By Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND
(The following English text of the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the Chinese text shall prevail.)
I have five pieces of news to announce at the top.
First, the Beijing Xiangshan Forum Webinar 2022 will be held at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences from December 1 to 2. Focusing on hotspot issues regarding international security, the webinar will be a platform for participants to have candid dialogues, share insights and build consensus. It will contribute new thoughts and wisdom to jointly tackling global security challenges and promoting peace and development. On the theme of “Advancing Global Security Initiative and Jointly Safeguarding Peace and Development”, the webinar will have six agenda items, namely “security, stability and peaceful development in the Asia-Pacific”, “impact of regional conflicts on global security”, “evolution of the form of war”, “major countries’ pursuit of self-interests and their responsibilities to global security”, “upholding developing countries’ interests in the evolving geopolitical landscape”, and “sharing benefits of technological development under the conditions of globalization”. More than 40 experts and scholars from 14 countries and one international organization have confirmed their attendance.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum will continue to be postponed.
Second, the International Military Personnel Training Webinar will be held at the PLA Army Logistics Academy from December 8 to 9. The event will be held online on the theme of “Challenges and Responses in International Military Personnel Training in the New Era”. There will be military representatives from over ten countries, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Tanzania, and participants from more than 20 Chinese military academies and institutions including the National University of Defense Technology. Focusing on subjects such as the development of training systems, innovation in management, and international communication and exchanges, the webinar will study the challenges posed by the pandemic to international military personnel training, share useful experience and explore future directions in that area. The webinar will help improve the quality and efficiency of international military personnel training and provide more talent to serve the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Third, according to the agreement between the Chinese and Vietnamese militaries, the PLA Southern Theater Command and the Vietnam People’s Navy will carry out the 33rd joint patrol in Beibu Bay from November 24 to 25. The joint patrol is a friendly routine exchange between the two militaries, aiming to promote good-neighborliness and traditional friendship between China and Vietnam, preserve security and stability in the waters of Beibu Bay, and promote the healthy and steady development of China-Vietnam mil-to-mil relations.
Fourth, as agreed by both sides, the Chinese and Lao militaries will hold the third border defense friendship exchange in the border region at the end of November. The exchange is aimed at implementing the important consensus reached by the state and military leaders, deepen traditional friendship, strengthen strategic mutual trust and border defense cooperation between the two militaries, and maintain peace and stability in the border areas.
Fifth, the Chinese and Argentine militaries held a video conference on military medicine on November 22, which was attended by leaders of health departments, and experts in disease control, health service, and other related fields from both sides. The participants exchanged views on topics such as the military’s involvement in COVID-19 prevention and control, and health service in military operations. Chinese experts specifically introduced the Chinese military’s development and application of the COVID-19 vaccines. The two sides agreed to take this event as an opportunity to strengthen their communication and cooperation in the field of medicine, and make positive contributions to building a global community of health for all.
Question: When inspecting the Joint Operations Command Center (JOCC) of the Central Military Commission (CMC), President Xi Jinping stressed that the military should focus its efforts on improving combat readiness, enhance its capability to fight and win, and effectively fulfill its missions and tasks in the new era. What measures will the military take to strengthen training and combat readiness?
Answer: President Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chairman of the CMC, and commander-in-chief of the CMC JOCC, inspected the JOCC on November 8. The inspection shows the attitude of the new CMC on implementing the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress and enhancing training and combat readiness. During the inspection, President Xi gave an important speech and expounded on a series of major issues of fundamental, directional and overall significance, including more quickly enhancing the capability to fight and win and effectively fulfilling the military’s missions and tasks in the new era. President Xi also underlined the JOCC’s unique position and role. The inspection will further align the thinking and action of the military with the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, inspire all officers and soldiers to press ahead with fortitude to realize the military’s centenary goal, and achieve greater victories and glories on the new journey in the new era.
The world is not peaceful and peace needs to be defended. As the evolution of the great changes unseen in a century accelerates, China’s national security is facing more uncertainties and instability. The task of strengthening military preparedness is demanding. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress requires the military to improve training and combat readiness across the board and strengthen the capability to fight and win. It is a strategic requirement made by the Party to the military on the basis of an accurate understanding of the changing trends. It is also in line with the missions and tasks of the military and the military’s centenary goal.
First, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the people’s military will implement the Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military and the military strategic guideline for a new era, have a profound understanding of the decisive significance of establishing Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and defining the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; enhance our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and resolutely uphold Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Central Committee’ authority and its centralized, unified leadership; and carry out the CMC chairman responsibility system and stay absolutely loyal, pure, and reliable.
