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Remarks at the Reception in Celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
2017/08/03

Hon. Prime Minister Pohiva,

Hon. Speaker Lord Tu'ivakano,

Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Sovaleni,

Brigadier General Lord Fielakepa

Hon. Ministers, Members of Parliament,

Distinguished Members of diplomatic Corps,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening! Thank you very much for coming to join us in celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

On this day 90 years ago, the Communist Party of China (CPC) founded the first people's armed force. Over the past 90 years, this army has made great contribution to the liberation and independence of the Chinese nation as well as protection of China's sovereignty and national security, thus becoming a solid foundation of the stable development and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Over the years, the Chinese army has been actively carrying out its international obligations and responsibilities through broad participation in the UN peacekeeping operations, escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and international humanitarian search and rescue operations, among other activities, contributing significantly to the maintenance of world peace and the promotion of common development. Since 1990 up to now, China has sent 31 thousand soldiers in total to participate in the UN peacekeeping mission, out-topping the other permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Ladies and gentlemen,

At present, China's reunification is yet to be achieved, its territorial integrity is still existentially threatened by separatist forces such as "Taiwan Independence" and external interference. Not only does the long land boundary and vast maritime territories of China need to be guarded, but also increasing legitimate oversea interests should be protected, which cannot be realized without the strong backing of a powerful military force.

In recent years, through overall military reforms, the modernization of the Chinese force has kept making new progress while its structure and scale has been continuously optimized. Now, the Chinese military forces have become modernized and regularized with the combination of army, navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force, and their capabilities have also been constantly fortified in protecting China's sovereignty, national security, development interests and safeguarding world peace and regional security.

China is a peace-loving country, pursuing a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. China has been keeping firmly to the path of peaceful development and is a major force for the maintenance of world peace. It has been proven and will continue to show that the more powerful the Chinese military force is, the more safeguarded the world peace can be. China is always ready to make joint effort with the other countries in the world, adhering to the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, to contribute to the construction of a new type of international relations featured by win-win cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since the diplomatic relationship was established 19 years ago, China and Tonga has enjoyed mutual respect and treated each other on an equal footing, resulting in great progress in the bilateral relations. Fruitful cooperation in various fields has brought about tangible benefits to our two countries and peoples and helped promote the development and prosperity around the Pacific region.

Military relationship between our armed forces plays an important role in China-Tonga bilateral ties. Over the past few years, friendly mil-to-mil interaction has been witnessed with Tongan officials of different levels attending defense exchange forums in China, Chinese military groups visiting Tonga and Chinese soldiers participating in the Exercise "Tropic Twilight" on humanitarian aid and disaster response, and the Chinese navy's "Peace Ark" medical vessel coming to Tonga to provide the local people with medical services. All these military exchanges have increased mutual understanding and enhanced mutual trust.

China-Tonga diplomatic relationship will witness its 20th anniversary next year and usher in an important stage between the past and the future. We look forward to working together with the Tongan side to increase mil-to-mil interaction among other fields and advance China-Tonga strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development for greater achievements.

Now, let me propose a toast,

to the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army,

to continuous development of relations between our two countries and two armed forces,

to the health of everyone present and the happiness of his or her family,

Cheers!

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