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China will never seek aggression or expansion
Last Updated: 2017-08-04 00:08 | Xinhua
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A grand gathering in celebration of the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 1, 2017. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

China is an architect of world peace, a stalwart of global development, and a staunch upholder of the international order, President Xi Jinping told a rally marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Tuesday.

On Army Day, China, once again, chose to highlight peace, an eternal theme of mankind, and reaffirmed that the nation will never seek to expand beyond its established borders.

Deeds speak louder than words. Of all permanent members of the UN Security Council, none has done more than China, with 35,000 personnel dispatched across the globe to defend basic human rights. In the line of this sacred duty, 13 Chinese peacekeepers have lost their lives.

With their passion and with their blood, China's military has actively fulfilled the nation's commitment to its own peaceful development and to a peaceful world.

Since 2008, over 80 vessels of the PLA Navy have patrolled the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, ensuring the safety of more than 6,000 domestic and foreign ships.

Chinese servicemen and women led the search for missing flight MH370. Chinese forces stood their ground in the fight to contain the Ebola virus. The water crisis in Male, capital of the Maldives, was resolved with the help of the PLA.

China's contribution to world peace has been widely applauded by the international community, said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations.

Peaceful development is neither an expediency nor diplomatic rhetoric, but a choice China has made on analysis of historical facts, the present reality and future opportunities. China's interests are inextricably intertwined with the interests of the planet.

From the Opium War of 1840 until the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, China suffered at the hand of the Western powers. Through that, respect for independence and peace have become what the Chinese people cherish most.

"Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you," the foundation of Confucianism, means the Chinese will never inflict on others the agony we have gone through ourselves.

Confucius also said that the virtuous always find friends -- wisdom that should guide international relations as much as it does interpersonal interactions.

Since the 1960s, through negotiation and consultation, China has delimited 20,000 kilometers of land boundary and is in complete accord with 12 out of its 14 land neighbors. A sincere good neighbor, China's commitment to mutual benefit has been a concrete contribution to stability in Asia and beyond.

Of the wars fought in the seven decades since the founding of the PRC, China has never made the first move. Not once has China been the aggressor.

The path of peaceful development means China will never be the one to stir up trouble or invade other sovereign states.

"A belligerent nation is doomed to perish," goes an ancient Chinese saying. The iron law of history is that countries which expanded by invading others are doomed to failure.

Our epoch must be one of win-win cooperation and shared development.

"The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions. We will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory away from the country at any time, in any form," Xi said.

Peace is bliss for the people. Protecting peace is the duty of the people's army. To fulfill that timeless duty, China's armed forces must be a world-class military, ready to fight if it must, and ready to win. The country will never compromise on its sovereignty.

The latest military reform focuses on structural reforms, aiming to build forces true to the Party, with exemplary conduct. Should the PLA ever be forced into a fight, it will fight to win.

Xi announced cuts of 300,000 troops in 2015, a process which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to the Ministry of National Defense. This is a sincere commitment to world peace and prosperity.

With 90 years of service behind them, the common pursuit of peaceful development, benefiting all people from all countries, is the PLA's sincere hope for the next 90 years and beyond.

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