Friday, November 6, 2009

China's Air Force commander calls for 'harmonious use of space, air,' China Daily

Xinhua - The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force commander Xu Qiliang on Friday called for peaceful and harmonious use of the space and air by the world's air forces.

Xu made the remarks in a keynote speech during an international forum on peace and development in Beijing to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the PLA air force.

No single country could stay out of the way, or protect itself if the space and air was turned into a battlefield, Xu said.

"We propose that a just, effective safety mechanism in space and air must be built to prevent conflicts and wars, so that space and air can better serve civilization," he said.

Xu called on air forces of different countries to enhance cooperation, exchanges and mutual trust in order to ensure mutual safety.

Air forces should reach consensus on issues concerning safety in space and territorial airspace and to improve international laws and regulations, he said.

They should cooperate to battle terrorism, separatism and extremism, engage in disaster relief, and conduct joint military exercises, Xu said.

Environmental protection of space and air was also of great concern, he said.

Xu's words came days after he said the shift in the world's military buildup towards space and air was "inevitable" in an interview on November 1.

Air force leaders and representatives from China and 34 other countries attended Friday's forum, which aimed to deepen understanding, cooperation and friendship between the air forces.

The PLA air force was founded on November 11, 1949.

Aside from the forum, the PLA is also expected to put its most advanced warplanes on display in the suburbs of Beijing as part of the celebrations for the anniversary.

All the aircraft to be exhibited, including the Kongjing-2000 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEWC) aircraft, J-11 fighters, H-6 bomber jets, and HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, were made in China.

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