29 July 2022
Zhang Zuo, Ambassador of PR China
August 1, 2022 is the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Over the past 95 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has gone through wars and difficult times, making great sacrifices in exchange for one glorious victory after another. Right now, changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding in ways like never before. At this moment critical to world peace and development, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI). It contributes China’s wisdom to the efforts of mankind in tackling peace deficit, and offers China’s solution to addressing international security challenges. History has proven and will continue to prove that a strong military of China is a staunch force for practicing the Global Security Initiative, maintaining world peace and stability, and serving the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Firstly, China firmly acts on the Global Security Initiative. President Xi Jinping made a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022, pointed out that humanity is an indivisible security community, and proposed for the first time the Global Security Initiative. The GSI is underpinned by “six commitments”, namely, staying committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; staying committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; staying committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; staying committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; staying committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and staying committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. This important Initiative gives explicit answers to questions of our times such as what security concept the world needs and how countries can achieve common security. It contributes China’s wisdom to the efforts of mankind in tackling peace deficit, and offers China’s solution to addressing international security challenges. We stand ready to work with the international community to ensure that the GSI, put forward by President Xi Jinping, will take root and come into fruition, so that the world will enjoy greater peace, security and prosperity. The Chinese army is willing to work with the armies of other countries to actively implement the GSI, always hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation for win-win results, and join hands to contribute to the cause of upholding global peace and development and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Secondly, China firmly acts as a builder of world peace. China is a peace-loving nation. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the country has pursued an independent foreign policy of peace and adhered to the path of peaceful development. It never started a war, never occupied one inch of foreign land, never engaged in proxy wars, and never participated in or organized any military bloc. Among the major countries, China has the best peace and security record. At present, China remains the only country in the world that undertakes to follow a path of peaceful development in its constitution, and the only one among the five nuclear-weapon states that has pledged no-first-use of nuclear weapons. No matter how developed China becomes, it will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence, nor will it engage in arms race. China will always be a strong pillar for peace and tranquility of humanity. China has never bullied any other country, and we will never allow any foreign force to bully us. With a glorious history of 95 years, the Chinese people’s Liberation Army has grown stronger in the process of safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and the dignity of the Chinese nation, and is constantly moving forward towards the goal of building a world-class forces. Regarding issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Xizang and the South China Sea, the Chinese army will never compromise and yield. Instead, it will certainly withstand all external pressures, overcome risks and challenges to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, advance for the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Thirdly, China firmly acts as a defender of the international order. China is the first founding member of the United Nations to sign on the UN Charter. It firmly upholds the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and advocates respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. China has dispatched the most peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. It is the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget. China has taken an active part in international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes. It has signed or acceded to more than 20 multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). China opposes arms race, and upholds global strategic stability. China has pursued cooperation to address all forms of non-traditional security challenges, and provided more than 2.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the international community in an active effort to bridge the “immunization gap”. It has also carried out anti-pandemic cooperation with the militaries of over 50 countries, in the form of providing anti-pandemic supplies, sending military medical expert teams, and holding experience-sharing video meetings. By fulfilling its international obligations and providing public security products during the pandemic, the Chinese military’s pragmatic measures have been highly recognized and widely welcomed by the international community. China’s armed forces advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, uphold justice while pursuing shared interests, and actively participate in the international and regional security affairs. Efforts are made to deepen bilateral and multilateral security cooperation, promote a coordinated, inclusive and complementary cooperation among security mechanisms, and contribute to a security architecture featuring equality, mutual trust, fairness, justice, joint contribution and shared benefits.
Fourthly, China remains a steadfast mediator of hot-spot issues. China firmly stands on the side of peaceful dialogue, equity and justice, and actively explores solutions with Chinese characteristics to hot-spot issues. On Ukraine, China takes an objective and fair stance on the basis of the merits and demerits of the issue, and vigorously advise peace and encourage talks. This has been highly recognized by the international community, particularly the vast number of developing countries. On the Middle East, China has put forward a four-point proposal on resolving the Palestinian question and a five-point initiative on promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. It supports the countries and peoples in the Middle East in addressing regional security issues through solidarity and coordination, and supports their independent exploration for development paths of their own. On the Iranian nuclear issue, China actively promotes the negotiations to resume compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and upholds the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, China remains committed to making synchronized progress in the establishment of a permanent peace mechanism and the denuclearization of the Peninsula. And it believes that the legitimate concerns of all parties should be addressed in a balanced manner. On Afghanistan, China has taken the initiative to carry out international coordination and provide humanitarian assistance, playing a constructive role for the smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan. Since the participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKOs) 30 years ago, Chinese military peacekeepers have left their footprints in over 20 countries and regions including Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia, Sudan, Lebanon, Cyprus, South Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic. They have made important contributions to facilitating the peaceful settlement of disputes, safeguarding regional security and stability, and promoting economic and social development of host nations.
Fifthly, China has pledged to continue to be a contributor to global development. Over the past 70 years and more since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially the past 40 years and more since reform and opening up, China has embraced the world with open arms, providing more market, investment and growth opportunities for all countries to achieve common development. China announced its “dual-carbon goals” to make China’s contribution to addressing climate change and launched the “Global Data Security Initiative” to provide China’s solutions for global digital governance. The Chinese government upholds the guidelines of coordinated development of national defense and economy, and appropriately determines the scale of defense spending in light of actual defense needs and economic development level. In compliance with the laws and regulations including the national defense law and the budget law, the Chinese government incorporates its defense expenditure budget in the government budget draft every year. As such, the budget is reviewed and approved by the National People’s Congress, and managed and used in accordance with law, with the total amount published to the public. China’ s defense spending remains relatively low in terms of percentage in GDP, percentage in national fiscal expenditure, and per capita defense expenditure as well as per-serviceperson defense expenditure. China actively participates in the UN’s military expenditure transparency regime, and has been submitting its annual military expenditure report to the UN since 2008, so its defense expenditure is open and transparent and the defense budget is moderate and restrained.
Now, the combined forces of changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century have brought the world into a phase of fluidity and transformation. Instability and uncertainty are clearly on the rise. Humanity is facing growing governance deficit, trust deficit, development deficit, and peace deficit. Much remains to be done to achieve universal security and common development. Facing the complex and severe situation, China is committed to practicing true multilateralism, promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and is willing to work with the international community, including North Macedonia, to build a prosperous, stable, fair and just world.
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