PLA begins monthly meetings with media

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 April, 2011, 12:00am


The People's Liberation Army, long known as the world's most enigmatic army, declared it would have monthly press conferences to improve its transparency.

The Defence Ministry invited about 10 Beijing-based media outlets - state press and a Hong Kong-based satellite television station with strong mainland links - to take part in its first-ever regular press conference yesterday, hosted by ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Geng Yansheng.

Geng said the press conference would take place on the last Wednesday of each month. He answered several questions, but would not give any update on China's first aircraft carrier, the Varyag.

Responding to a question about the second test flight of J-20 stealth fighter jet, he also urged the outside world not to overreact to China's weaponry and equipment with too much interpretation and guesswork.

'China's development of weaponry and equipment is aimed at safeguarding national security and is not directed against any other country or specific target,' he said.

Geng said General Chen Bingde, chief of general staff, would visit the US next month as the two countries try to repair military ties, which had faltered when the US sold US$6.4 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan in January last year.

Geng also said that a military delegation of Indian border patrol forces would visit Beijing soon, noting that 'new breakthroughs' and developmental momentum have emerged in Sino-Indian military ties.

The PLA said it would assign more spokesmen to host future briefings.