high-caliber and new-type military talents capable of building a strong military force.
Currently, the civil-military integration is undergoing in-depth development. Deepening reform of national defense and armed forces is entering a substantive stage. A new system of three-in-one talent cultivation will gradually be formed and optimized with joint operation military academy training as a core, single service special profession military college training as the foundation, and the training of military personnel in civilian educational institutions as a complementary approach, so as to laid a solid foundation for the military talent cultivation in the new situation.
In accordance with the overall arrangement of the CMC, the military has formulated and implemented the plan for armed force development during the period of 13th Five Year Plan. One important aspect of the plan is to make systematic management and top-level design for talent cultivation for the armed forces. Talent is the key factor in strengthening the military through science and technology. Therefore, cultivating talents for the military by combining civilian and military resources should be regarded as an issue of strategic importance, and efforts will be made to deepen civil-military integrated talent cultivation, so as to optimize the utilization of civilian educational institutions, make full use of the high-caliber talent pool of the state and attract more civilian talents to join the armed forces. In the new situation, efforts will also be made to train officers and soldiers and improve their capability in science and technology, to push forward the in-depth reform of military human resource, to enhance the quality of talent cultivation, and to train enough qualified personnel for realizing the goal of building a strong military.
Question: According to the Yonhap News Agency, two sets of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers and other equipment have already been shipped to the US military base in the ROK, and troops and the remaining equipment are expected to arrive in the ROK within one or two months. Some analyses claim that the THAAD system will start operation as early as in April. What is your comment?
My second question is that the development of China’s home-made aircraft carrier has attracted a lot of attention from the public since this year. It is speculated by some media that the home-made aircraft carrier will be commissioned on April 23, the day marking the founding of the Chinese PLA Navy. Could you please disclose some further good news?
Answer: The Chinese side has expressed its opposition to the deployment of the THAAD system by the US and the ROK in the ROK on many occasions. We have also explained very clearly the reasons for our opposition. I’d like to stress the following two points: firstly, the deployment of the THAAD system will definitely not make the ROK any safer; secondly, the Chinese military’s opposition to the deployment of the THAAD system will definitely not stay on words only.
About your second question, the first home-made aircraft carrier of China is conducting outfitting, and relevant work is forging ahead very smoothly. As to the further good news that you have mentioned, I think that you won’t be kept waiting for too long.
Question: On March 22, the helicopter frigate Kaga of the Japanese Maritime Self-defense Forces (JMSDF) was officially commissioned and a senior official of the Japanese Ministry of Defense claimed that the Kaga helicopter frigate will enhance the overseas power projection capability of Japan, in order to deal with the increasing influence of China in Asia. The Kaga was the name of the main battleship of Japan in the last century during the War of Aggression against China. What is your response?
Answer: With China’s peaceful development, the rise of China’s influence is an objective fact. It is not something that a certain country or any force can contain.
As you have mentioned, the Kaga was one of the main battleships of the Japanese military during its War of Aggression against China and it was sunk by the American military during the Midway Sea Battle. I do not understand why the Japanese side is so obsessed with the names used by its military during WWII. Is it because the Japanese side does not want to have a clear break from its militarist history, or is it a deliberate provocation meant to hurt the feelings of the people of victimized countries of WWII ? Japan’s resurrection of the ghost of the militarism is worthy of high vigilance.
Question: During last year’s Xiangshan Forum, China and Russia announced that the two countries would hold the second missile defense joint exercise in 2017. Has the date for the exercise been finalized? Will the computer exercise be upgraded to the live-troop exercise? Are the two sides considering to make such joint exercise routine, say, once in a year?
The second question is that the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces minister visited China and held talks with the vice chairman of China’s CMC recently in Beijing. During the talk, the Chinese side pledged to support Cuba’s armed forces’ development. Was this visit pre-planned and is there any reason behind the timing? And how will the two sides enhance their defense cooperation?
The third question is that the Chief of the General Staff of the Kyrgyzstan’s Armed Forces recently said that in order to help Kyrgyzstan’s armed forces to fight the “three evil forces”, the Chinese military will provide military aid of RMB 100 million to Kyrgyzstan’s armed forces. What are some other countries that China is planning to give military aid to and how much money will China provide?
