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PLA Navy’s 70th Anniversary Is Not a ‘Muscle Show’ for China

April 23, 2019 (EIRNS)—Today was the 70th anniversary of the Chinese PLA Navy, celebrated with a naval parade with foreign participation and an address by Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which he emphasized the oceans as the common heritage of mankind. Xi, in his address to the assembled heads of foreign delegations, called for concerted efforts to safeguard maritime peace and build a maritime community with a shared future, reported Xinhua. Oceans are of great significance to the survival and development of humanity as they breed life, connect the world and promote development, Xi said. “The blue planet humans inhabit is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected by the oceans to form a community with a shared future, where people of all countries share weal and woe,” he said. Xi said maritime peace and tranquility concern the security and interests of all countries and need to be jointly maintained and cherished.

“The peace-loving Chinese people long for peace and will unswervingly stay on the path of peaceful development,” Xi said. China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and champions new thinking on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, he stated. “Holding high the banner of win-win cooperation, the Chinese military is committed to creating a security environment featuring equality, mutual trust, fairness and justice, joint participation and shared benefits,” he said.

After the address, Xi boarded the destroyer Xining to review the naval parade in the waters off Qingdao. The first stage of the parade featured 32 Chinese Navy vessels and 39 aircraft, including China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning and nuclear-powered submarines, frigates and destroyers and military aircraft of all types. The second stage saw the participation of 18 visiting naval ships from 13 countries, including Russian Navy frigate Admiral Gorshkov and Australian Navy frigate HMAS Melbourne.

The event is being held from April 22-25, and many in the West view the parade as “a muscle show,” Global Times wrote in an editorial on April 22, especially since it occurs in the days right before the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. “But China’s rise is an important reality. It is all parties’ shared benefit to manage such reality. Other parties should not hold back China’s development, especially not label such containment as morality and justice.” The editorial said that China does not have imperial ambitions, and a

“powerful PLA Navy will not imitate those maritime empires. But no country should show off their strength in China’s offshore area. East Asia will not become the Balkans. Nor will the Western Pacific Ocean resort to war to resolve disputes. Major countries’ navies grew powerful in history because of the need to expand. But the PLA Navy has become powerful because it does not want to be bullied. The world should understand China’s military and diplomatic philosophy to really understand China.”

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