Second, we will study and gain a better understanding of the characteristics of informationized and intelligent warfare and the laws that govern it, and develop new military strategic guidance and strategies and tactics of the people’s war.
Third, we will establish a strong system of strategic deterrence, increase the proportion of new-domain forces with new combat capabilities, speed up the development of unmanned, intelligent combat capabilities, and promote coordinated development and application of the network information system.
Fourth, we will optimize the command system for joint operations and enhance our systems and capacity for reconnaissance and early warning, joint strikes, battlefield support, and integrated logistics support.
Fifth, we will strengthen realistic training, deepen joint training, force-on-force training and high-tech training, enhance regularized and diversified employment of military forces, and remain steadfast and flexible in carrying out military operations, so as to improve our combat capabilities as fast as possible.
Question: The CMC recently issued a guideline on studying, promoting and applying the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the military. Please tell us more about what the military has done and will do on studying, promoting and implementing the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress.
Answer: According to the arrangements and requirements made by the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, the focus of the military in studying, promoting and applying the spirit of the congress is achieving the military’s centenary goal. Following the requirement of studying, understanding and applying the spirit in an all-round way, and strengthening awareness, action and implementation, we have carefully planned and organized relevant activities to start a studying campaign in the military.
On November 4, the military’s first public lecture on studying and applying the spirit of the congress was held in Beijing. After that, the 14 members of the lecturing team were divided into seven groups to give 34 lectures across the military. They will give comprehensive interpretation and illustration of the spirit to military units on topics such as the theme and major outcomes of the congress, work in the past five years and great changes in the first decade of the new era, blazing a new frontier in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.
In addition, lecturing teams composed of delegates to the congress, senior officers, experts from military universities and political instructors in military units have been formed to carry out diversified and interactive promoting activities among primary-level troops. Service members have organized study activities and discussions to share their understanding and thinking on the important thought, views, strategies, and measures contained in the spirit. All these activities and efforts have deepened the troops’ understanding of the spirit.
Studying, promoting and applying the spirit of the congress is the primary political task for the Party, the country and the military at the moment and for a period to come. The PLA National Defense University will host a seminar on studying and applying the spirit for senior officers. We will organize theoretical research teams in the military to write articles to interpret the spirit. The military will resolutely implement President Xi Jinping’s important instructions on the studying campaign, comprehend the decisive significance of establishing Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and defining the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and truly align our thinking and actions with the spirit of the congress. We will take solid and effective steps to put the major decisions and arrangements made at the congress into practice, and make contributions to achieving the military’s centenary goal and building a world-class military.
Question: Please brief us on the Chinese military’s efforts to introduce the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress to the outside world.
Answer: After the successful conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress, the Chinese military took active efforts to introduce the spirit of the Party Congress to the outside world. At the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus and the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, the Chinese side highlighted China’s policies and visions of practicing the Global Security Initiative, building a community with a shared future for mankind, and maintaining world peace and stability. We organized symposiums and exchanges with military attachés in China from 19 countries including Russia, Laos, Hungary, South Africa, and Mexico to interpret the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress. We also organized foreign military attachés from 19 countries including Pakistan, Egypt and Israel to visit the 14th Airshow China and troops of the PLA Southern Theater Command, during which they have witnessed China’s achievements in strengthening the military in the new era.
Many foreign defense and military leaders and foreign military attachés have sent their congratulations to us on the success of the 20th CPC National Congress. They commended the marvelous achievements made by China in the decade of the new era, spoke highly of China’s positive contribution to world peace and development, and wished the Chinese military to achieve the military’s centenary goal.
Question: In his recent meeting with visiting General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen PhuTrong, President Xi stressed that China and Vietnam should maintain high-level communication and strategic dialogue between the two militaries. Is there any new arrangement for military exchanges and cooperation between the two sides?
Answer: China and Vietnam are close neighbors and friends connected by the same mountains and rivers. We are good comrades and partners sharing same interests and a common destiny. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of the leaders of both Parties and countries, the two militaries have seen frequent high-level interactions, solid progress in mechanism building, smooth anti-pandemic cooperation, and major headway in joint patrol and other practical cooperation, which have enriched the dimensions of the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era.
When attending the ADMM Plus in Cambodia on November 21, State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe held talks with Vietnamese Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang. The two defense ministers had an in-depth exchange of views on the state-to-state and mil-to-mil relations between China and Vietnam, international and regional situations, and other issues of common interest.
