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Chinese Ambassador to Canada, H. E. CONG Peiwu Published a Byline Article CHINA'S NEW SECURITY INITIATIVE: Marking the 96th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Liberation Army on Esprit de Corps Magazine
2023-08-01 18:19

On August 1st, Esprit de Corps Magazine published a byline article titled CHINA'S NEW SECURITY INITIATIVE: Marking the 96th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Liberation Army by the Chinese Ambassador to Canada, H. E. CONG Peiwu. Here is the full text:

There has been a lot of discussion recently in Canada about how to view China's role in international security and the role of the Chinese military. As August 1 approaches, I would like to share some thoughts with you.

August 1st marks the anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Ninety-six years ago, China was mired in poverty and weakness, suffering from internal and external troubles. As a result, it was difficult for the Chinese people to enjoy the most basic of security guarantees.

In pursuit of national independence, people's liberation, and a peaceful and stable life, the Chinese revolutionaries fired their first shot in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, on August 1, 1927. This act opened the curtain on the Chinese Communist Party's armed resistance to the reactionaries. Since then, through their adherence to the concept of 'serving the people', the PLA has been both courageous and tenacious.  The PLA have laid a solid foundation for the founding of New China, in which the people themselves are masters of their own country. More specifically, the PLA has provided strong support for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and for safeguarding regional and world peace.

Yet there are sentiments expressed in Canada that China is an increasingly disruptive global power, with a flagrant disregard for international rules. One common theme of these discussions is that the PLA is becoming more aggressive, and projecting force further afield. These talks are certainly provocative, but what is the truth? 

The fact is that China has always been committed to promoting world peace and development with concrete actions and will continue to do so. A distinctive feature of the Chinese way of modernization is the adherence to peaceful development. This course relies on the struggle, diligence and innovation of more than a billion people, rather than armed aggression, expansion or plunder. Over the past decade, China has contributed an average of 38.6 percent to world economic growth and has become a major trading partner to more than 140 countries and regions. 

China has not only eliminated abject poverty completely within its own borders, but has also actively helped other developing countries to rise out of poverty. The Belt and Road Initiative has become a popular international cooperation platform for the collective public good.

China has in fact written 'peaceful development' into its constitution, firmly in pursuit of a national defence policy that is purely defensive in nature, and one which actively upholds global and regional security.

Since 2008, China has deployed 44 flotillas totalling 139 warships to escort more than 7,000 Chinese and foreign ships through pirate infested waterways. Over the years, China has deployed more than 50,000 peacekeepers on UN missions worldwide. This constitutes the largest number of troops deployed among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. The PLA has conducted peacekeeping exchanges and cooperation with more than 90 countries and more than a dozen international and regional organizations. China has also trained thousands of police officers in police-contributing countries. Currently, there are more than 2,000 PLA members serving on seven separate UN Missions. 

In the face of the present vacuum in global governance, China holds high the banner of multilateralism and strictly adheres to the concept of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in order to achieve global governance. China attaches great importance to the legitimate security concerns of all countries and remains committed to; promoting global security governance, upholding justice and fairness, bridging differences and maintaining unity.

Throughout the world today, 'security' remains a scarce commodity in many places. The Cold War mentality is resurgent, and regional conflicts keep cropping up. In direct response to the aspirations of the people of all countries to achieve peace, development and cooperation, President Xi Jinping has put forward the Global Security Initiative. This blueprint outlines a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and a new security path featuring dialogue rather than confrontation, partnership rather than alliance, and win-win rather than zero-sum. This initiative commits China’s strength to addressing international security challenges. 

Sincerity is the key to a lasting relationship. China calls upon all countries to; strengthen strategic communication, enhance mutual understanding and trust, and to shed suspicion. As for those disputes that can be resolved within a short period of time, all parties should communicate in good faith, meet each other halfway and resolve divisive issues as soon as possible. We should also conduct candid consultations on issues that cannot be resolved for the time being, manage differences, and gradually build a mutual trust. We should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, compliment and improve existing rules, and make the international order more just and equitable.

At the same time, rest assured that China will do its best to provide more public security goods to the international community.

The dreams of mankind are indelibly interwoven. People of all nationalities, are in simpatico with the Chinese people, in desiring a life of peace, tranquility and happiness. Let us join forces to replace bullying with mutual respect, transcend the law of the jungle with fairness and justice, eliminate confrontation and conflict through mutual trust and consultation, so as to jointly create a better world.

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