Answer: I’ll answer your three questions one by one. Your first question is about the missile defense joint exercise between China and Russia. The first of such exercises, code-named “Airspace Security 2016” Computer-enabled Headquarter exercise, was conducted in May 2016 in Russia. The two militaries will hold the second missile defense joint exercise this year and we will release information in due time.
On your second question: In accordance with the annual exchange program between the two militaries of China and Cuba, and at the invitation of State councilor and Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan, the Cuban minister for the Revolutionary Armed Forces and also member of the Political Bureau of the Cuba Communist Party is paying a visit to China from March 28 to April 3. During his visit, state as well as military leaders will meet and have talks with the Cuban minister.
China attaches great importance to the friendly and cooperative relations between the armed forces of China and Cuba and we will support the development of the Cuba’s Armed Forces as always. Our practical exchanges and cooperation will be conducted in fields of high-level visits, delegation visits, professional training and personnel training, so as to further enhance mil-to-mil relations between the two sides and push it to a new stage.
On your third question: The mil-to-mil relationship between China and Kyrgyzstan has maintained good momentum of development and the two sides have carried out in-depth practical cooperation in counter-terrorism, personnel training and joint military exercises and training. China is ready to work with the Kyrgyzstani side to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and make more contributions to peace and stability of the two countries and the regions on the basis of friendship, equality, mutual trust and mutual benefit. On the issue of counter terrorism, China is willing to work with relevant countries to enhance international cooperation in counter-terrorism.
Question: Media reports said that due to concerns about the dangerous situation in South Sudan, Japan has decided to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from South Sudan. What is your comment? Under the current circumstances, is China considering withdrawing its peacekeeping forces there? Could you please give us a brief introduction on the current status of the Chinese peacekeeping troops in South Sudan?
Answer: Japan’s decision to withdraw its peacekeeping forces is their own matter and we will not comment. What needs to be stressed is that China staunchly supports UN peacekeeping operations, unswervingly fulfills international obligations as a responsible big country, and is ready to continue to make proactive efforts to maintain world peace.
As to the Chinese peacekeeping force in South Sudan, I would draw your attention to two pieces of information released on the official website and the official Weibo and WeChat account of the Ministry of National Defense. The first one is that on March 12, the infantry battalion of the Chinese peacekeeping force in South Sudan successfully rescued seven UN civilian employees from the conflict. The second one is that the engineer unit and the medical unit of the Chinese peacekeeping force took part in the rescue of a crashed South Sudanese passenger aircraft on March 20.
Question: According to Japanese media, the Japanese Defense Ministry said on March 23 that two frigates and one auxiliary replenishment ship of the Chinese PLA Navy sailed to the Pacific through the Miyako Strait on the same day. The Japanese Defense Ministry said that it is analyzing the intention of the Chinese side. What is your comment?
Answer: The Japanese side always has a particular interest in hyping up Chinese military’s legitimate training activities. In my opinion, this is due to the fact that Japan has not come to terms with reality, and has not adopted the right frame of mind. Maybe it’s because the Chinese military vessels have not passed the Miyako Strait frequently enough. Then, we should pass the strait more often in the future. When the Japanese side gets used to it, everything will be fine.
Question: On 28th of this month, the Chinese military organized a joint army-air force actual-troop and live-fire exercise along the China-Myanmar border and the scenario of the exercise was the border blockade. Foreign media analyzed that this was an intentional act of the Chinese military with the objective to deter the conflicting sides in northern Myanmar. What is your comment?
Answer: In accordance with the annual training program, the Chinese military organized a joint army-air force live-fire exercise conducted by the army and air force troops of the Southern Theater Command on the Chinese side of the China-Myanmar border. The objective of the exercise is to examine the rapid response, precision destruction, multi-dimensional blockade and joint strike capability of the troops so as to enhance the emergency response capability. Before the exercise, relevant authorities made public announcement and notified the Myanmar side.
As to the conflict of the northern Myanmar which you mentioned and which has escalated recently, it poses grave threat to peace and stability in the China-Myanmar border region as well as to the safety of people’s life and property of both sides. China attaches great importance to bilateral and mil-to-mil relations with Myanmar and urges relevant parties in Myanmar to keep restraint, cease military operations and resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation. The Chinese military is prepared to respond to various kinds of emergencies and is determined to safeguard the sovereignty and security of the country, and the safety of life and property of the Chinese residents in the border region.