Under the new circumstances, we are willing to work with the Vietnamese side to implement the important consensus reached by leaders of the two Parties and two countries, and maintain high-level communication and strategic dialogue, deepen communication and cooperation in border and coastal defense, improve relevant mechanisms, and have active cooperation in political work, joint exercises and training, academic and think tank exchanges, and personnel training, so as to make positive contributions to international and regional peace and stability.
Question: During Pakistani Prime Minister’s visit to China in early November, the two countries released a joint statement saying that stronger strategic defense and security cooperation between China and Pakistan is an important factor for peace and stability in the region. Could you please brief us on the new arrangements for the exchange and cooperation between Chinese and Pakistani militaries?
Answer: China and Pakistan are good friends, good partners and good brothers. Under the strategic guidance of the leaders, the two countries have always supported each other and striven forward together, demonstrating the iron-clad friendship between the two countries.
The mil-to-mil relationship between China and Pakistan is an important pillar of bilateral ties. In recent years, the two countries have strengthened strategic coordination, deepened practical cooperation, enhanced the capability of jointly responding to risks and challenges, and worked together to protect peace and stability in the region. China stands ready to work with the Pakistani side to implement the important consensus reached by the state leaders, maintain the momentum in high-level military exchanges, and deepen cooperation in military training, joint exercises, and military technology. We will elevate bilateral cooperation to a new level, add new impetus into the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and make new contributions to regional peace and stability.
Question: President Xi Jinping recently met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The two sides reached a five-point consensus, which includes the "early opening of a direct telephone line under the maritime and air liaison mechanism between defense departments". Is there any progress in that?
Answer: Since its establishment in 2018, the maritime and air liaison mechanism between the defense ministries of China and Japan has worked well in general and played a positive role in safeguarding peace and stability in the East China Sea. At present, after several rounds of consultations, the two defense ministries have made positive progress on establishing a direct telephone line, the construction of which is expected to start soon.
Question: The senior officials meeting and the military medicine conference under the Second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum have been held via video link recently. Could you please share with us more relevant information on the events and China-Africa peace and security cooperation in recent years?
Answer: In July 2022, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the Second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, pointing out the way forward for China-Africa peace and security cooperation. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of Chinese and African leaders, the exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and African armed forces have made steady progress in terms of high-level exchanges, joint exercises and training, equipment and technology, personnel training, and military health service.
On November 14, the Second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Video Conference on Military Medicine was held in Beijing. Under the theme of "Role of the Military in Responding to Public Health Emergencies", representatives and medical experts from military health departments of the PLA and 21 African countries’ militaries exchanged their views and had professional discussions. All parties agreed to strengthen China-Africa military medical cooperation to jointly address challenges in public health field. On November 17, the Second China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Senior Officials Meeting was held in Beijing via video link. Defense officials from China and 16 African countries attended the event. All parties agreed that they should focus on international and regional security challenges, continue to promote the implementation of the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
Standing at a new historical starting point, China is willing to work with African armed forces to strengthen strategic communication, expand exchanges in professional fields, and push for greater progress in China-Africa peace and security cooperation.
Question: According to the Diplomat, a US-based magazine, the PLA Navy(PLAN) hospital ship Ark Peace's visit to Indonesia this month showed that China-Indonesia cooperation in relevant fields is expected to deepen further in the next few years. Please share with us more information about the hospital ship's visit to Indonesia.
Answer: From November 10 to 18, the PLAN hospital ship Ark Peace carried out “Mission Harmony-2022” and paid a friendly visit to Jakarta, Indonesia and provided medical services there. That is a concrete step to follow up and implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state. It also marks the 10th overseas mission of the Ark Peace. During the hospital ship’s stay in Indonesia, the clinic set on the wharf and onboard medical services have been in operation simultaneously. By using both high-tech and traditional Chinese medicine, as well as resorting to online transnational joint consultation, the hospital ship treated 13,488 local residents and carried out 37 operations, winning high acclaim from the Indonesian people and overseas Chinese. Vessels from China and Indonesia also carried out joint maritime exercises and training, and conducted extensive and in-depth exchanges and discussions.
In addition, I would like to share with you a story about a Peace Baby. The hospital ship mainly treated local residents, including overseas Chinese who work and live in Indonesia. During the visit, a young couple dispatched by a Chinese state-owned enterprise to Indonesia decided to deliver their baby on the ship. The medical staff provided professional, meticulous and considerate services to the pregnant woman, who then gave birth to a baby onboard safe and sound. The newborn baby was named "Fangzhou" (in English "Ark") by his parents to commemorate the precious experience. This is the seventh Peace Baby born on the hospital ship, with the formers coming from China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and other countries, in another word, coming from the world family we share. The newborn is a reflection of China’s sense of commitment and responsibility. The PLAN is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, and spreading seeds of peace around the world.
