Chi Haotian

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Chi Haotian in 2000

Chi Haotian (Chinese: 迟浩田) (born 9 July 1929) is a retired general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. He served as Minister of National Defence from 1993 to 2003.


"Future Security Trends U.S.-CHINA MILITARY TIES"

  • To begin with, I would like to share with you some of my observations on the current world situation. With only three years to go before the 20th century ends, mankind is about to cross the threshold of another millennium, bringing what we accomplished in the past into the future. At this turn of the century, we can see a world that is caught in profound and complex changes; profound because such changes touch upon the fundamental question of "where the world is headed," and complex because they involve the readjustment of interrelations between various forces in the world. This is a time of difficulties and challenges on the one hand and opportunities and hopes on the other. At present, the international situation as a whole is moving towards relaxation and the trend towards a multipolar world is accelerating.
  • To maintain world peace and promote economic development has become the shared desire of all people. However, the world is no tranquil haven, but a place fraught with deep-rooted clashes of interests, with some regions reeling in conflicts and chaos. Facts have proved that peace and development remain the two major themes of the present-day world, yet both fall short of being satisfactorily addressed. Although mankind aspires to peace, the time of peace remains elusive. Although economic development has become a universal desire, development around the world still comes under interference. In my view, a lasting peace and brisk development in the world still calls for close attention and unremitting efforts by statesmen and people of all countries.
  • China pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature. This is out of the need for safeguarding state sovereignty and territorial integrity and maintaining lasting peace and stability for the country. China has never invaded any country nor has it stationed a single soldier abroad. However, there are still some people around the world who keep spreading the fallacy of the "China threat", arguing that a stronger China will threaten others and become a destabilizing factor in the Asia-Pacific region. I believe these people have ulterior motives. They are not happy to see China in development and progress. As is known to all, China's modern history is one that saw its territories ceded and its people subjected to foreign aggression, plunder and enslavement.
  • In more than one century from the Opium War in 1840 to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, imperialist powers, on several occasions, invaded China or turned it into their own battleground, nibbling away and seizing millions of square kilometers of Chinese territory.
  • As an old soldier who went through the winds of war in the first half of this century, I am keenly aware of the deep scars that agonizing chapter has left on the hearts and minds of our people. It teaches us that to live a peaceful tranquil and dignified life, our people must have the capability to defend themselves. It teaches us that the miseries the Chinese people went through in recent past must not be repeated either in China or in any other part of the world. Peace should be enjoyed by people of all countries. Even if China becomes stronger in the fixture, it will never embark on external aggression and expansion.
  • As an old Chinese saying goes, one may extend his vision by standing on high ground. That is, the higher one stands, the farther he can see. It is our sincere hope that the U.S. Government may stand on a higher plane and get a broader view on the issue of Taiwan. The high ground here is to maintain and develop the friendship between the Chinese and American peoples by respecting the feelings of the Chinese people.

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