Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces General Affendi bin Buang on Thursday expressed gratitude to China for the assistance in Malaysia's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Affendi made the remarks during a virtual reception hosted by the Chinese embassy in Malaysia to celebrate the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China, which falls on Aug. 1.
In his congratulation message, Affendi took note of the close ties shared by both countries and both militaries which were extended to the fight against COVID-19.
"I take this opportunity as well to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the government of China and PLA for their support and donation of healthcare supplies as well as sharing your experiences with Malaysia in combating COVID-19," he said.
"We do hope that both countries shall maintain consistent communication and promote pragmatic cooperation in various fields, in a joint effort for regional peace and stability during this trying circumstances," he said.
Affendi also expressed his confidence in the continued cooperation between both countries, which would continue to strengthen their defense collaboration and achieve greater heights in bilateral cooperation.
For his part, Defense Attache of Chinese Embassy in Malaysia Zhang Ge recounted the wide and positive role the PLA has played in securing peace and stability while actively participating in peacekeeping operations and international efforts in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief including in combating COVID-19.
"In the fight against the spread of COVID-19 epidemic, the PLA has actively engaged in international anti-epidemic cooperation with the militaries of many countries and has provided epidemic control supplies to the militaries of more than 20 countries, including Malaysia," said Zhang.
"Military-to-military relations are an important part of the overall bilateral ties," he said, adding "the two sides are committed to further enhance existing defense cooperation between the two countries and join hands in safeguarding regional peace and stability," he added.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Thursday donated surgical face masks, goggles, protective clothing and other medical supplies to the Lebanese army to help combat COVID-19.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held here at Lebanon's Defense Ministry, Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian said that when China was in the middle of its anti-epidemic fight, the Lebanese leader and people from all walks of life expressed their support for China.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the two countries have maintained close cooperation on exchanging expertise and information on epidemic prevention and control as well as the treatment of patients, said Wang, adding that China has actively coordinated resources and offered several batches of medical supplies to Lebanon.
"The PLA is offering today equipment to the defense ministry in Lebanon, which reflects the great friendship between the two countries, armies and peoples," Wang said.
China is willing to tide over the difficulties together with the Lebanese people and army, Wang added.
Expressing appreciation for the donation, Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, who also attended the ceremony, said that it is not the first time that China supports Lebanon during difficult circumstances.
This donation, which marks a milestone in the friendly cooperation between the two countries, "will have a great impact on the efforts exerted by the (Lebanese) army to protect its members from COVID-19," Aoun said.
"We are keen to continue cooperating with China in a way that serves the interests of both countries," he added.
Lebanon reported its first COVID-19 case in Feb. 21. As of Wednesday, the country had registered a total of 1,161 cases, with 26 deaths.
Cambodia on Friday awarded the government's honorable medal decorations to four Chinese military doctors after they had successfully completed their two-month mission in helping the kingdom fight COVID-19.
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Tea Banh presented the "Knight Class" medals to them at a ceremony here, which was also attended by Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.
"The honorable medals were conferred in recognition of their contributions to help prevent the COVID-19 spread in Cambodia and strengthen Cambodian medical staff's abilities in the fight against the virus," Banh said.
He expressed his profound gratitude to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) for sending military medical experts, along with medical supplies and equipment, to Cambodia to help combat the highly contagious disease.
"In the past two months, the PLA's medical team has done their best in helping Cambodia stem the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. "They have brought both experience and methods in the fight against the COVID-19 to Cambodian doctors."
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a few milestones deserved to be inscribed in the Cambodia-China history, Banh said, adding that those included the special visit of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen to Beijing on Feb. 5, the Cambodia-China military exercise in March, and the sending of Chinese medical team to aid Cambodia's fight against the virus.
"These activities truly show unity, solidarity, and close cooperation between Cambodia and China in the fight against the COVID-19," he said. "China's medical assistance has given Cambodia more confidence and warmth in the fight against the virus."
