Chinese officials meet with various military delegations; PLAAF chief: “Superiority in space and in air would mean, to a certain extent, superiority over the land and the oceans”; Hong Kong SAR vessels to be provided protection by PLAN;
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  • Chinese officials met with officials and military delegations from Vanuatu, Serbia, Greece, Macedonia, Togo and Kazakhstan during the week. Xu Qiliang, commander of the PLAAF and Deng Changyou, political commissar of the PLAAF also received air force delegations attending the International Military Forum on Peace and Development on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PLAAF.

    PLAAF Commander Xu stated on November 1 that China would develop an air force with integrated capabilities for both offensive and defensive operations in space as well as in air. He added that “superiority in space and in air would mean, to a certain extent, superiority over the land and the oceans.”1

    Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met with the visiting former South Korean Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae. Cho was ROK defense minister from 1999-2001. Both sides pledged to strengthen cooperation in the security arena. Cho was in China to attend the 7th China-ROK security forum.2

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang stated on November 10 that China's naval escort fleet would provide protection and aid to vessels of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) if the need arises. A Hong Kong-flagged ship was reportedly attacked by Somali pirates on November 9.3 A senior PLA officer stated that four Chinese Navy anti-piracy patrols had escorted more than 1,110 merchant ships in the area since December last year.4 The warships ‘Ma’anshan’ and ‘Wenzhou’ of the 4th Chinese naval escort taskforce also reached the waters of the Gulf of Aden on November 12.5

    In continuing military exercises, the PLA’s 3rd battalion of the Second Artillery (SAF) conducted a combined exercise for military operations other than war (MOOTW). Readiness for fighting floods, post-earthquake rescue, tackling snow disasters, extinguishing forest fires and wind disasters was tested.6 The annual nationwide recruitment for the PLA also began on November 1. College graduates who finished their four-year or three-year college studies in June 2009 will be given preference for the PLA’s two-year compulsory service.7 Meanwhile, the first Minority Nationality Officer Training Course of the PLA concluded at the National Defense University (NDU) on November 10. The course was expected to help in the further integration of ethnic minorities into the PLA.8