Xi inspects massive international navy parade as China marks 70th navy anniversary
Updated 22:16, 23-Apr-2019
CGTN
01:06

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday inspected a massive international maritime parade in east China's Qingdao, as the country marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of its naval force.

Xi, also the Central Military Commission chairman, boarded the destroyer Xining after inspecting the honor guards of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy at a pier in Qingdao.

The parade started around 12:40 p.m. BJT (0440 GMT) and finished around 3:30 pm (0730 GMT). It featured 32 Chinese warships, as well as 18 vessels from 13 foreign countries including Russia, India, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Australia.

The vessels whistled and officers and soldiers stood in a ceremonial formation, saluting Xi as they passed by.

"Salute to you, comrades," Xi called out to the officers and soldiers.

"Hail to you, chairman," they replied.

Xi alternated the greeting with "Comrades, thanks for your hard work," to which the officers and soldiers replied "Serve the people."

'A maritime community with a shared future'

When meeting heads of foreign delegations earlier, Xi proposed the idea of building a maritime community with a shared future

He said: "The blue planet humans inhabit is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected by the oceans to form a community with a shared future, where people of all countries share weal and woe."

Maritime peace and tranquility concern the security and interests of all countries and need to be jointly maintained and cherished, Xi noted. Building 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is to facilitate maritime connectivity, pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and the development of the "blue economy," as well as to promote the integration of maritime culture and to improve maritime well-being, he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping takes a group photo with the heads of foreign delegations invited to participate in the multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese PLA, in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 23, 2019. /Xinhua Photo 

Chinese President Xi Jinping takes a group photo with the heads of foreign delegations invited to participate in the multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese PLA, in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 23, 2019. /Xinhua Photo 

The Chinese president also called for efforts to build equal dialogue and communication and to strengthen security cooperation. "The Chinese armed forces are willing to work with their foreign counterparts to actively contribute to maritime development and prosperity," Xi said.

'China upholds a defensive strategy'

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy was founded on April 23, 1949, and has since been modernized with a full capacity of safeguarding national interests and sovereignty and territory.

President Xi has urged to build a strong army with Chinese characteristics and build a first-class navy since 2013.

China's first naval convoy fleet sets sail for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia from Sanya, South China's Hainan Province, December 26, 2018. /Xinhua Photo

China's first naval convoy fleet sets sail for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia from Sanya, South China's Hainan Province, December 26, 2018. /Xinhua Photo

He has reiterated the need for a defensive national policy. Speaking to military officials and delegates on Tuesday, Xi said China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and champions new thinking on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security.

China also upholds the all-round, large-scale and multi-level foreign military relations.

China has fully participated in the formulation and implementation of maritime governance mechanism and related rules within the UN framework, Xi noted.

In recent years, the PLA Navy has engaged in bilateral and multilateral dialogues with different countries and actively participated in international cooperation such as disaster relief and search and rescue missions.

(Graphic designers: Du Chenxin, Zhao Junzhu)

(With inputs from Xinhua)

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