Recording of the Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of Defense in May 2020

May 29, 2020

Posted by: Ren Guoqiang, deputy director of the Ministry of National Defense Information Bureau and spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense

Reporter: President Xi pointed out when attending the plenary meeting of the delegation of the People's Liberation Army and the Armed Police Force at the Third Session of the 13th National People's Congress that this epidemic prevention and control struggle is a big test for our army. The People's Army has listened to the Party's command and followed the orders, and has played an important role and made outstanding contributions in the epidemic prevention and control struggle. Please introduce the achievements made by the military in supporting local anti-epidemic and the military's international cooperation in anti-epidemic.

  Ren Guoqiang: Since the outbreak of the New Coronary Pneumonia epidemic, the party ’s core, military commander, and people ’s leader, President Xi, personally commanded and deployed personally, led the entire party, the whole army, and the people of all ethnic groups in the country, and launched the people ’s war, the overall war, and the war of prevention . The Chinese People's Liberation Army firmly establishes the people-centered development thinking, implements the fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, moves with obedience, bravely shoulders the burden, dares to fight hard battles, and makes outstanding contributions to the achievement of major strategic achievements in the prevention and control of the national epidemic. .

  With the spread of the epidemic worldwide, the Chinese People's Liberation Army has actively carried out international anti-epidemic cooperation with multiple defense agencies and the army, sending military anti-epidemic expert groups to Laos, Cambodia and other four countries, and sending them to Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, etc. Many national armies provided anti-epidemic materials assistance, held video conferences with the military forces of 10 countries including Russia and South Africa to exchange experience in epidemic prevention and control, and contributed "Chinese power" to the international community's anti-epidemic.

  The virus knows no borders, and there are true feelings in the world. President Xi pointed out that mankind is a community of shared destiny. In the current epidemic situation, the only combination of authors wins. The Chinese People's Liberation Army will continue to strengthen international cooperation with defense departments and military forces of various countries, work together to overcome difficulties, let the sunshine of cooperation disperse the haze of the epidemic, and protect the common homeland with united forces.

Reporter: According to media reports, the just-concluded two sessions announced this year ’s defense expenditure budget, which is an increase of 6.6% over the previous year. May I ask the spokesman for any comments and please introduce the main uses of defense spending.

  Ren Guoqiang: According to the budget reviewed and approved by the Third Session of the 13th National People's Congress, the national defense expenditure budget at the central level in 2020 increased by 6.6% over the previous year, and continued to maintain a moderate and stable growth.

  China firmly follows the path of peaceful development, firmly pursues a defensive national defense policy, adheres to the coordinated development of economic construction and national defense construction, and rationally determines the scale of national defense expenditure in accordance with the national economic development level and national defense needs and the current domestic and international situation. China's defense expenditure is mainly used for the following aspects: First, it adapts to the country's economic and social development, continuously improves the work, training, and living security conditions of the army, and raises and improves the welfare of officers and soldiers. The second is to steadily promote the modernization of weapons and equipment and the construction of major projects and key projects clearly defined in the "13th Five-Year Plan", eliminate and update some backward equipment, and upgrade and renovate some old equipment. The third is to implement the decision-making and deployment of deepening national defense and military reform, and to ensure the funding needs of military policy reform. The fourth is to support the combat readiness training of troops and to carry out diversified military tasks such as international peacekeeping, escort, humanitarian rescue, emergency rescue and disaster relief.

  As China develops and grows, the Chinese People's Liberation Army will better fulfill its mission in the new era, provide more public safety products for the international community, and make new and greater contributions to safeguarding world peace and stability and promoting the building of a community of human destiny.

Reporter: This year is the year of a decisive battle against poverty. What role did the military play in helping to win the battle against poverty?

