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Qian Lihua: Chinese military is sincere in opening to outside

By Gao Jiquan (PLA Daily)

08:27, September 26, 2012

China's military diplomacy has been strengthening the forces that maintain regional and world peace and enhancing the radiation and influence of China's new security concept and new military diplomacy concept with self-confidence and self-improvement since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held ten years ago. On the eve of the National Day which falls on October 1, 2012, the reporter from the PLA Daily held a special interview with Qian Lihua, director-general of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), on the achievements in China's military diplomacy made in the past ten years.

Question: What is the deepest reflection in your several decades of military diplomacy career?

Answer: Diplomacy is a kind of strategic game. Military diplomacy is a competition of strength as well as wisdom. The national interests can be effectively safeguarded only by paying more attention to the use of diplomatic strategies on the basis of growing national strength. Of course, China will never seek hegemony, and will never impose her will on others, but China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity brook no violation.

Question: Considerable efforts as we have made, the rumor of "China's military non-transparency" is still spread frequently in the international community. What do you think of the issue?

Answer: Military transparency is an issue that we often talk about in our foreign exchanges. Frankly speaking, the United States has been appealing for China's military transparency, but actually, the U.S. military transparency is not high in its exchanges with us. Our military delegation once visited a U.S. aircraft carrier. "What is the detection range of the radar?" asked our side when we saw a radar set.

"A very long range," answered a U.S. duty officer. "My question is that what on earth the detection range of the radar is." "It's a very very long range to the best of my power."

In fact, radar is no high-tech product. From the answers of the U.S. side, we can see that it also has reservations about military transparency. Another case is when we visited a U.S. air base. The U.S. side kept visitors away from the F-22 fighter by enclosing it with a rope. However, Michael Mullen, the then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the U.S. Armed Forces, visited China in 2011. We not only allowed him to visit the Su-27 fighter, but also invited him to sit in the cabin. Even U.S. reporters marveled at our great openness.

As a matter of fact, every country has the right to independently decide the timing, content and extent of its foreign military transparency according to its own security interests. It is important that the Chinese military is sincere in opening up to the outside world. However, some people always look at the Chinese military with prejudice, for which we should keep calm and composed.

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