Meanwhile, Wang said mutual help during the pandemic has raised China-Cambodia relations to a new height, and he believes that through joint efforts, Cambodia will be able to prevent and contain the virus effectively.
He said China really appreciated Cambodia's total objection to politicizing and stigmatizing COVID-19, and also praised the kingdom for its firm support for the World Health Organization's indispensable role in combating the pandemic.
The 35th fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Tuesday left the port city of Zhoushan in east China's Zhejiang Province for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort civilian ships.
Composed of the guided-missile destroyer Taiyuan, the missile frigate Jingzhou and the supply ship Chaohu, the fleet has more than 690 officers and soldiers, dozens of special operation soldiers and two helicopters on board.
It is the first time for the Taiyuan and the Jingzhou to carry out an escort mission in the Gulf of Aden.
The PLA Navy began to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia in December 2008.
At the request of the Cambodian military and with the approval of the Central Military Commission, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Saturday sent urgently needed COVID-19 prevention and control materials, including nucleic acid testing kits and protective gowns, to the Cambodian military by air force planes.
At the request of the Pakistani, Myanmar and Lao military forces, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Friday sent COVID-19 prevention and control materials, including nucleic acid testing kits and protective gowns, to the three militaries by air force planes.
Three teams of PLA medical experts were also dispatched to the three countries to conduct anti-virus work, the PLA said in a statement.
In addition to participating in China's domestic fight against the novel coronavirus, the PLA said it has also been actively engaged in international cooperation on battling the virus, in pursuit of the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity.
The world can only defeat the virus and overcome the difficulty through solidarity and mutual help, it added.
The PLA also vowed to continue to provide helps within its ability to military forces of relevant countries in their fight against COVID-19 and to promote anti-virus international cooperation. ■
The United States has indicted four Chinese military officers for allegedly hacking into the computer systems of credit-reporting agency, Equifax.Attorney-General Mr William Barr, who announced the indictment in Washington on Monday, described the hacking, which occurred in 2017, as the “largest data breaches in history’’.Barr identified the suspects as Wang Qian, Wu Zhiyong, Xu Ke, and Liu Lei all members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to him.He said the nine-count indictment, handed down by a grand jury in Atlanta, accused the quartet of conspiring to hack Equifax’s computer systems and committing economic espionageBarr alleged that the suspects stole “sensitive personal information of nearly half of all American citizens’’, damaged Equifax’s computer systems and committed wire fraud.He said Equifax’s “hard-earned intellectual property’’ was also stolen, adding that the scale of the theft was staggering.“As alleged in the indictment, the hackers obtained the names, birth dates, and social security numbers of nearly 150 million Americans, and the driver’s license numbers of at least 10 million Americans.“This theft not only caused significant financial damage to Equifax, but invaded the privacy of many millions of Americans.“It imposed substantial costs and burdens on them as they have had to take measures to protect against identity theft,’’ he said.The attorney general said investigations into the incident revealed “a pattern of state-sponsored computer intrusions and thefts by China targeting trade secrets and confidential business information’’.Barr further alleged that the hacks were carried out by group known as APT 10, working with the Chinese Ministry of State Security, or MSS.He said hacks by APT 10 target managed service providers and their clients worldwide across industries.“There were hacks by MSS intelligence officers who sought to steal intellectual property related to turbofan engines by using both insiders and computer operations;“Hacks by PLA officers who targeted victims in the nuclear power, metals, and solar products industries for the economic benefit of Chinese companies.“Indeed, about 80 per cent of our economic espionage prosecutions have implicated the Chinese government.“And about 60 percent of all trade secret theft cases in recent years involved some connection to China,’’ he alleged.Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
China is committed to strengthening military and security cooperation with Nigeria in line with the principle of mutual assistance, a senior military official has said.
Col. Liu Yongxuan, Defence Attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria said this at an occasion to mark the 91st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Liu said both countries shared similarities in contributing to global peace and security.