  Ren Guoqiang: On May 26, President Xi pointed out when attending the plenary meeting of the delegation of the People ’s Liberation Army and the Armed Police Force at the Third Session of the 13th National People ’s Congress, our military should support local economic and social development and support winning while completing military tasks. Fight against poverty and fight hard, and assist localities to do a good job in maintaining the overall social stability. As the People's Army under the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese People's Liberation Army has always insisted on taking the people as the center, giving full play to its own advantages, and actively carrying out various forms of targeted poverty alleviation actions, targeting a total of 4,100 poor villages, 293,000 poor households, 92.4 Thousands of poor people have become an important force on the special battlefield to fight poverty. The army's participation in the battle to win the fight against poverty has three outstanding characteristics: First, it has a strong sense of command by the party. All levels of the armed forces resolutely implement the decision-making instructions of the Party Central Committee and Chairman Xi, consciously take participation in poverty alleviation as an important political responsibility, go to villages and households to publicize the Party ’s and the country ’s decision-making and poverty alleviation policies, and resolute the masses to change with hard work Confidence and determination in the face of poverty. The second is the deep feelings of serving the people's home country. The troops of the whole army regard the station as their hometown and regard the people as relatives. They paired up to build 3468 party branches in impoverished villages. The provincial military district system recommended more than 5,100 outstanding retired soldiers to serve as the "arms support" and "bing members" to closely meet the needs of the support targets. To support the development of 8351 industrial projects such as planting and breeding, rural tourism, and agricultural product processing, effectively driving people to increase income and become rich. Third, there are many practical measures for targeted poverty alleviation. The whole army has made precise efforts, targeted poverty alleviation, and promoted poverty alleviation through education. Aided the construction of 156 "August One Love Schools" along the Long March, assisted the construction of 1,544 elementary schools and kindergartens in designated villages; improved medical support and construction There are 1,458 clinics in poor villages, and 113 poverty-stricken county-level hospitals built in pairs have reached the second-level level or above; officials and soldiers are organized to plant trees and forestry every year to improve ecology and help overcome poverty.

  Fighting against poverty is a millennium dream. Under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee and Chairman Xi, the officers and soldiers of the whole army will practice the fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, fight tenaciously and bravely on the two battlefields of preparing for war and fighting poverty, and submit qualified answers to the party and the people.

Reporter: In recent years, the enthusiasm of the young people of all ages to join the army has continued to rise, especially paying close attention to the policy of recruiting non-commissioned officers. At present, the prevention and control of the epidemic situation has stabilized. Please tell us about the work of recruiting non-commissioned officers this year.

  Ren Guoqiang: On the May 4th Youth Day this year, President Xi addressed the young people of all ethnic groups across the country, "Youth shines through tempering, and your life is sublimated by struggle." Welcome young people with aspirations to join the army and serve the country. This year's work of direct recruiting officers will begin on August 1st and end on September 30th. At present, the National Recruitment Network has opened an online registration window for direct recruits. Compared with previous years, it has the following characteristics:

  One is to implement the central government's decision-making and deployment, and expand the scale of college students' enlistment. According to a series of major decision-making arrangements by the Party Central Committee and the State Council on comprehensively strengthening stable employment in response to the impact of the epidemic, further broadening the employment channels of college graduates, expanding the scale of enrollment of college students, and increasing the proportion of fresh graduates recruited, this year ’s recruitment of non-commissioned non-commissioned officers to ordinary universities Graduates are the priority, and priority is given to recruiting college graduates. This initiative not only recruits excellent young talents for the troops, but also broadens the channels for the employment of college graduates, and achieves the win-win goal of enhancing the combat effectiveness of the troops and easing local employment pressure.

  The second is to expand the selection of talents, and to start in parallel with the conscript recruitment. According to the "Implementation Plan for the Reform of Twice Recruitment and Two Retirements a Year" approved by the State Council and the Central Military Commission, the recruitment of non-commissioned officers this year and the recruitment of compulsory soldiers in the second half of the year started simultaneously. For military service organs, it is easy to coordinate the work and improve the quality and efficiency; for the army, it is possible to select excellent talents and recruit high-quality soldiers to the greatest extent; for the recruited young people, there are more choice opportunities to achieve military service. desire.

  The third is to achieve accurate recruitment and improve the overall quality of the non-commissioned officer team. The work of recruiting non-commissioned officers this year was organized and implemented by the prefecture and city as a unit, and was changed to the overall organization of the conscription office of the Ministry of National Defense. The specific method is to organize online registration of young applicants nationwide, and accurately grasp the potential and professional situation of young recruits in various places. This not only ensures the accuracy and effectiveness of the recruitment plan, but also improves the professional counterparty rate for recruiting non-commissioned officers, and comprehensively enhances the non-commissioned officer team. The overall quality has a positive effect.

