BEIJING: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) marked its 91st anniversary on Wednesday (August 1) amid a far-reaching modernization program.
By the mid-21st century, China’s army will be “fully transformed into a world-class force,” General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commitee Xi Jinping pledged at the 19th CPC National Congress in October.
The PLA is not only retaining its dedication to traditional requirements, but also building an elite combat force aided by advanced military technology.
Xi, also Chinese president, reaffirmed the CPC’s absolute leadership over the army, adding that “there shall be no wavering, no hesitation, and no ambiguity.”
“Always listen to and follow the party’s orders, and march to wherever the party points,” Xi said on July 30 last year.
Dressed in camouflage military fatigues, Xi, also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected a parade on July 30, 2017 celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA. It was the very first time China has celebrated its Army Day – which officially falls on August 1 – with a military parade since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It was also the first time Xi reviewed troops in the field, according to Xinhua News Agency.
During the inspection session, Xi repeatedly shouted, “Hello comrades!” and “Comrades, you are working hard!”, while the troops bellowed back with “Serve the people!”, “Follow the Party!”, “Fight to win!” and “Forge exemplary conduct!”
The Central Military Commission (CMC) issued a guideline on November 5, 2017 affirming the absolute leadership of the Party.
The head of the CMC also urged the armed forces to bear in mind the sacred duty of fighting for the people, as the country has set military-civilian integration as one of its key national strategies since March 2015.
Calling on all PLA members to be “unswervingly committed to the fundamental principle of serving the people wholeheartedly,” Xi said the PLA needs to “always stand side by side with the people.”
Xi made the remarks during the parade last year.
“I firmly believe that our heroic PLA has the confidence and capability to defeat any intruder,” he said. “Our heroic PLA has the confidence and capability to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests.”
During a plenary meeting of the delegation of PLA and armed police at the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) in March 2018, the president, once again, called for practical efforts to further deepen military-civilian integration.
“Implementing the strategy of military-civilian integration is a prerequisite for building integrated national strategies and strategic capabilities and for realizing the Party’s goal of building a strong military in the new era,” Xi said.
An elite and powerful force needs to be forged, and “ready for fight, capable of combat and sure to win,” said Xi.
“A military is built to fight,” Xi stressed at the CPC National Congress. “Our military must regard combat capability as the criterion to meet in all its work and focus on how to win when it is called on.”
The Chinese president reiterated the importance for PLA to improve their combat capability and readiness for war during an inspection tour to the CMC joint battle command center on November 3, 2017.(INP)