Question: Days ago, the 14th Airshow China wrapped up successfully. The outstanding performance of the PLA Air Force has attracted great public attention. Please further introduce the air force’s achievements in the new era.
Answer: From November 8 to 13, the 14th Airshow China was held in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, with the “20 series” military aircraft including J-20, Y-20 and YU-20 making a collective appearance, and different types of weapons and equipment being displayed based on their combat roles, such as air control, air-to-ground strike, unmanned operation, force projection, airborne operation and air defense. There are some highlights at the exhibition. Firstly, the J-20 landed in Zhuhai for the first time after flight demonstration. Secondly, the YU-20 tanker aircraft was displayed in the air show and conducted flight demonstration for the first time. Thirdly, first flight demonstration by the Attack-2 drone. Fourthly, the Air Traffic Control exhibition hall was set up for the first time during the event. This year’s air show fully demonstrated the achievements made by the PLA Air Force(PLAAF) in its development in the new era, and displayed a new look of the PLAAF in learning and applying the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, and striving to achieve the military’s centenary goal.
The PLAAF is open to work together with its counterparts across the world to share experience, explore the future, advocate peace, oppose bullying, and write a more brilliant chapter for jointly safeguarding world peace.
Question: It is reported that the PLA Navy sent a delegation to Japan in early November to attend the 18th Western Pacific Maritime Symposium (WPNS). Please share with us relevant information.
Answer: From November 5 to 9, the PLAN sent a delegation to Yokohama, Japan, to participate in the 18th WPNS. During the event, the delegation made a speech on "Implementing the Global Security Initiative and Maintaining Peace and Stability in the Asia-Pacific", introducing the main achievements and significance of the 20th CPC National Congress, the Chinese Navy’s actions in implementing the Global Security Initiative and safeguarding world and regional peace and stability, and relevant information about the 19th WPNS to be hosted by the PLAN in Qingdao in 2024. The PLAN will continue to deepen communication, exchanges, mutual trust and cooperation with its counterparts around the world, and make active preparations for the 19th WPNS, in an effort to make greater contributions to serving and building a maritime community of shared future.
Question: It is reported that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission under the US Congress recently released its annual report, proposing to review the measures in strengthening the defense of Taiwan and enhancing the US denial capabilities against the mainland’s attack on Taiwan. What's your comment on this?
Answer: China firmly opposes US military contact with and arms sale to Taiwan. In the meeting between the two heads of state on November 14, US President Joe Biden reiterated that the US does not support "Taiwan independence," does not support "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," and has no intention to have a conflict with China. We hope that the US side can honor this policy statement, and abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, so as not to further harm the common interests of both sides.
It needs to be emphasized that Taiwan belongs to China, and is an inalienable part of China's territory. Any attempt to strengthen US-Taiwan military contact is wrong and interferes in China's internal affairs and violates the commitment of the US side. Any attempt to contain the Chinese mainland by arming Taiwan is just a pipe dream, bound to get badly battered before the steel-willed PLA.
Question: According to foreign media reports, China, the US and Russia recently participated in a cyber security exercise together for the first time. Could you please share more details with us?
Answer: From November 16 to 17, the 9th ADMM-Plus Expert Working Group on Cyber Security was held via video link. The Chinese military sent representatives to attend the event.
Representatives of the Chinese military participated in a cyber security simulation drill aimed at jointly addressing cyber security threats, discussed and exchanged views with other participants on issues like cyber security and regional cooperation, and advocated that all parties should actively maintain peace, security and stability in cyberspace, so as to jointly promote the construction of a community with a shared future in cyberspace.
Cyber security is a challenge facing the world and a serious security threat facing China. China is ready to further exchanges and strengthen cooperation with all parties to promote regional cooperation and common development.
Question: The head of Taiwan's defense authority recently said that if there would be a war in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan would fight to the end and has confidence to win. Recently, a video about the encounter between the PLANS Xiamen and Taiwan’s warship Ma Kong has drawn public attention on the Internet. In the video, Ma Kong made some unreasonable remarks, and PLANS Xiamen responded by saying that the so-called 24 nautical-mile baseline you claimed does not exist at all. What's your comment on this, please?
Answer: I want to give PLANS Xiamen a thumb-up for its response. The so-called baseline or other demarcation lines unilaterally set up by Taiwan are illegal and invalid. Neither will they change the fact that Taiwan belongs to China, nor can they stop the PLA from defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
As for the clamor of some officials of the Democratic Progressive Party authorities, I would like to warn them that if anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the PLA will take resolute measures to crush them.