Reporter: According to media reports, Shandong Ship, the first domestic aircraft carrier, left Dalian Shipyard on the 25th and went to sea to perform military missions. This was the first navigation training of Shandong Ships in five months since its commissioning, marking that Shandong Ships had initially formed combat effectiveness. The spokesperson is requested to confirm and introduce the relevant situation.

  Ren Guoqiang: According to the arrangement of the annual test plan, the Chinese navy is organizing the Shandong ship to conduct sea trials, and to carry out relevant subject training. The purpose of this training is to test the performance of weapons and equipment, improve the level of aircraft carrier training, and further enhance the troops' ability to perform missions and tasks.

Reporter: At present, domestic epidemic prevention and control has entered a normal stage. What measures have the military taken to prevent and control the normal epidemic situation?

  Ren Guoqiang: The current situation of domestic epidemic prevention and control is further consolidated, but the international epidemic situation continues to spread, and the task of epidemic prevention and control is still arduous and arduous. In accordance with the country's unified prevention and control deployment and requirements, the military will work together with the national medical front to carry out normalized epidemic prevention and control, while further strengthening the troops' own epidemic prevention and control. First, according to the risk level of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic in the resident area, dynamically adjust the prevention and control measures for military camps, the movement of personnel, and public places, and take good care of the implementation of normalized prevention and control measures. The second is to strengthen the epidemic prevention and control of our peacekeeping mission forces and other overseas military personnel, and take necessary and reasonable prevention and control measures to ensure safety. The third is to highlight the key points of prevention and control in military colleges and universities, such as the resumption of classes, and to send on-site guidance teams to supervise on-site to strictly organize epidemic prevention and control during the resumption of classes. The fourth is to strictly implement the "four early" measures of "early detection, early report, early isolation, and early treatment" of fever personnel, to investigate suspected cases at the first time, and effectively block the transmission route.

Reporter: According to reports, the United States has recently taken a series of negative moves, including the so-called US-China confrontation issued by the White House, and the United States frequently dispatched warships to the South China Sea to carry out the so-called "Freedom of Navigation Operation". How does the spokesperson comment?

  Ren Guoqiang: The US report ignored the facts, deliberately distorted China ’s political system and strategic intentions, flaunted the so-called “China threat”, and advocated all-round toughness against China. The whole report is full of cold war thinking and hegemony, full of arrogance and prejudice, and it is completely wrong assumptions, wrong judgments, and wrong conclusions. We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this.

  The current situation in the South China Sea is generally stable. The United States sent warships to the South China Sea to carry out the so-called "Freedom of Navigation", approached and reconnaissance China's islands and reefs, and held targeted military exercises. This is the real push for the militarization of the South China Sea. China urges the US to respect regional countries ’efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and do more active and constructive work.

Reporter: Recently, U.S. Defense Secretary Esper said at the unveiling ceremony of the U.S. space military flag that in the past few years, U.S. opponents have militarized space and turned space into the field of combat. On the 18th, the Japanese Defense Minister announced the official establishment of the "Space Combat Force" of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The United States and Japan have successively established space military forces. What's China's comment?

  Ren Guoqiang: We pay close attention to relevant trends. Outer space is the public property of all mankind and should be used for peaceful purposes. It is the common responsibility of the international community to maintain the safety of outer space. China has always advocated and actively committed to the peaceful use of outer space, and firmly opposes the weaponization of outer space and the arms race in outer space.

  Individual countries will use the military threat of other countries to form military forces in outer space, seek absolute military superiority in outer space, and trigger an arms race in outer space, which will have a negative impact on global strategic stability. We urge the countries concerned to adopt a prudent and responsible attitude, prevent outer space from becoming a new battlefield, and work together to maintain lasting peace and tranquility in outer space.

Reporter: In recent years, China ’s relations with the defense departments and armed forces of neighboring countries have continued to strengthen, but there are also certain disputes and differences between China and neighboring countries. How does the spokesperson comment on China's international military cooperation with neighboring countries?

  Ren Guoqiang: It should be noted that the current security situation around China is generally peaceful and stable. China has always focused on building a community of shared future fate, has consistently pursued the neighboring foreign policy of "being good neighbors and partners", comprehensively developing friendly cooperative relations with neighboring countries, and is committed to peacefully resolving disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. Unswervingly defend national sovereignty, security and maritime rights and interests.

