Whether we should set up overseas military bases has been a hot topic ever since China joined the international anti-pirate co-operation last year. The issue sparks hot debates online. Some navy officers believe there is a need to set up some bases for military supply, while the government declares China is in no need to seek supplies from such kind of bases.
Chinese troops once garrisoned in other countries
Setting up overseas military bases is not an idea we have to shun; on the contrary, it is our right. Bases established by other countries appear to be used to protect their overseas rights and interests. As long as the bases are set up in line with international laws and regulations, they are legal ones. But if the bases are established to harm other countries, their existence becomes illegal and they are likely to be opposed by other countries.
China develops its military force with a theme of peace in mind. Therefore, we can either develop military forces domestically to maintain peace, or place the forces abroad as long as we take world peace as the ultimate goal. In the 1950s, the Korean War enflamed the border of China. China had no option but to call up volunteer soldiers to fight against the overseas intervention in its northern neighbor. Many of the volunteer soldiers remained in North Korea for years after the end of the Korean war to safeguard the peace of the two countries. Finally, the troops withdrew from the peninsular where the stability was regained.
After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China dispatched troops abroad under the invitation of the foreign countries as long as their requests are in line with our security interests, good to resume regional stability and benefit for the world peace process. So it is baseless to say that we will not set up any military bases in future because we have never sent troops abroad.
We need to know the military bases are not set up in view of the previous practices but are established in accordance with China's interests as well as world peace. We can speak the point clearly even though to set up overseas military bases is not yet on agenda. It is wrong for us to believe we have no rights to set up the bases abroad.