Doha, 29 July 2021 (QT)
The Chinese embassy in Qatar held a virtual reception on Wednesday to celebrate the 94th anniversary of the founding of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The first-of-its-kind reception was attended by senior officers of Qatari armed forces, Chinese Defense Attache in Qatar Colonel He Botao and other Doha based Defense attaches.
In his remarks, Ambassador of China to Qatar Zhou Jian thanked China’s friends for supporting the country’s national defense and military development.
Lauding the role of PLA, the envoy said that over the past 94 years, from armed struggle to the founding of the People’s Republic, from disaster relief to state construction, from defending the country to safeguarding the world peace, the PLA has made monumental contributions that shine through history.he said the PLA has become a powerful force with a competent leadership and commanding system, coordinated and balanced military branches, and relatively advanced weapons and equipment.
“It builds a ‘Steel Great Wall’ to defend national security and people’s interests, and also serves as a powerful force for safeguarding regional and world peace,” he said.he added that the fundamental goal of China’s national defence is to defend China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, stressing that China surpasses many countries in the number of neighbouring states, the length of land border and the complexity of maritime security environment.
“With a land area of 9.6 million square kilometres, China faces serious challenges in defending its sovereignty, territorial integrity and maritime interests. Moreover, at present, with the combined impact of COVID-19 and major changes unseen in a century, the world is entering a period of upheaval. hegemony
and unilateralism are on the rise, regional hotspot issues are heating up and non-traditional security issues such as extremism and terrorism are emerging one after another.
The world is far from peace and stability,” the envoy said. “We must build a strong national defense and a modernised army to effectively safeguard China’s national security and development interests, and ensure the smooth realisation of the second centenary goal. A strong country must have a strong army. Only
a strong army can ensure national security,” he added.
Ambassador Jian said that China follows the path of peaceful development and a defensive national defense policy, with a reasonable and appropriate defense expenditure accounting for less than two percent (2%) of its total GDP, lower than the world average of 2.6 percent. he said, “Our per capita defence expenditure is only 6.7 percent of that of the United States. China actively fulfils its international responsibilities and obligations, and is the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of UNSC and the second largest contributor to peacekeeping budget. From the Gulf of Aden to Somalia, Chinese escort fleets in the Indian Ocean have deterred the pirates and protected international sea routes.
“From South Sudan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chinese peacekeepers have helped to maintain peace with risks to their lives. From the Indo-China
Peninsula to the African continent, the Chinese Navy hospital ship Ark Peace has brought hope of life to over 230,000 people in more than 40 countries.”
Colonel He Botao thanked the guests for attending the event.he said the PLA, established on August 1, 1927, has become a pillar in defending China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, in upholding national dignity, and an important force in safeguarding regional and world peace.he added that since the
establishment of diplomatic ties in 1988, bilateral ties between Qatar and China have been developing into a strategic partnership, with increasing political trust and fruitful cooperation in various fields.
“As an important part of bilateral relations, the military relations between China and Qatar have been developing with increasing exchanges and cooperation. Last year, in particular, our two countries established Defence Attache offices in each other’s embassy, offering a new platform and a new stage of our future
cooperation,” he said.
Colonel Botao stressed that as the first defence attache of Chinese embassy in Qatar, he looked forward to working with his Qatari friends to promote mutual
exchanges and cooperation between both the armies, and push the bilateral relations forward.
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