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Chinese defense minister vows no concession in protecting national interests

Updated: Jul 29,2021 07:32 AM    Xinhua

DUSHANBE — Visiting State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe said in Dushanbe on July 28 that China will never make concessions in safeguarding its core national interests.

China is committed to maintaining world prosperity and stability, and its development will benefit mankind and the world at large, Wei said at the 18th session of defense ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states, noting that China has never bullied others and will never allow others to bully itself.

China has just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has completed the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and entered an irreversible historical process of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, he said.

On issues concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and the South China Sea, China will never compromise or make concessions, Wei stressed, adding that the country has the ambition, backbone and confidence to withstand all external pressure, overcome all risks and challenges, and firmly safeguard its core national interests.

Since the SCO's founding 20 years ago, thanks to the efforts of the heads of state of the countries and the guidance of the Shanghai Spirit, defense departments of the member countries have constantly strengthened their strategic mutual trust and advanced practical cooperation, Wei said, adding that the SCO has grown into an important and constructive force in international and regional affairs.

He said that the SCO member states should continue to maintain close communication and exchanges, improve cooperation mechanisms, deepen cooperation in professional fields, innovate cooperation models in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and strive to create a security landscape featuring joint contribution and shared benefits, so as to make greater contribution to the building of the SCO community with a shared future.

Wei noted that the world is far from peaceful as the once-in-a-century pandemic and profound transformations rarely seen in a century are intertwined.

In times of crisis, he said the international community should unite closely and support each other, jointly oppose hegemonism, unilateralism and interventionism, uphold and practice true multilateralism, and jointly shoulder responsibilities, meet challenges and overcome difficulties.

As the situation in Afghanistan is undergoing major changes and regional security risks are rising, the SCO member countries need to step up coordination and cooperation to jointly prevent and combat the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and cement regional security barriers, he said.

During the meeting, the defense ministers spoke highly of the SCO's achievements in maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting defense and security cooperation over the past 20 years.

They decided to continue to strengthen communication, build consensuses and expand cooperation so as to create favorable conditions for the sustained development of the SCO.

All parties underlined the need to actively support Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process, beef up counter-terrorism cooperation, combat terrorists and safeguard regional security and stability.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Wei held talks respectively with defense ministers of Pakistan, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, exchanging views on the international and regional situations, bilateral and military-to-military relations and counter-terrorism cooperation.

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