Xi affirms Party’s absolute leadership over military

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/1 23:03:39 Last Updated: 2017/8/2 8:22:19

Peace-loving China never compromises on sovereignty: Xi

A military band conductor leads rehearsals ahead of a ceremony to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

China will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory from the country at any time, in any form, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday at an Army Day celebration. 

A grand rally was held Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which falls on August 1. 

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), said at the ceremony that "the Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions."

President Xi added that "no one should expect us to swallow a bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests."

"In recent years, China has been facing various violations of its territory. Some neighboring countries have constantly stirred trouble in the South China Sea. Moreover, China's foreign ministry and defense ministry have warned India to unilaterally withdraw its troops from Chinese territory amid the current standoff. Xi clearly conveyed a signal to the world that China will never tolerate any territorial violations and protecting China's territorial sovereignty is the country's bottom line," Yang Yucai, a professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), told the Global Times.

Xi's remarks drew a thunderous applause from the audience, which shows the top leader's attitude brings confidence to the Chinese nation, especially those who fight on the front lines, Yang added.

Party loyalty

During this speech, Xi also reaffirmed the CPC's absolute leadership over the PLA.

"To build a strong military, [we] must unswervingly adhere to the Party's absolute leadership over the armed forces, and make sure that the people's army always follows the Party," Xi told the gathering.

For a long time, the Party's leadership has ensured that the PLA can maintain its creativity and combat capabilities. The Party exercises its leadership through the military administration and command system and has been committed to eliminating the pernicious influence of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, both former senior military officials convicted of corruption, said Yang.

The military administration and command system refers to a new structure in which the CMC takes charge of the overall administration of the PLA, the Chinese People's Armed Police and the militia and reserve forces; battle zone commands focus on combat preparedness; and various military services pursue development.

Chinese media have constantly warned that the graft cases of Guo and Xu had caused tremendous problems in the army and the negative impact of their cases should be fully eradicated. For example, the PLA Daily said in March that all military members should learn lessons from these cases and bear in mind that loyalty to the CPC is vital to the PLA's development.

Integrated development

Moreover, Xi also urged boosting integrated military and civilian development amid efforts to build a strong military.

Upgrading integrated military and civilian development as a national strategy is a major achievement in the Party's long-term exploration of coordinated development of the economy and national defense. It is also a major decision made in consideration of national development and overall security, and a major measure to deal with the complex security threats and gain national strategic advantages, Xi said.

To relieve the huge burden that a developing army may put on economic development, China is establishing a new central commission for integrated military and civilian development. Areas such as infrastructure, national defense, aerospace, weapons and equipment and talent cultivation have a huge potential for the integration of military and civilian industries, Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the PLA, told the Global Times.

However, due to historical reasons, China's integrated military and civilian development is still in its early stages. In the future, how to fully utilize civilian resources for military research and put the research results to civilian use will be a major challenge, Li said.

Private Chinese firms have been allowed to carry out R&D and the manufacturing of military equipment since 2005, and more than 1,000 private firms have gained government approval to participate in defense-related industries.

In April, China's military announced that it will invest 6 billion yuan ($870 million) on 2,000 projects awarded to private Chinese firms and institutes for research on equipment and weapons.

Xinhua contributed to this story

Newspaper headline: China marks Army Day

Posted in: MILITARY

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