President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK in 2015 ushered in the China-UK "Golden Era". At the beginning of this year, Prime Minister May paid a successful visit to China, during which the leaders of our two countries agreed to build a more strategic, practical, global and inclusive bilateral relationship. Military-to-military relationship is an important part of China-UK relationship. In recent years, our two militaries have seen more active exchanges and cooperation than ever. In the recent month alone, General Yu Zhongfu of the PLA Air Force led a delegation to the UK and attended the events marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force; The First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones paid a successful visit to China; And the sixth China-UK Defence Strategic Consultation was successfully held. Last year, The Chinese Navy Escort Taskforce paid its first visit to London. The Red Arrows performed at the Airshow China in Zhuhai for the first time. The two militaries held a successful joint evacuation tabletop exercise. And they have engaged in effective cooperation on UN peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and personnel training.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
President Xi Jinping said that we should have the right historical perspective. What he means is that we should review the past, draw lessons from history and grasp the historical trend. In the last century, the world went through tests of fire and blood, endured wars and enjoyed peace. In the 21st century, it is important that we draw lessons from history and do our utmost to safeguard world peace and promote development. I sincerely hope that China and the UK, and the militaries of our two countries will keep in mind the big picture of world peace and development.
First, we should enhance mutual trust. Mutual trust is the basis of cooperation. China and the UK differ in history, culture and social system. But both our countries champion multilateralism and oppose unilateralism. Both support free trade and stand against protectionism. And both uphold the authority of the UN and the rule-based international order. Our two countries have every reason to enhance dialogue, build mutual trust and deepen cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Second, we should expand cooperation. The China-UK "Golden Era" offers opportunities for our two sides to expand, deepen, upgrade and increase our exchanges and cooperation. This will enable us to pool our strengths in addressing the challenges to global security and development, and enhance the strategic and global significance of the China-UK "Golden Era". Through cooperation, the relationship between our two countries and our two militaries will grow strong and prosperous.
Third, we should safeguard peace. China and the UK are permanent members of the UN Security Council. Both are countries of global influence. Both shoulder the important mission of safeguarding peace for mankind. It is our international responsibilities and obligations to join hands, cherish peace and safeguard peace. The world is a community with a shared future for mankind. The people of the world deserve a better future – a future of lasting peace and universal security. Together, we can make this happen.
Now, may I invite you to join me in a toast:
To the 91st anniversary of the People's Liberation Army of China,
To ever-growing China-UK relationship and military-to-military cooperation,
To lasting peace and universal security in the world!