Chinese defense minister speaks about China's security initiative at 20th Shangri-La Dialogue
Updated 13:27, 04-Jun-2023

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu delivered a speech on Sunday at the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

China calls for mutual respect which should prevail over bullying and hegemony, fairness and justice should transcend the law of the jungle, eliminating conflicts and confrontation through mutual trust and consultation and preventing bloc confrontation with openness and inclusiveness, Li said. 

"Today, what Asia-Pacific needs are big pies of open and inclusive cooperation, not small cliques that are self-serving and exclusive," said Li.

Chinese modernization has become a powerful force driving development for all. It has contributed significantly to safeguarding world peace and played its role in improving global governance, the minister said.

China is ready to work with all other parties to build stronger security and confidence-building systems, promote more equitable security rules, improve multilateral security mechanisms and carry out more effective defense and security cooperation, he said. 

China stays committed to the path of peaceful development, Li said. "But we will never hesitate to defend our legitimate rights and interests, let alone sacrificing the nation's core interests."

On the Taiwan question, Li said the more rampant the separatist activities for "Taiwan independence" are, the more resolute our countermeasures will be. All foreign interference is doomed to end up in failure.

If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a second, Li stressed. "We will fear no opponents and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity regardless of any cost."

On South China Sea, Li said the sound momentum towards greater stability must not be disrupted, solidarity among regional countries needs to be cherished, and the prospects for regional peace and cooperation are promising. 

China and the U.S. should live up to the expectations of countries in the world and follow the trend of the times, the minister said, adding that the two countries should properly handle differences, brave difficulties and find the right way to get along. 

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