Xi calls for Air Force to soar

Pres­i­dent tells air­men to im­ple­ment mil­i­tary strate­gies, poli­cies of new era

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO LEI [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping urged the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Air Force on Fri­day to keep mov­ing to­ward suc­cess and to build it­self into a world-class air power.

Xi, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, said the PLA Air Force has 70 years of glo­ri­ous his­tory, and gen­er­a­tions of Air Force per­son­nel are re­mem­bered for their im­mor­tal con­tri­bu­tions to safe­guard­ing na­tional sovereignt­y, se­cu­rity and de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ests.

He stressed that the Air Force is at a new start­ing point, so its air­men must up­hold the Party’s thoughts in the new era on strength­en­ing the mil­i­tary, im­ple­ment mil­i­tary strate­gies and poli­cies of the new era, stay true to their mis­sion, stick to the Air Force’s time-hon­ored tra­di­tions, and make all-out ef­forts to in­no­vate and catch up with lead­ing air pow­ers.

The pres­i­dent spoke as he at­tended a cer­e­mony at the China Avi­a­tion Mu­seum in Beijing’s Chang­ping dis­trict that marked the 70th an­niver­sary of the PLA Air Force’s found­ing. The mu­seum, run by the Air Force, is the largest of its kind in Asia.

Ac­com­pa­nied by all mem­bers of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, Xi ex­tended con­grat­u­la­tions and greet­ings to all Air Force per­son­nel on be­half of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and the com­mis­sion.

He pre­sented a wreath at a me­mo­rial ded­i­cated to the Air Force’s fallen he­roes, in­spected an ex­hi­bi­tion dis­play­ing the Air Force’s his­tory and ac­com­plish­ments and met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of dis­tin­guished units and dec­o­rated per­son­nel.

Over the past sev­eral years, Xi has re­peat­edly re­quested that the Air Force ac­cel­er­ate the trans­for­ma­tion to­ward a strong air power with in­te­grated air and space ca­pa­bil­i­ties as well as bal­anced strength in both de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive op­er­a­tions.

The PLA Air Force was es­tab­lished on Nov 11, 1949, in Beijing, about one month af­ter the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China.

Last month, the Air Force hosted an open house in Changchun, cap­i­tal of Jilin prov­ince. Dur­ing the 5-day event, avi­a­tion fans were treated to flight shows at the Air Force Changchun Air­port, in­clud­ing per­for­mances by the J-20, China’s top com­bat plane and the world’s third oper­a­tional stealth fighter jet, and the Y-20, the new­est strate­gic trans­port plane.

There were aer­o­batic per­for­mances by 35 air­craft of 10 types in Air Force ac­tive ser­vice, and 71 ground weapons of 46 types were dis­played.

In March 1946, the first flight school of the CPC’s armed forces was set up in Tonghua, Jilin prov­ince, and it was later moved to Changchun. The school is de­scribed by the Air Force as its cra­dle.

LI GANG / XIN­HUA

Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion Chair­man Xi Jin­ping, who is also pres­i­dent of China and the gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, vis­its an ex­hi­bi­tion mark­ing the 70th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the PLA Air Force on Fri­day.

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