Question : Could you please brief us on the downsizing of the military? Secondly, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan is proposing to the Japanese government for importing the THAAD system and also the land-based Aegis system to deal with the threat from DPRK missiles. What is your comment? We know that the THAAD system is beginning to be deployed in the ROK. Does this mean that China’s effort to stop its deployment has failed? Thirdly, on the 28th of this month, China and Russia held a joint press conference on the global and regional missile defense situation, during which both sides said that countermeasures will be taken. Could you brief us on the specific measures?
Answer: On your first question, on September 3, 2015, President Xi made a solemn announcement to the world that China would downsize its armed forces by 300,000, demonstrating the firm resolve of China to follow the path of peaceful development. The reform of the size, structure and composition of the armed forces made specific arrangement on downsizing military personnel, and relevant work is pressing ahead according to plan. This year, the set goal will be reached in accordance with the original plan.
On your second, China is opposed to any country’s act of using the DPRK’s missile issue as an excuse to compromise other countries’ security and regional stability.
On the third question about the specific measures to be taken, I’d like to point out that you’ll get to know when the time comes.
Question: According to reports by Taiwan media Storm on March 27, starting this year, the first phase of the “Han Guang Exercise”, which is a computer-aided tabletop exercise, has been extended from five days to four weeks. It is also reported that starting from this month, services of the Taiwan military have started their computer-enabled tabletop exercises. In May, the so-called general staff headquarters of the Taiwan military will launch the “theater-level joint operation computer-enabled tabletop exercise” to simulate war of Taiwan self-defense. This will be followed by the actual troop exercise. What is your comment?
Answer: To recognize the 1992 Consensus and maintain peaceful development of cross-Strait relations is conducive to the stability of the Taiwan Straits. The “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces and their activities are the biggest threat to the peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. Any scheme to refuse the reunification by force is doomed to failure.
Question: According to media reports, Ouyang Guohua, a professor of the PLA Academy of Military Economics, and his team, have made a major breakthrough in eliminating smog by employing meteorological methods. If this new technology is applied, can we expect the smog in Beijing to disappear?
Answer: As I have learned, experts of the military have conducted relevant research on employing meteorological methods to eliminate smog, and some of the findings have gained national patents. However, it takes time before these research findings can be applied. We hope that by employing scientific methods and treating both the symptoms and root causes, we can see more and more blue skies year by year.
Question: The latest satellite images released by a US think tank show that on the three biggest “man-made” islands in the South China Sea, China have built a significant number of hangars and advanced radars. Could you please confirm it? It is said that this is conducive for China to establishing the South China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone. What is your comment?
Secondly, on the weekend a fortnight ago, a US bomber B-1B received a warning by China during normal flight, 70 nautical miles southwest of the Jeju Island demanding it to leave the airspace immediately. US military said that it has never recognized and will never recognize the East China Sea ADIZ. What’s your response?
Answer: On your first question, I’d like to stress four points. Firstly, there is no “man-made” islands. Secondly, the Nansha Islands are inherently Chinese territory. Whether we build facilities on these islands, what we do and how we do that are within our sovereign rights. Thirdly, the construction activities on the Chinese islands are mainly for civilian purposes. It also includes necessary defense facilities. Fourthly, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and it is making a positive turn. That has made outsiders of the region uneasy or anxious. They are fond of sensationalizing the South China Sea issue and create tensions. Their intention is worth thinking about. As to the designation and establishment of the ADIZ, we had made our position clear on numerous occasions before. It depends on the security threat we face in the air and the severity of the threat.
Your second question is about the East China Sea ADIZ. The Chinese military is aware of activities of foreign military aircrafts in the airspace. We take necessary measures including identification and verification of the military aircraft in the Chinese ADIZ in accordance with laws and rules. The purpose of establishing the ADIZ is to safeguard national sovereignty and the security of the territorial land and air of the country and also to maintain flight order. These are all necessary measures for exercising the right of self-defense. It does not target any countries or subject. It will in no way affect the freedom of overflight.
