Pretoria - As China celebrated the 92nd anniversary of the People's Liberation Army, its top brass have made it clear that China will always maintain a defence policy that is defensive in nature, and the country will always pursue an independent foreign policy. This is specified in the Chinese Government's new Defence White Paper.
The Chinese embassy in Pretoria hosted celebrations in honor of their armed forces last week, and the event was also attended by top brass from the South African armed forces.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief of the South African National Defence Force, Major General John Kobbie spoke of the warmth of the Chinese people and said, "The SANDF encourages the Chinese nation to become a prosperous nation while it continues making an enormous contribution to the betterment of developing countries, and in particular African countries."
The Defence Attache at the Chinese embassy Wang Zhong emphasized that China contributes more troops to UN peacekeeping missions than any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. At present there are around 2,500 PLA soldiers serving under UN blue helmets on the African continent. In addition to contributing to UN peacekeeping missions, China is involved in counter-terrorism and international humanitarian relief.
China has also recently hosted the first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, and received a group of 100 young African officers in China.
At present the PLA is conducting a national defence and military reform with a view to achieving military modernization by 2035. The goal is for the PLA to become a leading military force in the world.