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Remarks by Ambassador Lu Shaye at the Reception Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese people's Liberation Army(PLA)
2017/07/24

Major General Derek Joyce, Director-General of International Security Policy of the Department of National Defence of Canada,

Generals,

Military attachés,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the reception tonight for celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army(PLA).

The Chinese People's Liberation Army, founded on August 1st, 1927, is the people’s own army under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. In the past 90 years, the PLA has shared weal and woe with the Chinese people and made remarkable contributions to Chinese nation’s independence and liberation, as well as China’s modernization construction.

In the years of revolutionary wars, the people’s army, through unrelenting efforts and indomitable struggles, has defeated domestic and overseas enemies and established a new China. In times of peace, the people’s army has been actively participating in the socialist construction and reforms, conducted a great deal of rescue and relief work, and defended national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Today, the PLA is the backbone force in protecting world peace and development. The Chinese army has been working together with armies from other countries to actively engage in international cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, counter-terrorism campaigns and humanitarian reliefs, bringing peace and hope to the world.

In 1990, China sent five military observers to the United Nations for the first time. Since then the Chinese army has achieved historical breakthroughs in sending peacekeepers from scratch, the size of peacekeeping troops moving from small to large, and the type of troops changing from single to multiple. For the meantime, there are over 2,300 officers and soldiers from China implementing peacekeeping missions in 8 mission areas of the UN. China has sent the largest number of peacekeeping troops among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and contributes the second largest share of money toward the UN peacekeeping missions among UN members.

China unswervingly follows the path of peaceful development in past, present or future, and consistently pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. The development of China's defense and military capability is not targeted at any country, poses no threat to anybody, and will not exceed the need of ensuring its own national security.

In recent years, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has carried out reforms of its national defense and the military, aiming at building a modern system of military forces of Chinese characteristics. The Chinese Army will thus be equipped with a more effective commanding mechanism and a strengthened capacity of fulfilling its due duties in this new historical era of safeguarding national sovereignty, territorial integrity, development benefits and maritime rights and interests, meeting various risks and challenges, and maintaining regional stability and world peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At present, China-Canada relations enjoy prosperous development. The two countries have maintained close high-level exchanges, and the mutual understanding and trust have constantly increased. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchanged visits last year, forging a new “Golden Era” for the bilateral relations. Governor General David Johnston has just concluded his visit to China, both sides reached important consensus on many fields including economic and trade cooperation, people-to-people exchanges.

China has remained Canada’s second largest trade partner for many years. The two sides are now actively exploring the signing of a FTA, believing that this will lead to greater space for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. China is also Canada’s fastest-growing tourist market and the biggest source of overseas students. The average annual growth rate of Chinese tourists to Canada has remained around 20%, and the number of Chinese students studying in Canada surpasses 180,000. Bilateral relations have achieved substantial development in both extension and connotation.

Military ties have always been an important component of China-Canada relationship since it was established in 1970. In 2013, the Defense Ministers from both countries signed the Cooperation Plan Initiative between the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Canadian Armed Forces in Ottawa.

At present, the militaries of our two countries maintain a satisfying momentum of cooperation in high-level mutual visits, work meetings between the Ministries of Defense, winter training for peacekeeping and other aspects. In last December, a Chinese naval fleet anchored on Victoria Harbor, in BC province, once again after the first visit ten years ago. In last May, the Canadian frigate “Ottawa” paid a return visit to Shanghai. I am fully confident in the future development of military relations between the two countries.

The development of China-Canada relationship and bilateral military ties in the past 40-odd years shows that adhering to mutual respect, treating each other as equals, and setting store by each others’ core interests and major concerns have always been the important foundation for the sustained development of bilateral relations.

We should hold dear this momentum, keep in mind the responsibilities of serving the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and further enhance mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation in various fields so that the development of bilateral relations continue to benefit the two peoples and make contributions to the prosperity and peace of the world.

Now I would like to propose a toast:

To the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA,

To the constant development of China-Canada friendship and bilateral military relations,

To the health of all the guests here present,

Cheers!

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