Question: It is reported that the Guards of Honor of the three services of the Chinese PLA have recently taken part in a parade in Pakistan. Could you please brief us on it? You’ve confirmed the second China-Russia missile defense joint exercise will be held. Is it one of the countermeasures to the deployment of the THAAD system by the ROK and the US? There was such analysis during the first missile defense joint exercise. The third question, immediately after the first batch of the parts of the THAAD system was transported to the ROK, the China Central Television(CCTV) made public such information suggesting the J-20 fighter jet might have been commissioned. Could you please confirm whether the J-20 fighter jet has joint in the line of service?
Answer: On your first question, it's better to see once than hear a hundred times. I’ve prepared a video clip for you. If you are interested in the performance of the Guards Honor of the three services during the parade in Pakistan, I advise you to watch it first.
What is the Guards of Honor of the three services hailing during the parade? I’d like to interpret it for you: it’s Urdu for “Long Live China-Pakistan Friendship”. The friendship between the two countries and the two militaries can be described with 3 key words: all weather brotherly friendship, substantive mutual support and assistance, and deep strategic mutual trust. We are willing to work with the Pakistani side to continuously deepen the exchanges and cooperation between the two militaries and push forward the continued development of the Sino-Pakistani “All Weather Strategic Cooperation Partnership”.
On your second question: If you read the press release of the joint press briefing by China and Russia on missile defense, you’ll find that China and Russia clearly stated their position on the issue which has a great bearing on the global strategic stability, and they also explicitly stated their opposition to certain country’s deployment of missile defense system which far exceeds its national defense needs.
On your third question, the J-20 fighter jet is a stealth fighter jet designed and developed independently by China to meet the needs in future war. At present, relevant work of experiment and test flights is pressing ahead according to plan. The J-20 fighter jet will improve the comprehensive combat capability of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) and help the PLAAF to better shoulder the solemn responsibility of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Question: You have just now commented on the participation of the PLA contingent in Pakistani National Day parade. The Defense Ministry’s website has also released related information, stating that this proves the friendship between the two countries and the two militaries. The Global Times said the Guards of Honor of the PLA’s participation in the parade is another step to go abroad and make contributions to regional stability and world peace. Given the tense military relations between India and Pakistan, how this particular participation will promote regional peace and stability?
Secondly, the Pakistani Army Chief visited China recently, during which both sides agreed to boaster military cooperation, including jointly manufacturing fighter aircraft. Can you please comment on that?
Answer: Thank you for your question. As to the role played by the Chinese military in this region, China is committed to strengthening military exchanges and cooperation, enhancing mutual trust between militaries, and actively participating in regional and international security affairs. We will always be a staunch force for maintaining world peace and regional stability.
The Chinese military actively fulfills its international obligation by conducting regular naval escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, conducting joint anti-piracy training with Navies of Pakistan and other countries, and coordinating with the India and other independent escort countries over the schedule of the escort ships in an effort to jointly safeguard the security of international waterways.
And in regional counter-terrorism, China has conducted multiple joint exercises covering counter-terrorism and joint training with both Pakistan and India, playing an active role in enhancing regional countries’ capabilities to respond new threats and new challenges and maintain regional security and stability. As to mil-to-mil relationship between China and Pakistan, I have given clear comments. If you are interested in the Pakistani Army Chief’s visit to China, I would suggest you pay attention to the press release on the MND website and our official Weibo and WeChat accounts.
Question: The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said recently that he would invite Chinese naval ships to visit the Philippines and would board the Chinese naval ships for visit. Please brief us on this. President Duterte also has invited the Chinese naval ships to take part in the joint anti-piracy patrols in the waters of southern Philippines. What’s China’s response to that? The second question is that China’s Marine Corps is speculated to be expanded. Could you please confirm?
Answer: About your first question, military exchanges and cooperation are important components of China-Philippines relations. With the positive development in bilateral relations, the Chinese side is willing to work with the Philippine side to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation in relevant fields. Both sides are conducting consultation on the arrangement of the Chinese naval ships’ port call to the Philippines in a positive manner. I believe that there will be satisfactory results.
On the joint anti-piracy patrol, China adopts an open attitude toward participating in international counter-piracy cooperation. As to the specific cooperation program, both sides will conduct consultation through diplomatic channels.
