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79th Anniversary of the Founding of PLA Marked
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Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan said Monday that China will promote the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relations, and work for the prospect of peaceful reunification.

Cao, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and state councilor, made the remarks when addressing a reception in the Great Hall of the People to mark the 79th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which falls on August 1.

Cao said to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and realize the complete reunification of the country is the core interest of China and the Chinese nation.

"We will resolutely implement the policies and principles of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with regard to the settlement of the Taiwan question, continue to exert our utmost with the greatest sincerity to promote the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relations, and work for the prospect of peaceful reunification," Cao said.

Meanwhile, Cao said the PLA is determined to fulfill the sacred duty of safeguarding China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and security.

"We will never tolerate 'Taiwan Independence' and will never allow the secessionist forces seeking 'Taiwan Independence' to make Taiwan secede from the motherland by any means or under any pretext," Cao stressed.

"Peace, development and cooperation are the general trend in the world today, and the overall international environment remains one of peace and stability," Cao said, noting that on the other hand, uncertainty and instability affecting peace and development remain a source of concern, and the human society is faced with new challenges.

Cao said the Chinese people love peace, wish to develop themselves, value cooperation and crave harmony. China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and is committed to peaceful development and the building of a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity.

"The Chinese armed forces pursue a military strategy which is defensive in nature and will strengthen exchanges, deepen cooperation, safeguard peace and enhance security with armed forces of other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit," Cao said.

"The PLA will remain a staunch force in maintaining world peace, promoting common development and building a harmonious world," said Cao.

Also attending the reception were leading officials of Party, government and military departments, veterans, representatives of military attaches of foreign embassies in Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2006)

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