The white paper on the participation of China's armed forces in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations released Friday is a clear and strong response to the so-called "Chinese military threat" hyped up by certain Western politicians and media outlets.
China's socialist system, its commitment to the path of peaceful development and the cultural traditions highlighting peace and harmony determine that China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and that China's armed forces will always be a force of justice for world peace and development.
China is the second largest contributor to both peacekeeping assessment and UN membership fees, and the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Over the past 30 years, China's armed forces have delivered on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and sent over 40,000 peacekeepers to 25 UN peacekeeping missions, according to the white paper titled "China's Armed Forces: 30 Years of UN Peacekeeping Operations."
Chinese military peacekeepers have left their footprints in over 20 countries and regions including Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Lebanon, Cyprus, South Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic. They have made a tremendous contribution to facilitating the peaceful settlement of disputes, safeguarding regional security and stability, and promoting economic and social development in host nations.
The mission of the Chinese military is not only winning wars, but also containing and preventing wars. Over the past 30 years, China's peacekeeping troops have worked extensively and effectively with international humanitarian agencies and participated in post-conflict reconstruction, helping restore local livelihoods and social order to prevent the recurrence of conflict and achieve lasting peace and stability.
The Chinese people love peace. Having suffered from aggressions and wars since the beginning of modern times, the Chinese people have learned the value of peace and the pressing need for development. China will never inflict such sufferings on any other country.
Since its founding 71 years ago, the People's Republic of China has never started any war or conflict. China has grown from a poor and weak country to the world's second largest economy neither by receiving handouts nor by engaging in military expansion or colonial plunder. Instead, China has made every effort to create favorable conditions for its development through maintaining world peace, and has tried to promote world peace through its own growth.
Pursuing peace, however, does not mean tolerating external threats to sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese military keeps to the stance that "we will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked."
The eastern theater command of the People's Liberation Army is conducting combat exercises near the Taiwan Strait. This is a reasonable and necessary move to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the current situation in the Taiwan Strait which has resulted from the the United States and Democratic Progressive Party authority in Taiwan colluding more strongly, frequently creating disturbances.
The Chinese military has the ability to counter any external threat or challenge from "Taiwan independence" forces. Trying to use Taiwan to contain China or relying on foreign strength to build oneself up is wishful thinking and doomed to fail.
China's efforts to safeguard its rights also provide encouragement to the world as international uncertainty and instability are on the rise and pose diverse threats to world peace.
Peace has not come easily and to safeguard it requires great effort or even sacrifice. China will always stand together with the international community to defend peace against war, cooperation against confrontation, and progress against regress.
The Chinese military will continue to provide support for UN peacekeeping operations, fulfill commitments to safeguarding peace, and instil greater confidence and hope in conflict-hit areas.
China will always resolutely safeguard the UN-centered international system and the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and work with countries around the world to uphold multilateralism, equity and justice.