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Celebrating the 93rd Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
Senior Colonel Zheng Qinli, Defence Attache of P. R. China in Latvia

August 1st, 2020 is the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Over the past 93 years, under the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the PLA has been serving the people wholeheartedly as per its founding principles. Since the 18th National Congress of the CCP, steered by the Xi Jinping Thought on Building a Strong Military, the PLA has been persistent in its original aspiration and bearing its missions in mind, and has not only made unprecedented reforms of itself, but also fulfilled all the missions entrusted by the CCP and the Chinese people, and with absolute loyalty, dedication and sacrifice.

The PLA unswervingly adopts the military strategy of active defence, and has become an iron wall in safeguarding China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests as well as a reliable force in maintaining global peace and progress. The PLA has been playing an active role in UN Peacekeeping Operations, anti-piracy ship-escort missions, global and regional security consultations, international anti-terrorism cooperation and disaster relief operations. All these demonstrate that the PLA is committed to honoring its international responsibilities and obligations as the armed forces of a major power.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s joining in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. During the past three decades, China has dispatched over 40,000 military personnel to 25 UN Peacekeeping missions, which ranks No.1 among the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. During these missions, 15 Chinese military personnel have sacrificed their lives for the peace of the war-torn countries. China has been in every sense a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and an upholder of international order, and the Chinese PLA will continue to be a staunch force for world peace.

At the beginning of this year, in the face of the sudden outbreak of Covid-19, the PLA responded instantly when called upon to help with handling this tremendous crisis, and has made remarkable contribution to the nationwide campaign to contain the corona virus. In the meantime, the PLA has been actively cooperating with the international community in fighting the pandemic. Medical supplies have been provided to the armed forces of nearly 50 countries. Online conferences have been held with over 10 countries to exchange experiences on curbing Covid-19. The PLA has also dispatched medical expert teams to a dozen countries. With collective wisdom and endeavor, the PLA has been working together with partners around the world to tide over the difficulties and has contributed a lot to the global fight against Covid-19.

In recent years, the relationship between the Chinese and Latvian armed forces has gained steady progress in spite of some obstacles. The Latvian MoD has selected a few officers to attend seminars organized by the Chinese National Defence University. In October 2019, Dr. Artis Pabriks, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Latvia, paid a visit to China, where he attended both the opening ceremony of the 7th Military World Games in Wuhan and the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum. On the sidelines of the Forum, he had a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe, and they reached consensus on improving political mutual trust and increasing personnel exchanges between the two armed forces. Meanwhile, the Latvian Armed Forces dispatched a large team to the 7th Military World Games. Although China and Latvia are of different political systems, we are confident that as long as both sides adhere to the principle of seeking common ground while reserving difference on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, and earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two Defence Ministers, the relationship between the two armed forces will usher in a better future.

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