China holds parade in celebration of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 90th Birthday



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What message did China’s military parade send?

China holds ceremony to mark 90th anniversary of PLA founding

Chinese President Xi celebrates military in speech  focused on peace, future – CGTN America

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is moving rapidly toward “strong” informationized armed forces.

Xi said the PLA has transformed from a “millet plus rifles” single-service force to one that has fully-fledged services and has basically completed mechanization.

He said that the PLA must be bold in reform and adept in innovation while staying away from rigidity and stagnation at any time and under any circumstances.

Xi reaffirmed the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s absolute leadership over the PLA.

“To build a strong military, [we] must unswervingly adhere to the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces, and make sure that the people’s army always follow the Party,” he said.

Xi called for a new generation of “capable, brave and virtuous” army “with souls” in order to build a strong military.

Calling political work the “lifeline” of the PLA, Xi said troops must have ironclad faith, beliefs, disciplines and responsibilities, and retain their nature and tenet as the people’s army.

Xi has urged the country’s armed forces to bear in mind the sacred duty of fighting for the people.

The PLA is deeply rooted in the people and the strength comes from the people, said Xi.

Xi called on the PLA to maintain its close relationship with the people and “go through thick and thin” with them.

The PLA should also actively contribute to the economic and social development in stationed areas to benefit the people with actions, said Xi.

Xi urged boosting integrated military and civilian development amid efforts to build a strong military.

China must build a national strategic system and capacity of military-civilian integration, he said.

The CPC has established its thoughts on building a strong military in a new phase, Xi said.

The Party has put forward a series of new ideas and requirements concerning national defense and military building in the past five years since the 18th CPC National Congress, which together constitute the CPC’s thoughts on building a strong army in the new phase, Xi said.

The Party’s military strengthening theories should be constantly enriched and developed to cope with new challenges and solve new problems under new circumstances, he said.

He stressed “coordinated, balanced and inclusive development” of economic and national defense construction.

China will never compromise on its sovereignty, security or development interests, Xi said.

“The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions. We will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form,” Xi said.

“No one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests,” he said.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while addressing a grand gathering in celebration of the PLA’s 90th founding anniversary.

Source: China Daily/Asian News Network

PLA ready to guard sovereignty 

 

Standing ready: Chinese paramilitary policemen stand in formation at Tiananmen Square after attending a ceremony to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — AFP

BEIJING: The Chinese army will step up its pace of improving its joint combat capabilities and “stand ready to fight and win at any time”, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Chang Wanquan said.

Speaking about the cross-Straits situation, Chang said yesterday the People’s Liberation Army is “confident, capable and fully prepared to resolutely safeguard State sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Chang made the remarks during a speech at a grand reception marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA, which fell yester­day.

President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee as well as chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the reception along with other party and state leaders.

The PLA has come a long way since its birth during the armed uprising in the city of Nanchang on Aug 1, 1927, when it had only 20,000 soldiers.

Xi oversaw and addressed a grand military parade on Sunday marking the 90th anniversary at the Zhurihe Training Base in North China’s Inner Mongolia region.

Yesterday morning, Xi attended a grand ceremony in Beijing commemorating the 90th anniversary and delivered a speech.

Led by Xi, the PLA has been advancing reform, technological upgrades, boosting training and combat readiness, Chang said.

Through this, it has achieved thorough restructuring and greatly enhanced its combat effectiveness, he added.

The military will press ahead with reforms and staunchly focus on winning in combat and training for readiness, Chang said.

Speaking of the cross-Straits situation, Chang said adherence to the 1992 Consensus and opposition to Taiwan independence constitute the political foundation of peace and development of cross-Straits relations.

Any form of secessionist attempt by anyone at any time would surely be opposed by the whole Chinese people and nation, he added.

Noting the Chinese military’s role as a contributor to world peace, he said the PLA facilitates global development and supports international order.

As of June, the Chinese military had participated in 24 UN peacekeeping missions, sending 31,000 personnel, 13 of whom lost their lives on duty. — China Daily/Asia News Network

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Beware of meddling via soft power !


