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Defense minister vows to safeguard China's sovereignty

By Zhao Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-10-25 14:48
China's Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe speaks to ASEAN defence ministers during a meeting at the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting in Singapore, on Oct 19, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

State Councilor General Wei Fenghe, who is also China's defense minister, said on Thursday that the country will never give up "one single piece" of its territory, warning that "repeated challenges" to its sovereignty over Taiwan are extremely dangerous and will result in relentless action from the Chinese military.

Wei told the opening ceremony of the 8th Beijing Xiangshan Forum in Beijing on Thursday morning that the Chinese armed forces are determined to safeguard the country's sovereignty, security and development interests, and will never abandon even one tiny piece of territory. 

President Xi Jinping sent his congratulations to the forum, which more than 500 people from 67 countries and seven international organizations are attending. In his letter, read by Wei, Xi said China is willing to work with other countries to boost development and security and that the Chinese military will always remain a defender of world peace and stability. 

Wei told the audience the Taiwan question concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and is a core national interest. 

"Repeatedly challenging our bottom line (on the Taiwan question) is extremely dangerous," he said. "If someone attempts to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will take any necessary actions at any cost." 

Wei added that China's construction of defense facilities on its islands in the South China Sea is lawful implementation of its sovereignty and nothing to do with "militarization". 

He noted that the situation in the South China Sea has been stable and is becoming better, proving that nations in the region are capable of properly handling related issues. 

"China strongly stands against some out-of-the-region countries flexing their muscles and making provocations under the name of 'freedom of navigation and flight' that result in tensions," Wei said. 

He also criticized the United States for creating tensions and damaging bilateral relations. 

"Who is going against the historic trends?" Wei asked. "Recently, a senior US leader slandered China in a speech, claiming China meddled in the US' internal affairs and also casting groundless accusations on our domestic and foreign policies. Such acts have seriously jeopardized Sino-US ties and mutual trust and cooperation." 

He said China urges the US to correct its mistakes and stop damaging China's interests and Sino-US ties. He said China does not believe in a confrontation-based security pattern and that the world should not return to the path of cold war. 

Wei said China is sticking to a defensive military strategy and a peaceful development path, explaining that its building a moderate military power is intended to safeguard the Chinese people and protect world peace. China will never pursue hegemony or expansion and will not take part in any arms race, he said.

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