Xi stresses combat capabilities, Party building in military

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/18 20:23:39

Xi Jinping on Wednesday pledged to complete the modernization of China's defense and armed forces by 2035 and strive to transform the Chinese military into a world-class military by the middle of this century.

The plan was announced in a report Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, delivered to the 19th CPC National Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The plan states that by 2020, mechanization will be achieved, with IT applications coming a long way and a big improvement in strategic capabilities. The modernization of the national defense and armed forces should be completed by 2035, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Experts said China's military has been developing rapidly and the plan showed that the central government has made the approach to military building more clear and down-to-earth.

Xi said that the CPC will build a powerful and modernized army, navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force, develop strong and efficient joint operations commanding institutions for theater commands, and create a modern combat system with distinctive Chinese characteristics.

He added that technology is the core combat capability and the people's military will be made more innovative.

"The short-term goal stresses the blending of mechanization and informatization in military building. The completion of mechanization shows China will spare no effort to develop new weapons with enhanced capabilities to strike accurately and an improved communication commanding system," Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times.

Xi also stressed the CPC will speed up development of an intelligent military and improve combat capabilities for joint operations based on a network information system and the ability to fight under multi-dimensional conditions.

"A military is built to fight," Xi said, stressing combat capability as the criterion to meet.

"Xi has repeatedly emphasized the military's combat capability on several occasions. It aims to deter domestic separatists and other forces who try to divide the country, while warning any potential enemies outside," Xu said.

Absolute loyalty

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC has put forward the goal of building a strong military that follows the Party, fights to win and forges exemplary conduct.

A new military structure has been established with the Central Military Commission exercising overall leadership, the theater commands responsible for military operations, and the services focusing on developing capabilities.

Xi vowed to strengthen Party building in the military by launching activities with the theme of "passing on the traditions of revolution" and continue to deepen military reform, including the career officers system and the system for posting civilian personnel in the military.

"China's armed forces should show absolute loyalty to the Party. That is important to eliminate the pernicious influence left by fallen military officials," said Yang Yucai, a professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army.

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Newspaper headline: Military modernization to be completed by 2035


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