MEDDLING by foreign powers is an established phenomenon for as long as one can remember. They are not limited only to the Muslim countries and communities. For example, last year at the Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City, President Barack Obama indirectly admitted this when he publicly stated that the days of US interference in the affairs of Latin America were coming to an end. Reportedly, he said, “the days in which our agenda in this hemisphere presumed that the United States could meddle with impunity, those days are past”. Some traced this to as far back as the conquest of the Americas by the Europeans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries especially after its so-called “discovery” by Columbus. Perhaps, the major difference is that there are many more Latin American leaders and populace who are more “resolute” than their Muslim counterparts in resisting any attempt to meddle.

More generally “colonialism” is one form of meddling that many parts of the world have experienced, and are still suffering from it. Malaysia is no exception, no denying that there are some benefits to be learnt from the process. But where it hits the “mind” is where it is more toxic to the extent that it can debilitate. Even long after achieving independence the “colonised” mindsets are still clearly felt whether at the level of the leadership or the population at large. The post-Merdeka generations are more vulnerable when they are shut out from the larger discourse affecting the future of the nation, ironically due to yet another form of “meddling” that left them disenfranchised. In the days of social media, the impact of this can be phenomenal, what with other contending parties that are more than eager to attract their attention, as we have seen recently.

Social media is an excellent platform for yet another form of meddling – soft power. Coined a few years ago, soft power describes “the ability to attract and co-opt using persuasion (mind-twisting) rather than by coercion, notably by bullying and arm-twisting (hard power). To the disenfranchised, soft power is said to be very appealing especially when “credibility is the scarcest resource”, as explained by Joseph Nye, who introduces the concept. In fact more recently, the term has expanded to include “changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organisations.”

Of the six factors that are often associated with enhancing soft power, education and culture seem to be pivotal. In other words, meddling can be carried out discreetly using these two dimensions. Indeed, Nye did suggest how higher education leaders might enhance American soft power by increasing international student and cultural exchange programmes. Viewed this way, soft power is a very subtle extension of the colonial process without even realising it. A case in point is when in 2007 the Rand Corporation in the US developed a “road map” for the construction of moderate Muslim networks and institutions “that the US government and its allies need, but thus far have failed, to develop clear criteria for partnerships with authentic moderates”. It therefore proposes “the building of moderate Muslim networks an explicit goal of US government programmes”.

More explicitly, it listed who the “moderates” are to be targeted according to priority, namely: liberal and secular Muslim academics and intellectuals, young moderate religious scholars, community activists, women’s groups engaged in gender equality campaigns, and finally moderate journalists and writers. It argued that “the US should ensure visibility and platforms for these individuals.” For example, to ensure that individuals from these groups are “included in congressional visits, making them better known to policymakers and helping to maintain US support and resources for the public diplomacy effort.” If these sound like “meddling”, it is because it is one – effectively disguised as “soft power”. It is without doubt, yet another attempt among many to continuously interfere and manipulate the situation from the perspective of the authors and the sponsoring institution. Despite this it is very sad if Muslims are oblivious to the sleight of hand, and succumb to the form of endless meddling. Only to realise that it causes more confusion and divisiveness among the community.

In the days ahead before Aug 31, it is incumbent upon us to deeply ponder what Merdeka means beyond the routine parade and march-past, flag-raising ceremony and singing the national anthem.

By Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, theSundaily

With some four decades of experience in education, the writer believes that “another world is possible”. Comments: letters@thesundaily.com

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Banding together for unity, AnakAnak Malaysia


National pride: EcoWorld’s father and son team Tian Xiong (left) and Kee Sin proudly wearing the campaign’s wristbands.

It has been more than a month since the #AAnakAnakMalaysia campaign started and today marks the final day of the simple yet meaningful campaign.

What started out as a campaign to unite Malaysians and uphold the spirit of independence quickly grew and flooded social media, especially with images of the people creatively expressing their patriotism using the campaign’s signature #AnakAnakMalaysia wristband.

Together, two proud Malaysian companies – EcoWorld Develop­ment Group Bhd and Star Media Group Bhd (formerly Star Publications (M) Bhd) – banded together to remind us what it means to be Malaysian and to look beyond skin, cultural background, race and creed.

The campaign stands firm in its belief that embracing diversity is key to success and with millions of shares of pictures with the hashtag (at www.anakanakmalaysia.com), it was evident that the campaign struck a chord in the hearts of Malaysians.

Wong (left) beaming with pride as he shows his solidarity with Malaysians.

The Star sat down with EcoWorld chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, executive director Liew Tian Xiong and Star Media Group Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai to hear from them the journey of the campaign towards Malaysia Day and its impact.

Tian Xiong said the response to the #AnakAnakMalaysia campaign was beyond what was imagined.

When coming up with a Merdeka-Malaysia Day campaign, he said the group branding team had wanted to do something different.

“Over the years, we realised that fewer flags are being waved. We just wanted to do something significant and remind people that there is a lot to look forward to in this country,” he said.

Although there were about 20,000 pictures shared through the hashtag, Tian Xiong said the total number of shares accumulated to about six million across all social media platforms.

“Everyone was posting pictures –no matter where they were. There were so many creative pictures,” he said.

Tian Xiong’s favourite so far has been the one where a father uses his fingers to form the shape of a heart on his pregnant wife’s belly, signifying the coming of an “Anak Malaysia”.

The campaign drew attention in the media with Tian Xiong even getting personal feedback.

“Everyone has been saying that it’s a good campaign. We made 480,000 wristbands for this and there are still people asking for more,” he said, adding that he always made it a point to pass these to his friends whenever they met up for their weekly football games.

“I’ve never been embarrassed to be a Malaysian. This country has a lot to offer and it gives you character.

“Even when I was studying abroad, I always wanted to come back,” he said.

Growing up, Tian Xiong said being tolerant of other races came naturally, particularly when he was surrounded by people of various ethnic groups every day.

His father Kee Sin said as a parent, the key was to teach children to respect each other, not to look at skin colour, and to embrace diversity.

“Parents should let their children mix and mingle with different races and Malaysians should make friends, rekindle friendships and not stay within their own boundaries,” he said.

In EcoWorld, he said diversity was their theme, which was embraced by all employees.

Growing up in Plentong New Village, he said it never mattered what race each child in the football field was then as everyone just bonded over the sport.

He believes that the reason for such troubled times in the country is because people have taken the country’s richness in culture, race, and religions for granted.

Leaders, he said, should now think of ways to move forward.

A proud Malaysian, he said he always did his little part in placing Malaysia on the world map whenever he travelled.

“I always make it clear to everyone I meet where I come from and will continue to remind people,” he said, adding that overseas, it did not matter what one’s race was as everyone identified themselves as Malaysians.

Wong agreed with EcoWorld that the response to the campaign had been overwhelmingly successful.

“The National Day-Malaysia Day campaign struck a chord with all layers of Malaysians because the majority of us are tired of race politicians and, certainly, disconnected politicians who use race and religion to ensure their survival.

“This is not what most moderate Malaysians want for this country. Malaysians want to celebrate these two great days, not mark these important dates with fear.

“We must be able to go to the streets on Aug 31 and Sept 16 in a celebration of joy. These two dates are about Malaysians of all races, religions and cultures coming together as one people,” he said.

It was shocking, he added, that some had chosen to draw and emphasise on the differences – whether real or imaginary.

Wong said they got daily calls from Malaysians wanting to be part of the initiative and, regardless of race, he could see the genuine joy and pride each time they put on the wristbands.

“We share this joy for our little part in making history for Malaysia.

“It was truly a people’s initiative to spread the word of moderation and we hope to carry out a similar collaboration next year where, again, all Malaysians can make a simple statement of their love for our Malaysia which we truly love,” he said.

BY KATHLEEN MICHAEL The Star

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Tibet celebrates 50 years of liberation and its founding in Lhasa


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The Chinese central government has over the years instituted many polices to help Tibet’s development, in order to enable Tibetans to enjoy better education, higher incomes, better health care and social security. CCTV reporter Liu Yang is in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s capital Lhasa. She talked earlier about the region’s transformations, as regional autonomy of ethnic minorities has been implemented in Tibet for 50 years.
 

