Chinese military spokesperson answers media questions during annual legislative session

A Chinese military spokesperson on Saturday answered media questions during the ongoing second session of the 14th National People's Congress , the country's national legislature.

A Chinese military spokesperson on Saturday answered media questions during the ongoing second session of the 14th National People's Congress , the country's national legislature.

Wu Qian, spokesperson for the delegation of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force, responded to questions on the deliberations of lawmakers from the military, China's defense budget, and US arms sales to China's Taiwan.

During discussions at the NPC session, lawmakers from the military delegation said efforts should be made to step up the effective supply of advanced combat capabilities and better modernize the national defense and the armed forces based on China's composite national strength, Wu said.

Answering a question about the defense budget, Wu said China's defense expenditure is transparent, reasonable and appropriate.

This year, China plans to spend 1.66554 trillion yuan (US$234.5 billion) on national defense, up 7.2 percent from the actual figure in 2023, according to a budget report submitted to the session for deliberation.

China is currently faced with a complex and grave situation regarding the fight against separatism, with arduous military tasks and increasing instability and uncertainty in the country's national security landscape, Wu said.

He said the increased amount of defense expenditure will be mainly used to intensify military training, strengthen combat preparedness, accelerate innovative development of defense-related science and technology, and deepen reforms of national defense and the armed forces, among others.

The moderate and stable growth in defense expenditure will contribute to the Chinese military's implementation of the Global Security Initiative, allowing for more effective engagement in international peacekeeping, maritime escort missions, humanitarian assistance, and other operations, Wu said.

This will further contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, he added.

"China's limited defense expenditure is entirely necessary to defend the national sovereignty, security, and development interests. It is a requirement for safeguarding global peace and stability. The Chinese military has always been a staunch force for world peace," Wu said.

Responding to a question about the recent US arms sales to China's Taiwan region, Wu said China is willing to work with utmost sincerity and do all it can to strive for peaceful reunification.

"But we will never leave any room for separatist activities seeking 'Taiwan independence,'" he added.

He said that Taiwan is China's Taiwan, and that the Taiwan question is entirely a matter of China's internal affairs that brooks no external interference.

Calling "Taiwan independence" the greatest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Wu said that any connivance at and support for "Taiwan independence" forces undermines peace across the Strait.

The US side should adhere to the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, and cease any official interaction with China's Taiwan region.

The United States should stop arming Taiwan with weapons, fulfill its commitment to not supporting "Taiwan independence," and stop sending any wrong signal to "Taiwan independence" separatist forces, the spokesperson said.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in Taiwan refuse to recognize the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, stubbornly stick to the separatist stance and make provocations to seek "Taiwan independence," Wu said, adding that this is the root cause of the persistent tensions and turbulence across the Strait.

The DPP authorities must bear all consequences arising therefrom, he noted.

The People's Liberation Army will continue to intensify military training and strengthen combat preparedness. It will unswervingly fight separatist forces and advance reunification to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Wu said.

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