Visiting Chinese Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie today said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with its counterparts in the South Asian nations intended at maintaining regional security and stability and not targeting any third party.
Claiming that among China's fourteen land neighbours five are in South Asia he said that the Indian Ocean was an important energy and material transportation route for China which attached great importance to its relations with the South Asian nations, and committed itself to forging harmonious co-existence and cooperation with them.
General Guanglie said the National Defence Policy of China was subject to and in service of national development and security strategy.
He said this speaking at the Defence Services Command and Staff College in Colombo.
“Sri Lanka is also one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, China-Sri Lanka friendship has withstood the test of international vicissitude and we have always maintained good cooperation,” he said.
“We all know that since the beginning of its reform and opening-up, China's overall national strength and international influence have grown remarkably. Some people in the international community suspect that China would take the road of expansion with force, and have been actively spreading the ‘China Threat Theory’,” he said.
He said China's defence spending stood at a very low level and some people claimed China's, legitimate efforts in national defence as a ‘military threat’.
“Today, we are glad to see that under the leadership of the Sri Lankan government, the diligent, intelligent and kind-hearted Sri Lankan people are united in their efforts of maintaining domestic political stability and actively conducting post-war construction. Great achievements have been made,” General Guanglie said. (Supun Dias)