by Xinhua writer Guo Yage
BEIJING -- On Aug. 1, 1927, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China was born out of a mission to seek national independence and liberation of the Chinese people.
More than nine decades have passed. And now the PLA, ever developing and modernizing, has not only been standing guard for the security and well-being of the Chinese people, but also contributing to regional and global peace and security.
First, the PLA has been firmly following a path of peaceful development. This determination can be well reflected in China's military expenditure.
China is now the world's second largest economy. Yet its defense spending has stayed at around 1.3 percent of its gross domestic product for many years, well below the world's average of 2.6 percent.
According to a draft budget report in late May, China will continue to lower its defense budget growth rate to 6.6 percent in 2020. Besides, a defense white paper issued July last year said the Chinese military has cut 300,000 personnel to keep the total active force at 2 million.
Second, the Chinese military has been faithfully implementing a defense-oriented policy. Far from bellicosity, China always tries to solve disputes and conflicts through dialogue and consultation, and deplores the use of offensive force.
In particular, the PLA has been committed to a self-defense nuclear strategy of no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally.
Beijing has been widely recognized and praised for long maintaining its strong commitment to global nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament efforts.
Third, Chinese soldiers have repeatedly demonstrated to the world with tangible action that China has always been ready to do its part and help build this world into a more peaceful and better place.
Over the past 30 years, some 40,000 Chinese "blue helmets" have already been dispatched to conflict-affected countries and areas in 25 United Nations (UN) peace operations. China has become the largest troop contributor among the five permanent members of the Security Council and the second largest financial contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget.
The PLA has provided many other public security services, completing numerous long and short distance patrols and armed escorts, treating more than 230,000 patients, and offering anti-epidemic supplies to the military forces of over 20 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has also joined other global partners to address unconventional security challenges and improve global security governance. China's recent accession to the Arms Trade Treaty is a case in point.
China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, safeguard world peace and promote common development, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his 2020 New Year message.
Indeed, just as Xi has committed, the PLA, as the military of a responsible major country, will continue to do its best to make the world a better place not only for Chinese, but for all.