XI PRAISES MILITARY’S HISTORY
PLA urged to uphold Party’s absolute leadership, maintain combat readiness, innovate, stay true to faith and disciplines
China will never compromise on its sovereignty, security and development interests, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday at a ceremony in Beijing marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.
“The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions,” the president told the television audience and those in attendance and at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. “We will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form … and no one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests.”
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, told the PLA to uphold the Party’s absolute leadership and China’s socialist system; to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests; and to protect regional and global peace.
“The PLA must focus on improving its combat readiness. … We have multiple ways to safeguard peace and security and prevent wars, but military means are always our last resort,” he said.
In his speech, Xi looked back on the PLA’s history, paths and sacrifices, saying the military has made so many historic contributions to the Party and the Chinese people.
He said the PLA’s faith in the Party and its own lofty ideals, its fighting spirit and revolutionary discipline, as well as support from the people have been the foundation of its successes, adding the military must keep making reforms and innovate so it can always move forward.
He pledged to deepen the ongoing military reform, to encourage more use of science and technology in the PLA, and to push forward civil-military integration, which generally refers to the military transferring technologies to civilian sectors and commissioning private compa- nies to produce equipment for the armed forces.
Xi also called for a new gen- eration of “capable, brave and virtuous” army “with souls” in order to build a strong military.
Li Li, a military strategy researcher at the PLA National Defense University, said Xi’s remarks stated clearly his expectations on the Chinese military — to be a reliable and capable guardian for China’s sovereignty, security and interests.
“The president has repeatedly stressed the importance of science and technology in the future of the PLA because he is fully aware that a war tomorrow will definitely be one determined by science and technology,” she said. “Upon Xi’s request, the PLA will continue to strengthen its research and development efforts.”
Tuesday’s ceremony is the third event Xi has taken part in during the past three days to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the PLA.
On Sunday, he inspected a field parade at the Zhurihe Training Base in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, which involved a total of 12,000 troops and hundreds of large weapons and equipment.
The event was the first parade specifically organized to celebrate a founding anniversary of the PLA. Many new weapons there were shown to the public for the first time.
On Monday, Xi attended a reception held by the Defense Ministry at the Great Hall of the People, exchanging toasts with retired commanders, veterans and honor recipients to salute them.
On Aug 1, 1927, the Communist Party of China, which was founded in July 1921, led a military uprising in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, and established its own armed force in hopes of liberating the Chinese people from the hands of the Kuomintang rul- ers, local warlords and foreign imperialists.
The date was later commemorated as the birthday of the PLA, which was called the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army at first. The current name — People’s Liberation Army — was formally adopted in 1947, two years before the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, speaks in Beijing on Tuesday, the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.