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Defense minister emphasizes national interests in address

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-10-21 15:32
Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe speaks at the ongoing 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum on Oct 21, 2019. [Photo/mod.gov.cn]

The Chinese Minister of National Defense said on Monday the Chinese military is resolute in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, noting China is the only major country still striving for national reunification.

"The momentum of China's reunification cannot be stopped by any individuals or forces," General Wei Fenghe said during his keynote speech at the ongoing 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum. "We will not relinquish a single inch of territory passed down from our forefathers."

Wei warned the Chinese military will not allow Taiwan secessionists to keep making reckless and desperate moves, nor will it allow foreign forces to interfere in the Taiwan question. "National reunification is the only rightful path, and pursuing secession is a dead end."

When discussing China's military-to-military relations, Wei said it is normal for countries to have differences but China will not accept or be intimidated by "big stick diplomacy" or "long arm jurisdiction", which are ineffective in solving problems.

"China hopes countries around the world can treat each other with fairness and respect, not bullying the weak or acting condescendingly," he said, adding China will never attach any political strings, force nations to take sides, interfere in other countries' domestic affairs or push its agenda onto others.

Wei said China-US military-to-military relations, though with its fair share of issues, is still generally stable. He said both countries should enhance cooperation in properly managing risks and tackling common challenges.

In his speech, Wei also called for a new type of security partnership based on equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation, given current risks and challenges in the world.

The 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum opens in Beijing on Oct 21, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

When tackling global security issues ranging from terrorism to cybersecurity, "no country can insulate itself and be disconnected from the world," he said. "Only through dialogue, joint efforts and mutually beneficial actions can we find a way to let all people from the world live a better life."

Wei pointed out China's historic transformation was achieved without invasion, colonialism or exploitation. He stressed China's development will never pose any threat to other countries, and will never seek hegemony, expansion or spheres of influence.

Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu said at the forum growing China-Russia military relations is a shining example of a type of security partnership based on strategic dialogue, mutual trust and practical cooperation, which has contributed positively to overall bilateral ties, as well as peace and security in the region.

Egypt's Minister of Defense and Military Production General Mohamed Zaki said the forum has allowed militaries around the world to share their experiences, build consensus and jointly enhance cooperation and capability to jointly tackle security issues.

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