China will not allow history to repeat itself, Chinese defense minister said during a visit to site of Chinese Embassy in former Yugoslavia
Published: Mar 27, 2021 03:31 PM
Photo:Ministry of Defense

Photo:Ministry of Defense

''The Chinese military will never allow history to repeat itself as China is capable and determined to defend its national interests,'' Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Defense Wei Fenghe said on Friday as he paid tribute to martyrs in Belgrade, at the site of Chinese Embassy in former Yugoslavia that was bombed by NATO in 1999. 

''Paying tribute to the martyrs at the site of the bombed Chinese Embassy in former Yugoslavia was a special trip,'' Wei pointed out, saying that the Chinese military will never allow this kind of history to repeat itself and that China is fully capable and determined to defend its national sovereignty, security and development interests.

Photo: Ministry of Defense

Photo: Ministry of Defense

Prior to the visit on Friday afternoon, Wei met with the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. 

Chinese observes noted that China, during the trip, held the principle of building and deepening good bilateral relations and military exchanges with European nations. But Wei's visit to the site of the Chinese Embassy in former Yugoslavia also delivered the message that China is determined to respond to any provocative moves from others, including the US. 

Wei's visits to Hungary, Serbia, Greece and North Macedonia from Wednesday to March 31 came amid some NATO members moving to deploy or announced plans to deploy warships to the South China Sea with the excuse of the so-called Freedom of Navigation operations. These countries include France, Germany and the UK. 

Some NATO members are attempting to play certain security roles in the "Indo-Pacific" region. China can respond by getting involved in security affairs in Europe and allow NATO to understand more about China as a global security actor, experts said. 

NATO is picking a fight against China. ''When foreign ministers meeting of NATO members called China a 'challenge' a few days ago, we have to remind NATO that it owes a debt of blood to the Chinese people,'' Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday at the press briefing.

Hua said that it shall not be forgotten that the US-led NATO blatantly bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 in a severe violation of relevant international conventions and basic norms of international relations. In the process, killing many innocent civilians, including three Chinese journalists. 

On March 24, Serbia commemorated the victims of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia 22 years ago. Serbian President Vučić also remembered how NATO countries "attacked a sovereign country, without an approval of the United Nations," and he condemned it as a " horrific act of crime, and an act of aggression."

Global Times