PLA is not afraid to fight for defending sovereignty and security: Global Times editorial
Published: Aug 01, 2022 11:39 PM


Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) celebrated its 95th birthday on Monday. On this day, many netizens on Chinese social media expressed their heartfelt congratulations to the PLA. Several phrases, such as "salute to the PLA soldiers" and "praising the PLA," became trending topics. At the same time, as the world situation enters a new period of turbulence and change enveloped in hegemony and cold war mentality, the slogan "A country needs a strong military before it can truly be strong and secure" has become a strong consensus among Chinese people.

In addition, this year's Army Day faces a special situation: The US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may visit the island of Taiwan in these two days, seriously provoking China's core interests. Tasked with deterrence and countermeasures, the PLA has naturally earned the particular respect of hundreds of millions of Chinese people.

Pelosi's provocation also proves once again that China needs to build a strong people's army more than ever in history. Pelosi would never be as stealthy as she is now if not for fear of the PLA. Instead, she would probably strut there and it is conceivable that the DPP authorities and Taiwan secessionists would also act more recklessly. But on the other hand, the presence, and especially the collusion between external interference, such as Pelosi, and Taiwan secessionists, has objectively put higher demands on the PLA. Our military cannot slacken in training and preparation for war, and we must accelerate the development of the PLA into a world-class army.

The Chinese army has not fought a war for nearly 40 years. Such a long period of peace has been won by the joint efforts of the Party, the government, the PLA and all Chinese people. It has created basic conditions for China's comprehensive and rapid development and is worthy of being cherished and safeguarded. 

But at the same time we need to keep reminding ourselves to maintain distance and vigilance against the naive mind-set that wishes for absolute pacifism. We must avoid the situation in which people no longer know how to fight after living in peace for so long. For a major country like China, the consequence of having a relaxed mentality on national defense construction is unthinkable. 

The turbulent international situation in recent years has repeatedly taught us that the world is not at peace. The scenes of devastation and extreme misery in some war-torn areas have deeply touched the Chinese people. There's no such thing as a peaceful world, we feel it is peaceful only because someone else is taking on the burden of keeping the peace, because we happen to live in China. The feelings expressed and shared by netizens have strong resonance in Chinese society. These grassroots feelings out of intuition are more in line with the reality of current international politics and help us enrich and improve our understandings of the world and of China. This is very necessary. 

Needless to say, the US' increasingly blatant besiege and containment against China is rapidly deteriorating China's peripheral environment. The US, along with several of its allies, have been creating obstacles to hinder China's reunification. Peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region is increasingly being threatened. In other words, the challenges facing the Chinese military are more severe and complex and the responsibilities to be undertaken are even more arduous.

In the past 10 years, the combat capability of the Chinese military has improved greatly and weaponry and equipment, the organizational system, actual combat training, military theory and talent cultivation have all made historical progress. Meanwhile, we need continuous efforts to strengthen national defense and build an army that matches China's international status and is in line with national security and development interests, providing strategic support for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. For this end, besides an adequate raise of the national defense budget, what the PLA needs is a continuous improvement in actual combat capability that will always focus on combat readiness, and forging an elite powerful force ready for the fight, capable of combat and sure to win.

It needs to be pointed out that the US and Western countries, while increasing their military spending by a big margin and while publicly pressuring China, criticized China's normal military buildup. According to their logic, China had better pull out its "teeth", so as not to pose a "threat" or be "aggressive." Chinese people won't fall for this trick. In fact, different from the US that takes the military as a hegemonic tool, China always pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature. China develops its military power to defend its national sovereignty, security and development interests. Compared with the external threats and challenges it faces now, China's military strength is still not enough. 

Since modern times, the Chinese people suffered hugely from foreign aggressions and wars. They love and cherish peace more than anyone else after experiencing all the agonies. But this doesn't mean that we will trade our core interests for peace and tolerate bullying. We will not attack unless we are attacked, but if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack. The people's army, having fought with all kinds of powerful rivals and won one victory after another, is never afraid to fight and always excels at fighting.