Properly Coping with Disputes over Territory and Maritime Demarcation
Upholding amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in its neighborhood diplomacy, China is committed to building an amicable relationship and partnership with its neighbors, and peaceful resolution of disputes over territory and maritime demarcation through negotiation and consultation. China has settled its border issues with 12 of its 14 land neighbors and signed treaties on good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation with 8 countries on its periphery.
China holds it a priority to manage differences and enhance mutual trust in maintaining the stability of its neighborhood. China has proposed a China-ASEAN defense ministers' hotline and established direct defense telephone links with Vietnam and the ROK. It has kept contact through telephone or fax, and conducted border meetings and joint patrols, with the militaries of the countries on its land borders on regular or irregular basis. Since 2014, five high-level border meetings between China and Vietnam have been held. To implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of China and India, the two militaries have exchanged high-level visits and pushed for a hotline for border defense cooperation and mechanisms for border management and border defense exchanges. Since the second half of 2016, China and the Philippines have increased dialogue on maritime security, bringing the two sides back on track in addressing the South China Sea issue through friendly consultation. In May 2018, the defense authorities of China and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding on maritime and air liaison and put it into practice in June.
China and the ASEAN countries have comprehensively and effectively implemented the DOC, and actively advanced the consultations on the COC. They are committed to extending practical maritime security cooperation, developing regional security mechanisms and building the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.
Actively Providing International Public Security Goods
China actively supports the UNPKOs. It is a major contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget and the largest troop contributing country among the permanent members of the UNSC. As of December 2018, China has participated in 24 UN peacekeeping missions and has contributed more than 39,000 peacekeepers. 13 Chinese military personnel have sacrificed their lives in the UNPKOs. In the missions, China's peacekeepers have built and repaired over 13,000 kilometers of roads, cleared and disposed of 10,342 mines and various items of unexploded ordnance, transported more than 1.35 million tons of materials over a total distance of more than 13 million kilometers, treated over 170,000 patients, and fulfilled over 300 armed escorts and long or short-distance patrols.
In September 2015, China joined the UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS) and built a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops. In September 2017, China completed the registration of PCRS Level 1. In October 2018, 13 Chinese PCRS Level 1 units scored high in the UN assessment and were elevated to PCRS Level 2. Five among these units were elevated from Level 2 to Level 3 in February 2019. China has made active efforts to train international peacekeepers and trained over 1,500 individuals from dozens of countries. In December 2018, 2,506 peacekeepers from the PLA served in 7 UN missions and in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
In line with relevant UNSC resolutions, since December 2008, the Chinese government has dispatched naval ships to carry out regular vessel protection operations in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the coast of Somalia. Chinese PLAN task groups cooperate with multiple naval forces in the area to safeguard international SLOCs. In the past decade, over 100 vessels and 26,000 officers and sailors have been regularly deployed in 31 convoys, each consisting of three to four ships, in vessel protection operations. They have provided security protection for over 6,600 Chinese and foreign ships, and rescued, protected or assisted over 70 ships in distress.
China's armed forces take an active part in the international efforts for HADR. Military professionals are dispatched to conduct disaster relief operations in affected countries, provide relief materials and medical aid, and strengthen international exchanges in this respect. Since 2012, China's armed forces have participated in the search for the missing Malaysian Airliner MH370, and in the relief operations for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the water scarcity in Maldives, the earthquake in Nepal, and the flood caused by a dam collapse in Laos. Since it entered service a decade ago, the PLAN's hospital ship Ark Peace has fulfilled 7 voyages coded as Mission Harmony and visited 43 countries. During these visits, it provided medical services to the local communities, organized medical exchanges, and helped over 230,000 people.
China is active in international and regional counter-terrorism cooperation. It has strengthened such cooperation within the framework of the SCO. China hosts and participates in joint counter-terrorism exercises, cracks down on illegal trafficking of weapons, ammunition and explosives, cooperates with SCO members to identify and cut off channels for terrorist infiltration, and promotes international counter-terrorism intelligence exchange and information sharing. It hosts the Great Wall International Forum on Counter-Terrorism, and actively participates in multilateral counter-terrorism mechanisms such as the APEC Counter-Terrorism Working Group and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. Bilateral counter-terrorism consultations have been held with certain countries. China initiated the establishment of the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism (QCCM), a counter-terrorism cooperation and coordination mechanism by the militaries of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and Tajikistan. The QCCM has convenedtwo military leaders' meetings and conducted counter-terrorism exchange and cooperation, actively safeguarding regional security.
Peace is an aspiration for all peoples, and development is an eternal theme of humanity. Faced with global security challenges that are becoming ever more intricate and choices that have to be made at a crossroads of human development, China firmly believes that hegemony and expansion are doomed to failure, and security and prosperity shall be shared. China will remain committed to peaceful development and work with people of all countries to safeguard world peace and promote common development.
Guided by Xi Jinping's thinking on strengthening the military, China's national defense in the new era will stride forward along its own path to build a stronger military and endeavor to achieve the great goal of developing world-class forces in an all-round way. China's armed forces have the determination, confidence and capability to prevail over all threats and challenges. They stand ready to provide strong strategic support for the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and to make new and greater contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.