  Entering a new era, China's international military cooperation with neighboring countries has continuously made new progress. First, military mutual trust is deepening. Under the leadership of the head of state, the Chinese People's Liberation Army strengthened high-level exchanges, strategic consultations, and professional exchanges with the defense departments and military of neighboring countries, promoted the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Beijing Xiangshan Forum, and the security cooperation mechanism under the framework of China-ASEAN, and continued to deepen New national security partnership. Second, pragmatic cooperation has expanded. China and neighboring countries normally organize bilateral and multilateral series of joint exercises and trainings such as counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, rescue, maritime security, and military and military tactics, and extensively carry out exchanges in border and coastal defense, academic think tanks, education and training, medical treatment, and equipment technology. The defense relations with neighboring countries are constantly enriched with new connotations. Third, anti-epidemic cooperation has achieved remarkable results. After the outbreak of the New Coronary Pneumonia, the Chinese People's Liberation Army and neighboring countries' defense departments and military leaders expressed mutual sympathy and support, and provided material assistance to each other; at the request of the relevant countries, China also dispatched an army anti-epidemic expert group and held a video conference to some neighboring countries. Sharing the experience of epidemic prevention and control, the friendly cooperation between the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the defense departments of the neighboring countries and the military has been further sublimated.

Reporter: On the arrival of the May 4th Youth Day this year, Chairman Xi ’s message caused a strong response from the youth. The military camp attracted many aspiring young people as a place of great meritorious service. Please tell us what specific measures the military has taken to thoroughly study and implement the spirit of President Xi ’s message?

  Ren Guoqiang: On May 4th, President Xi sent a message to the young people of all ethnic groups in the country, which caused a warm response in the whole army. In light of its own reality, the army organized a series of May 4th Youth Day activities that "remember President Xi's words of enlightenment, youth, and strong military achievements," including the deployment of themed group day activities, thematic preaching, and the concentrated promotion of typical military youth deeds. This year ’s National Commendation of the Communist Youth League organization and the youth of the members collectively issued an initiative calling on the young people of the army to firmly follow the party ’s words and follow the party, actively participate in the training of the army and prepare for the war, consciously practice the strict style of work, advocate a healthy and civilized life, and let youth be the most important to the party and the people. Brilliant flowers bloom where needed.

  "Youth shines through tempering, and life is sublimated by struggle." During their study and discussion, the majority of young officers and soldiers stated that they must unswervingly implement the decision-making and deployment of the Party Central Committee, the Central Military Commission, and Chairman Xi, with the love of the party serving the country as the driving force for youth voyage, and give full play to the role of the new army and commando in the new era of army building. Meng Qiangjun dreams of unremitting struggle.

Reporter: Recently, the official WeChat account of the Rocket Army released a video of the opening of the military school. According to reports, many military academies have started to resume classes. Please confirm and introduce the relevant situation.

  Ren Guoqiang: According to the unified deployment of the national and military epidemic prevention and control, the military semester school semester starts, according to the resident epidemic prevention and control situation, strictly implement the responsibility system and prudently organize the implementation. At present, all military academies are beginning to resume classes and organizing students to return to school. It is understood that colleges and universities have made preparations for resuming teaching such as curriculum plan adjustment and teaching condition reform, to ensure that students can quickly transfer to normal classroom teaching after returning to school.

Reporter: Foreign media reported that the border confrontation incident occurred again recently in China and India. Please confirm by the spokesperson.

  Ren Guoqiang: China ’s position on the border issue between China and India is clear and clear. The Chinese border guards have always been committed to maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas. At present, the situation in the Sino-Indian border area is generally stable and controllable, and both parties have the ability to resolve related issues through established border-related mechanisms and diplomatic channels.

Reporter: On May 20, Tsai Ing-wen assumed the post of leader of the Taiwan region. On May 21, the US State Council approved the sale of Taiwan's MK-48 heavy torpedo and related equipment and technology worth US $ 180 million. Any comments on this?

  Ren Guoqiang: China firmly opposes the sale of weapons by the United States to Taiwan. The wrongdoing of the United States seriously violates international law and basic rules of international relations, seriously violates the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiques, seriously interferes in China ’s internal affairs, and seriously harms China and the United States Relations between the two armed forces and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait region are extremely dangerous. We urge the US to immediately stop selling arms to Taiwan, stop developing any form of official relations with Taiwan, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces.