Vice Admiral Su Zhiqian – Commander of the East Sea Fleet, PLA Navy, China

Deepen Common Recognition, Strengthen Cooperation and Safeguard Maritime Security Together

1. Today, I am very delighted to come to the historical city of Galle to discuss the issue of maritime security and cooperation with colleagues of various countries. First of all, please allow me, on behalf of Admiral Wu Shengli, General Commander of the Chinese PLA Navy, to send my regards to the colleagues of various countries and to express my thanks to the Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense for the invitation to the Chinese Navy. I wish the dialogue would be a great success! And I’d like to elaborate the theme of the conference with three opinions.

We Initiate the Maritime Security Perception of Peace, Harmony and Cooperation

2. Recent years have witnessed many new changes in the maritime security environment. Maritime security and cooperation are confronting kinds of challenges relating to a wide range of fields, which have brought about a common topic of different countries and regions on safeguarding the security.

3. China is a continental country, as well as a country with maritime interest and profit. China is a peace-loving country. “Peace and Development” is the solemn promise the Chinese Government has made to the whole world. We promote the perception of “Bilateral Trust, Mutual Benefit, Peace and Cooperation” in an attempt to develop continuous peace, common prosperity and harmonious oceans. We believe, that coincides with the common wishes of the people of the global world.  

4. Our perception of maritime security is a peaceful mode in a hope of realizing common peace on the base of meeting common challenges. We have been proposing a peaceful exploration and utilization of the oceans, a win-win cooperation on the practical and equal principle, and have been opposing against maritime hegemony. We recognize that any country should allow other countries to develop if she really wishes to develop itself; any country should allow other countries to secure peace if she really wants her own peace. In the political multi polarization and economic globalization today, it is not a good choice to handle international affairs with a mental set of “I’m booming while you are declining” and “Zero Resistance”. Only trust instead of doubt, or dialogues instead of confrontation, or peace talk instead of conflict, can security and stability be ensured in dealing with maritime threats.

5. We propose the perception of harmonious maritime security in a hope that we promote common development on the base of the respect of mutual benefit. Immoral schemes cannot be realized in the long run. In this world, it is cooperation that will bring ever-lasting security instead of more weapons. Immoral schemes are not supposed to work in the long run. It is more stable development and closer cooperation between countries instead of more powerful weapons that will bring about security. Oceans are supposed to be in a perfect harmony. Today, threats to maritime security have become increasingly complicated. Only through closer communications and cooperation can common security be ensured in the process of seeking common benefit, mutual respect and co-existence. 

6. We propose the perception of cooperative maritime security in a hope that we can reach a wide range of recognition on the base of seeking common ground while reserving differences. We are confronted with threats that spread over any country or region that can isolate itself in coping with them independently. We don’t think that different countries, different navies, different perception of maritime security, different perception of maritime force application should become the hurdle of communications and cooperation. Solutions can be found; common recognition can be reached; common rational containment can be obtained in reducing or eliminating maritime threats or challenges as a result of secured global peace and development if we are to widen our field of vision through rational dialogues with mutual respect.

We are willing to make our efforts on defending maritime peace

7. The Chinese Navy has been devoted to maritime security, peace-keeping and common development of the world. We insist on solutions to maritime conflicts through dialogues and cooperative discussions; we insist on maritime military operations under the approval of the United Nations or in accordance with international laws; we insist on developing friendly and cooperative relations with other navies; and we insist on increasing efforts on the common duty of maritime security.  

8. Up to now, We have already sent 13 batches of escort convoys to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort 4,930 Chinese and foreign ships, as well as the ships of the World Food Program for their safety. It tends to become a routine that our convoys have positive communications and cooperation, joint escort and drills with ships of different navies, and commanders at sea meet with each other regularly. We have organized our hospital ship to Asian, African and Latin-American countries and regions for humanitarian medical service, which has received a warm welcome and enhanced friendly relationship between the Chinese people & Government and those of the countries visited.

9. We persist in the aim of safeguarding common interest with common responsibilities for common development when our navy executes anti-piracy operations, operations of ensuring freedom of navigation, providing humanitarian aid and activities of exchanges and cooperation for mutual understanding and trust. The practice has probed into containing piracy, ensuring freedom of navigation, humanitarian aid, further communications and cooperation and promoting mutual understanding, which plays an active role in local security and stability. That’s why we are determined to make our continuous efforts and contributions in these categories.

We expect a wide range of cooperation on maritime security

10. Peace and stability of the Indian Ocean relates to that of the whole world; freedom and security of navigation on the ocean is vitally important to the restoration of the world economy. 

11. The Chinese Navy is a firm force of world peace; she is the proposer of the perception of “Harmonious Oceans” and practices what she preaches. We are expecting to have launched a wider and further range of cooperation on maritime security with other navies in an attempt to make our own contributions in defending peace and stability of the India Ocean and the world at large through the platform of Galle Dialogue. Here, I’d like to put forward the following proposals:

  • Develop keen bilateral and multilateral dialogues on mutual strategic trust aimed at enhancing further friendly relations.
  • Get rid of bias for the sake of the establishment of operational security principles on maritime cooperation with respect of the integrity and maritime interest of different countries.
  • Face up to common maritime threats in an attempt to enlarge the cooperative scope through dealing with non-traditional security threats like the natural disasters and terrorism at sea.
  • Go in for practical and efficient cooperation in the matured fields for common-wished development with mutual respect and an open mind leading to a win-win result.

12. Friends and colleagues! The 21st Century will have a maritime focus .Human existence and development is relying more and more on the seas and oceans, calling for a more peaceful and prosperous status quo. We firmly believe, that goal is to come true if we are too well care, sincerely cooperate and respect each other with practical and efficient measures taken instead of wrong containment or confrontation.

Thank you all!

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