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The Chinese Embassy in New Zealand holds a reception in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army

      On the evening of July 25, Senior Colonel Li Jingfeng, the Defence Attaché of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, held a grand reception in Wellington to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). About 400 people attended the reception, including representatives from New Zealand Defence Force, police, government departments, foreign diplomats and defence attaché corps basing in New Zealand, local media, local Chinese community, Chinese enterprises and international students etc. New Zealand representatives included Minister of Defence Hon. Mark Mitchell, Chief of the New Zealand Army Major General Peter Kelly, Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy Rear Admiral John Martin, Deputy Secretary of Defence Tony Lynch, Chief People Officer of NZDF Debbie Francis and Assistant Chief of NZDF Brigadier John Boswell. H.E. Ambassador Wang Lutong, staff of the Chinese Embassy and the China Cultural Center in New Zealand also attended the celebration.

      In his speech, Ambassador Wang Lutong reflected on the great contribution made by the PLA, over the past 90 years since its founding, to the striving for national independence and liberation of the people, in the cause of socialist construction and reform, as well as its contribution to safeguard national sovereignty, security and world peace. Ambassador Wang stressed that the Asia-Pacific region is facing more changes and challenges today, and China is committed to peaceful development, pursuing a defensive national defence policy. China hopes to strengthen cooperation with all Asia-Pacific countries and their national forces to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in relations between the two countries and the two militaries. Fruitful results have been accomplished in the fields of high-level exchanges, education and training, joint exercises and professional exchanges which have further advanced bilateral understanding and mutual trust. Ambassador Wang firmly believes that bilateral defence and military relations will surely see more significant progress with the joint efforts of the two countries.


      Defence Attaché Li Jingfeng noted that the PLA has been on an extraordinary journey over its 90 years, developing from a small and vulnerable army to a large and strong military force. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, with President Xi Jinping as the core leader since the 18th CPC National Congress, the PLA stays true to its mission and has a strong determination to realize a revolutionary reshaping and leap forward development, providing a fundamental guarantee and strong driving force to the realisation of the Chinese Dream of the Chinese nation's great rejuvenation. The world today is facing increasing challenges and risks, and the PLA, as a defender of peace, is willing to work with the defence force of New Zealand and of other countries, to jointly safeguard regional and world peace and stability. Militaries of China and New Zealand should explore new cooperative areas and deepen cooperation on the basis of existing achievements to scale new heights in pragmatic collaboration.


      Defence Minister Mark Mitchell highly praised the Chinese military for its valuable contribution to world peace and stability, noting that China is one of the major troop-contributing countries in the United Nations peacekeeping operations and is actively involved in peacekeeping operations in Sudan, South Sudan, the Congo (DRC) and Lebanon. China is an important defence and military partner of New Zealand. At present, the two militaries are working more closely together and building constructive defence cooperation based on the concept of respect and openness. Minister Mitchell believes that this cooperative relationship will continue to develop in the future.


      Chief of Army Major General Kelly noted in his speech that, the two militaries have established mature, constructive and forward-looking defence cooperation to jointly promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, carrying out extensive and frank dialogues on regional and international issues of common concern. This year, cooperation between the two militaries is being further advanced with high-level visits and mutual port calls by navy ships. The New Zealand military is greatly satisfied with its current relations with the Chinese military and is confident of continuing progress in the future.


      The reception reached its climax when Ambassador Wang Lutong, Defence Attaché Li Jingfeng, Minister Mitchell and Major General Kelly cut the birthday cake together, which was specially made for the 90th birthday of the PLA. The PLA Today documentary was screened during the reception, while The Journey of Glory photo exhibition was also held, along with a variety of introductory brochures. The reception went through in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, which achieved a complete success.


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