About your second question, the Marine Corps is an arm of the PLA Navy and it has played important roles in diversified military missions such as overseas escort missions, flood-fighting and earthquake relief in recent years. At present, the relevant reform measures including the adjustment of the Marine Corps are pressing ahead steadily according to plan.
Question: Do you have any information for us about if there is any parade or other activities for the 90th anniversary of the PLA on August 1st this year?
Answer: This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Chinese PLA. 90 years of remarkable history is something worthy of commemoration. And as to the specific celebration activities, we are going to release information in due time.
Question: On the 27th of this month, two new troop units for island capture have been set up in Japan as important parts of the amphibious mobile corps of the Japanese Self-defense Forces (JSDF). Japanese media reported that the establishment of the amphibious mobile corps is meant to deal with China and ensure the de facto control of the Diaoyu Islands. What is your comment?
Answer: On the issue of the Japanese mobile corps, I’d like to stress that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets are inherent parts of China's territory, and this will not change no matter what corps Japan sets up.
Due to historical reasons, moves taken by Japan in the fields of military and security have always been followed closely by its Asian neighbors and the international community. We urge Japan to give up its mentality of confronting China. It should learn from history and do more to enhance mutual trust with its neighbors and contribute to regional peace and stability.
Question: According to the US Navy Times, officials of the US Department of Defense said that the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group is heading for the South China Sea from the Pacific Ocean and will possibly conduct “freedom of navigation” operations within 12 nautical miles of some features in China’s Nansha or Xisha Islands. What is your comment?
Answer: We are aware of the activities of the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group, and we hope relevant parties can do more for regional peace and stability rather than the contrary.
Question: In answering the first question concerning the nuclear tests by the DPRK, you did not seem to be willing to comment, and you said that it was a hypothetical question. However, about the THAAD system issue, you do not regard it as a hypothetical question. As far as I know, there are still some variables in the deployment of the THAAD system. Especially, there will be a new election in this spring in the ROK. Could you please explain it?
My second question is about the military exercise in China-Myanmar border area. You said that the Chinese side has notified the Myanmar side about the exercise. Was the armed ethnic groups in northern Myanmar also notified by the Chinese side?
Answer: We noticed that according to the Yonhap News Agency, two sets of THAAD launchers and some equipment have already been shipped to the US military base in the ROK. I think this is a fact, rather than a hypothesis. About the changes that you have just mentioned about the deployment of the THAAD system, good changes are what I am hoping for.
About your second question, I will repeat what I have said, that is, relevant authorities of the Chinese side made a public announcement and notified the Myanmar side before the exercise as well.
Question: The Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan visited Nepal later this month and he has been the first Chinese defense minister who visited Nepal in the past 15 years, which attracts broad attention. Why wasn’t the China-Nepal joint military exercise held as scheduled in February? During Gen.Chang’s visit, the two sides did not finalize the specific time for the exercise. Is there any obstacle in the mil-to-mil exchanges between China and Nepal? In which fields will the two militaries cooperate?
Secondly, there are some speculations that Chinese logistic facilities in Djibouti will be completed within this year and will start operations in this year. Could you please confirm? A general of the US Africa Command said that they often invited the Chinese soldiers to visit the US base there. So when the Chinese logistic facilities in Djibouti are completed, will the Chinese side invite the US side to visit the Chinese facilities?
Answer: First, the report of the postponement of the China-Nepal joint training is inaccurate. The two sides have planned to hold joint army counter-terrorism training in the first half of this year and both sides are still having consultation on related matters. We will release information in due time.
Second, the construction of the logistic facilities in Djibouti is being pressing ahead smoothly, and we will release information in due time.
The third question is rather interesting to me because I notice a reversal in the media coverage. I read some previous media reports that the US general said that he was concerned about Chinese logistic facilities in Djibouti. But later his tone changed and he said that he was looking forward to exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. This proves a point that exchanges and communication are cures for suspicion and worries. On the premise of respecting the sovereignty and security of Djibouti, and in accordance with the principle of mutual respect and equal consultation, China will well deal with the relations with stationed troops from other countries, conduct international cooperation in the right time and jointly maintain regional peace and stability.
Here concludes today’s regular press conference of Ministry of the National Defense. See you next month. Thank you！