He further described the military exchange and cooperation between both countries as fruitful.
“China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor of world development and an upholder of international order.
“Nigeria has dispatched military personnel to participate in UN peacekeeping operations since its independence and the total number is up to 100,000, one of the largest among African countries.
“This year, Chinese Naval warship for the first time participated in the joint maritime exercises hosted by Nigerian Navy and has given impetus to the call by the Nigerian Government for a combined maritime force in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Under the principle of Mutual Assistance, the military and security partnership and cooperation between our two countries will be further strengthened.”
He also expressed confidence in increased cooperation between both countries in areas of common interest through the promotion of the “One Belt and One Road” initiative.
The initiative is known as a foreign policy and economic strategy of the Chinese Government to create a network of infrastructure to economically link China to Europe, other parts of Asia, Africa and Oceania.
It aims to develop the largest global platform for economic cooperation and more than 60 countries and international organisations have reportedly signed up for the infrastructure project.
In his remarks, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar commended the efforts of the PLA in promoting world peace and global order.
Abubakar, who was represented by Chief of Aircraft Engineering, Air Vice Marshal Abdulganiyu Olabisi, said that military cooperation between both countries “was growing”.
“One thing I can take away from their development is I see hope for Nigeria and other African countries, looking at the humble beginnings of the People’s Liberation Army.
“There are also examples of your collaboration with other countries across the world and on that note, I want to say that the military bilateral relations between China and Nigeria have been growing especially in the past decade.
“We do appreciate your invaluable contributions to our counterinsurgency operations. We are hopeful that this relationship will be strengthened for the mutual benefit of our countries.”
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
The Chinese mainland warned Wednesday that it will take further actions if secessionists in Taiwan continue to act recklessly.
Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office told a regular press conference that the recent military exercise by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has delivered a clear message.
“We have strong will, full confidence and sufficient ability to defeat separatist attempts for ‘Taiwan independence’ in any form, and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the spokesperson said.
He said the exercise was directed at “Taiwan independence” elements and their separatist activities, and meant to preserve peace and stability of cross-Strait relations, and the common interests of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
He criticised the current Democratic Progressive Party administration in Taiwan for destructing the political foundation for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, conniving at “de-sinicisation” by “Taiwan independence” separatists, obstructing cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, and producing hostility between the two sides of the Strait.
He said such acts have undermined the hard-won situation for the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties and caused a regress in relations.
Noting that “Taiwan independence” separatist activities are the biggest real threat to the peace and stability across the Strait, Ma pledged that “we will never allow ‘Taiwan independence’ elements to separate Taiwan from China.”
The spokesperson also stressed that the issue regarding Taiwan is a domestic affair of China and expressed resolute opposition against any intervention from outside forces.
A high-profile Chinese military official who was being investigated for corruption has committed suicide, China’s Defence Ministry said Tuesday.
Zhang Yang, a member of the Central Military Commission, a top military leadership body, committed suicide at his home in Beijing, authorities said.
Zhang was being investigated for corruption as part of a widespread anti-graft campaign launched by President Xi Jinping.
Authorities were probing alleged links between Zhang and two top generals who were jailed for corruption.
Zhang allegedly had ties with Guo Boxiong, who in July 2016 received a life sentence for graft, and with Xu Caihou, a former vice chairman of the commission who died of cancer in March 2015 while on trial.
A commentary in the military publication PLA Daily slammed Zhang.
“This former general with massive power has finished himself in this shameless way,” the commentary said.
“Zhang Yang has avoided punishment by the party discipline and the nation’s law by resorting to suicide.
“It is an extremely terrible move.”
The government said no fewer than 1.3 million officials have been punished for corruption since Xi came to power in 2012.
The campaign has felled both the party’s high-level “tigers” and “flies” in lower bureaucratic ranks.
Xi has called for restructuring the military, a process that critics say has included removing potential opponents and placing allies in leading positions.