Question: Please brief us on the basic information of the delegation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) to the third session of the 13th National People's Congress and proposals put forward by the deputies.
Answer: The PLA and PAP delegation to the third session of the 13th National People's Congress were established on May 21. General Xu Qiliang was appointed head of the delegation, and General Zhang Youxia was appointed deputy head of the delegation.
The PLA and PAP delegation, with a total of 289 deputies to the NPC, is the largest in number and divided into nine panels. So far, deputies of the delegation have submitted four motions and more than 200 suggestions, covering major issues related to national defense and military development, as well as education, culture, science and technology, and the rule of law.
This session is an important meeting held under the special background of major strategic achievements in China's fight against COVID-19 and profound changes in the international situation. The PLA and PAP deputies attending the meeting conscientiously perform their duties and actively make suggestions and advice. Over the past few days, the deputies honestly studied the important speeches delivered by President Xi Jinping when he joined deliberations with deputies from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Hubei Province and visited national political advisors from the economic sector attending a joint panel discussion at the third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). They held panel deliberations on the government work report and various reports and drafts.
The deputies all agreed that over the past year, we have experienced the baptism by our original aspiration and mission, witnessed national cohesion in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and stood the test of the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core has successfully responded to a series of risks and challenges, winning the sincere trust and support of the whole Party, the whole military and the people of all ethnic groups in China. The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has forged ahead in stormy waters.
The deputies agreed it is a must to stick to the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly implement Xi Jinping’s thinking on building a strong military, firmly and consciously implement President Xi Jinping's decisions and directives, promote reform and development of military as a whole, serve the overall work of the Party and the nation, advance the mission tasks undertaken by the military, acting as the cornerstone for maintenance of security, injecting impetus for economic development, and providing assistance for the battle against poverty and making contributions to epidemic prevention and control efforts.
Question: When joining in a deliberation with deputies from the delegation of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region，President Xi Jinping emphasized that, the people-centered approach to development should be implemented in making every decision and every aspect of work. What specific measures does the military have in this respect?
Answer: When taking part in discussions with deputies from the delegation of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, President Xi stressed that the people are the foundation and lifeblood of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It is imperative to put the people first, rely on the people, work for the people's well-being and stay firmly attached to the people and act on the people-centered approach to development in making every decision and every aspect of work. Serving the people wholeheartedly is the fundamental principle of Chinese armed forces, which has a history of fighting for the people and benefiting the masses under the leadership of the CPC.
On the battlefield of epidemic prevention and control, the PLA has always kept in mind its fundamental tenet, acted upon orders, shouldered heavy burdens and fought tough anti-virus battles bravely, providing active support for local epidemic prevention and control efforts. Moving in harm's way in moment of calamity, military medics arrived in Wuhan on Lunar New Year's Eve to protect people's lives and health at all costs. They practiced the people-centered approach to development, and made outstanding contributions to win the battle against COVID-19.
On the battlefield of poverty alleviation, the military has fully exploited its own advantages and actively carried out targeted poverty alleviation actions in various forms, targeting a total of 4,100 impoverished villages with 293,000 households and 924,000 people, becoming an important force in the battle against poverty.
In military training and war preparedness operations, by firmly adhering to the only fundamental criterion of combat capabilities, the PLA and PAP troops always maintain constant combat readiness, focus on actual combat-oriented military training, conduct joint training, confrontational training as well as systematic training in a down-to-earth manner, and vigorously carry out mass military skill competitions, forging the armed forces into a steel great wall to protect people’s security interests.
Exactly as the anthem of the PLA sings, we are the sons of workers and peasants, and we are the army of the people. All service members of the whole army will honestly study and implement the people-centered approach to development, continue to carry forward the glorious tradition of serving the people wholeheartedly, always stand side by side with the people so as to be trusted, supported and loved by them, and make new and greater contributions to realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and building a strong military.
Question: According to media reports, the national budget for defense spending in 2020 will increase by 6.6 percent over the previous year. Please brief us of the consideration behind this year’s defense expenditure arrangements.
Answer: As President Xi Jinping has pointed out, “We should ensure both development and security and be ever ready to protect against potential dangers in time of peace. This is a major principle underlying the Party’s governance.”
China adheres to the balance of development and security, the unification of a rich country and a strong military, the coordinated development of national defense and economic construction, and reasonably determines the scale and structure of national defense expenditure in accordance with the level of national economic development and defense demand. In other words, when we do the defense budget, we should take both economic and security factors into consideration.
Recently, China has been facing new risks and challenges in the field of national security, and from the international perspective, hegemonism and power politics pop up now and then, unilateralism prevails in some countries, geopolitical risks have risen, and the international security system and order have been impacted. It can be said that the world is not peaceful.
And from the domestic perspective, the security threat is diversified and complex, the anti-secession struggle situation is even more severe with the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party authorities building themselves up by pulling in foreign forces and going further and further along the path of separatism.
Furthermore, China’s homeland security and overseas interests are also facing some real threats. On the issue of national security, we should keep a sober mind and be prepared for war in peace time.
At the same time, the increase in defense spending is also in line with the need of the Chinese military to fulfill more international responsibilities. With the development of the Chinese military, the international community's expectation for it to provide more public security products is correspondingly rising. The Chinese military is proactive in supporting the United Nations peacekeeping operations, has sent 35 naval ships to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to carry out routine escort missions, and actively participates in international disaster relief, which has won widespread praise from the international community.
Maintaining a moderate and steady growth in defense expenses will be conducive to promoting the Chinese military to live up to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, actively fulfill the international obligations of the armed forces of a major country, and make more contributions to building a better world of lasting peace and common security.
China firmly follows the path of peaceful development and pursues a defensive national defense policy, China's defense expenditure is open and transparent, and the expenditure level is reasonable and moderate. Compared with the security demand for safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, the demand for safeguarding its own construction and development, as well as the demand for fulfilling its international obligations and responsibilities as a major country, China's defense expenditure is still much lower. It is reasonable and necessary that China's defense spending increased moderately and steadily.
Question: It is pointed out in the government work report requested for review by the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress that the major principles and policies on work related to Taiwan shall be kept, and any separatist activities seeking “Taiwan independence” be resolutely opposed and deterred. Recently, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent congratulation on Taiwan leader’s inauguration and US State Department approved arms sales to Taiwan. What’s your comment on that?
Answer: Taiwan is an integral part of China, and Taiwan question is China’s internal affair that bears on China's core interests and the national feelings of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, and brooks no external interference. The US’ movements are downright wrong and hazardous that gravely violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, seriously interfere in China's internal affairs, severely jeopardize the development of relations between the two countries and the two militaries and undermine the peace and stability across the Taiwan straits.
National rejuvenation and reunification is an irresistible trend and meets the aspiration of Chinese people. At present, the cross-Strait relations are complex and grave, as the Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority refuses to recognize the 1992 Consensus, attempts to raise their status by bonding with foreign forces, and seeks “Taiwan independence” with force. This kind of behavior is against the overall national interest, gravely damage the well-being of compatriots in Taiwan and the basic interests of Chinese nation, and will destined to be a stigma of history.
It must be pointed out that "Taiwan independence" is a dead end, and armed confrontation is self-destruction. No one, no organization or political party is allowed to separate any part of Chinese territory from China at any time by any means. The Chinese People’ Liberation Army has firm will, full confidence and adequate capability to thwart foreign forces' interferences in all manifestations and “Taiwan independence” attempts, and will take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and protect regional peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.