Yang Yanyi (4th L), ambassador and head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, Qi Huajun (2nd L), defense adviser for the Chinese Mission to the EU, General Mikhail Kostarakos (3rd L), Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, and other guests cut a cake to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army of China at a reception in Brussels, Belgium, on July 19, 2017. General Mikhail Kostarakos, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, congratulated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army of China at a reception co-hosted by the Chinese Mission to the EU and Chinese embassy in Belgium. (Xinhua/Han Chong)
BRUSSELS, July 20 (Xinhua) -- General Mikhail Kostarakos, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, congratulated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army of China at a reception co-hosted by the Chinese Mission to the EU and Chinese embassy in Belgium.
The reception on Wednesday evening was attended by more than 600 guests, including Yang Yanyi, ambassador and head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, Prince Laurent of Belgium, Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Rear Admiral Robberecht, the Belgian naval component commander, and other senior diplomats and military attaches.
"During their 90 years of history, People's Liberation Army have achieved very much for the Chinese people," Kostarakos said in his speech delivered at the reception.
"People's Liberation Army contribution is not limited only to Chinese people. It is ... an instrument that often used to make world a better place," he added.
Highlighting China's contribution to world peace and stability, Kostarakos hailed that "China is a very active global actor in security building."
"As the number one troop contributor to United Nations missions among the five permanent Security Council members, China tangibly demonstrates its support to the international rules-based system. At the same time, it demonstrates China's commitment to contributing to global stability," Kostarakos said.
"The initiative announced by President Xi Jinping in September 2015 to create a standby force of 8,000 peacekeepers only underlines this noble and responsible position," Kostarakos added.
On China-EU military cooperation, he said "Chinese and European Union troops work in parallel in Mali and in the Horn of Africa, assisting local authorities in building up their own capacities."
"China enjoys the highest appreciation in their missions because of your troops' performance and contribution. I strongly believe that there is so much to achieve if we identify ways to work together," he said.
"Together, the military of the EU and People's Liberation Army, we can build one more bridge that will bring our nations together. The respect of one soldier towards another provides fertile ground for these efforts to flourish," Kostarakos concluded.