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Potala Palace bathed in the morning light in Lhasa, June 1, 2013. [Photo by Li Zhongmin/All rights reserved by chinadaily.com.cn]


Autonomy and assistance drive Tibet to prosperity

The now-50-year-old Tibet autonomous region has every reason to rejoice: The national regional autonomy mechanism is working well and benefiting ordinary Tibetans.Yet the 14th Dalai Lama and those in Dharamsala of India will not be sharing the festive mood, for this is not what the Dalai Lama wants. The “high degree of autonomy” he advocates is de facto independence. He wants the central government to forsake any military presence in the region and for the region to conduct its own diplomacy. This would mean the region becoming an independent sovereignty entity.But for that to happen, he would first have to overturn the established jurisprudential truth that Tibet is a part of China. Which is impossible.

The Dalai Lama knows that the autonomous region was an outcome of negotiations between the central government and the local authorities of Tibet, and was written into the famous 17-Article Agreement for Tibet’s peaceful liberation. Until the armed rebellion in 1959, the Dalai Lama himself chaired the preparatory committee for the Tibet autonomous region.

And the design drawn up then has served Tibet well, no matter how unwilling he is to acknowledge it.

There is but little exaggeration in local administrators’ familiar claims that Tibet is enjoying its golden days, because it keeps changing for the better with each passing day.

Few of these changes would have been possible without the very special autonomy bestowed on Tibet.

Such autonomy facilitates local administration, because, in addition to making laws and regulations on its own like all other local governments, the regional government is authorized to tailor national laws to local conditions in their implementation.

Even among the country’s autonomous regions, Tibet has been the subject of envy for the policy favors it has received. Financial subsidies from the central government accounted for almost 93 percent of financial expenditures of Tibet from 1952 to 2014, not to mention the endless aid programs provided by dozens of central government offices, provinces and major State companies. And the sixth central conference on Tibet has just promised further efforts to improve local living standards.

More importantly, the traditional culture of Tibet, from Tibetan Buddhism to the Tibetan language and way of life, which the Dalai Lama says is a target of “cultural genocide”, remains alive and well.

Compared with the Dalai Lama’s pipe dream “autonomy”, what the Tibetan people enjoy now is genuine and practical freedom to build better lives. – China Daily/Asia News Network

Real Tibet can’t be concealed by Dalai’s lies
A grand ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region is held at the square of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Sept. 8, 2015. (Xinhua/Ding Lin

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. People of all ethnicities have held celebrations for this anniversary.

For all these years, there have been two Tibets in public opinion. One is the real Tibet. The other is an imaginary one hyped by the Dalai Lama clique and Western opinion who often denounced that Tibet is not what it used to be under the rule of the CPC.

The imaginary Tibet does not exist, but with the instigation of Western media and the Dalai Lama, this Tibet has a certain influence in the international opinion sphere. This is perhaps the longest-lasting lie in the modern world.

This lie even forms moral and political correctness in the Western world, which blocks Westerners from knowing about the real Tibet. Some people believe only changes in the power structure and political relations between China and the West can break the lie.

The 14th Dalai Lama is lauded as a “saint” and his image was made into a smiling and wise old man. But his record when he ruled Tibet will thwart the Western public’s notions. The Dalai Lama never dares to talk about his past. This cruel ruler in exile once received the Nobel Peace Prize plotted by Western forces. He also enjoyed the spotlight as a guest of Western leaders. But once the Western opinion reveals his shadowy past, he will be exposed as a cheater.

What should Tibet be like? Western opinion articulates it into an original ecological community with no association with the modern world. They view Tibetan people as aborigines and see all modern facilities in Tibet as destruction.

This is an unfair and unreasonable mentality. It is for the Tibetan public and Chinese people as a whole to assess the social achievements of Tibet. They know what Tibet most needs and care more about Tibet’s development than any external forces.

Tibet has achieved remarkable political progress and undergone unprecedented modern infrastructure construction. Besides, this was all done with Tibet’s culture and ecology protected. Compared to Native Americans in the US, the Tibetans have kept their originality more.

The lies told by the West will not last long. As China gradually moves to the center of the world stage, people across the world will have the chance to see the real Tibet. Tibet will help improve China’s image. The Dalai Lama clique that has become an appendage to external forces to destabilize Tibet is bound to be the loser as time goes by. – Global Times

Why is the Dalai Lama Lying?

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