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Ambassador Sun Xianghua's Remarks at the Receptioin Marking 90th Anniversary of PLA's Founding

On 1 August 2017, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Kingdom of Lesotho held a reception celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberty Amy (PLA). The remarks delivered by Ambassador Sun at the ceremony are as follows:

Remarks at the Reception for the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the PLA and Seeing-off of the LDF Trainees to China

(Dr. Sun Xianghua, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, Aug. 1, 2017)

Thank you all for attending this reception for the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army of China, and join us to bid farewell to the LDF officers who are going to China for training courses next month.


1. The first of August, 2017 marks the 90th birthday of the PLA of China. Since its establishment 90 years ago and led by the Communist Party of China, the PLA has played a pivotal role in the different periods of China's revolution, modernization, reforms and opening-up. Its has made indispensable contribution in fighting foreign aggression, realizing China's national liberation, wining China's independence, and safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, apart from being China's brave and reliable defense force, the PLA has also made indispensable contribution in the fields of disaster relief, public health, economic and social development. The 90-year history of PLA has consistently proven that the PLA is an army that comes from the people, belongs to the people and serves wholeheartedly for the people.


2. Distinguished guests, the PLA is an armed force, but it's a force for peace, and China adopts a military strategic principle of active national defense. H.E. Xi Jinping, the President of China and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, has pointed out categorically that China opposes the wanton and unscrupulous use of force or threat of use of force to settle international disputes, and it also opposes the wanton show of forces at every turn. Meanwhile, China will never allow her core national interests to be compromised, and the PLA will always be a Great Wall of iron and steel to safeguard China's sovereignty, safety and development interests. At the event celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA today, H.E. President Xi solemnly pointed out, "The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions. We will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form," "No one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests."


3. Dear friends, in recent years, as an important component of China's comprehensive and deepening reforms, as well as her efforts for the modernization of her governance system and governance capability, the PLA has been undergoing a series of reforms, with the focus on strengthening the leadership over the army by the Communist Party of China, and transforming the PLA from a quantity and scale-driven force to a quality and efficiency-driven force, from a human resource-intensive force to a technology and innovation-intensive force, so that the PLA can better implement its solemn mission of protecting China's sovereignty, safety and development.


4. Distinguished guests, 2500 years ago, Mr. Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military strategist, wrote the following words in his famous book Art of War: "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence lies in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting". The aspiration of pursuing peace and avoiding war has been a valuable spiritual heritage in Chinese military philosophy. With the development of China and its comprehensive capability, we are seeing an increasing number of PLA personnel being deployed overseas in recent decades, for the sole and solemn purpose of contributing to world peace and stability. Currently, there are 2300 plus peace keepers of China being deployed by the United Nations in 7 task areas in Africa. China has become the second largest financial contributor of UN's peace keeping budget. China is also the top peace-keepers provider to Africa among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, with an accumulative total number of 31 thousand. Dozens of Chinese peace keepers sacrifices their lives in Africa while executing their missions in Africa. In September 2015 at the United Nation's Peacekeeping Summit, H.E.President Xi Jinping announced a series of new measures for UN's peacekeeping operations among which, China will within the next five years train 2000 peacekeepers for other countries, provide US$100 million of gratis military assistance to African Union to support the establishment of the African Standby Force and the African Immediate Response Force to Crisis.


5. Dear friends, relations between the armed forces of China and Lesotho have enjoyed admirable development in recent years. While adhering to the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, the PLA of China has worked very hard to assist LDF's capacity-building efforts. 219 of LDF officers have been sent by the Lesotho government to be trained in China. Very soon another group of 20 LDF officers will go to China for training. When they come back, Lesotho and LDF will have more excellent commanding officers, engineers, IT experts, ect. I sincerely hope they will fully utilize this valuable training opportunity to communicate with their Chinese counterparts, and come home better equipped with the capacity and skills to contribute further to Lesotho's peace, stability and development. I will you all a great success.


6. Last but not least, I must use this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to Your Honorable Lesego Makgothi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Your Honorable Halebonoe Setsabi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, and all my colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lesotho. It is because of your hard work and contribution that China-Lesotho friendship and cooperation enjoys excellent political foundation of deep mutual trust, which paves the ways for our two countries close cooperation in so many fields including the national defense cooperation. I must also express my thanks to Your Honorable Sentje Lebona, Minister of Defense and National Security, Your Excellency Leu. General Khoantle Motsomotso, Commander of the Lesotho Defense Force, and all relevant officers in the Ministry and the LDF for facilitating the personnel training cooperation between out two countries.


With that, I conclude my remarks and I would like to propose a toast,

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

To the friendship between China and Lesotho,

To the success of the new batch of LDF officers who're going to China




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