China loves peace but there will be no compromise on sovereignty

China will never compromise on its sovereignty, security or development interests, President Xi Jinping said during an Army Day celebration yesterday.
China loves peace but there will be no compromise on sovereignty

A celebration of the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. President Xi Jinping called for an elite force ready for the fight.

China will never compromise on its sovereignty, security or development interests, President Xi Jinping said during an Army Day celebration yesterday.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, was speaking at the ceremony to mark 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. We 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,” Xi said.

“No one should expect us to swallow bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests,” he said.

He urged the PLA to focus on forging an elite and powerful force that is always “ready for the fight, capable of combat and sure to win.”

There are various means and choices to safeguard peace and security and prevent war, but military means should remain the final guarantee, he said.

The life of the people’s military lies in its combat ability, he said, urging the PLA to be prepared for any eventuality.

“All thoughts must be put on combat, and all work should focus on combat so the military can assemble, charge forward and win any time the Party and the people need them to,” he said.

Military training should be raised to the level of combat standards, he added. 

Xi called for a new generation of “capable, brave and virtuous” soldiers “with soul” in order to build a strong military.

Calling political work the PLA’s “lifeline,” Xi said the army must have ironclad faith, beliefs, discipline and responsibility, and retain its nature and goal as the people’s army.

He also called on the PLA to strengthen itself through reform, develop itself with science and technology, and govern itself according to law in order to further modernize China’s national defense and its military.

The army must unswervingly deepen national defense and military reform, and tackle institutional barriers, structural contradictions and policy issues that constrain national defense and army building, Xi said.

The PLA must improve and further develop a socialist military system with Chinese characteristics, and step up efforts to build a modern military force capable of winning information-based warfare and carrying out the military’s missions and tasks, he said.

The strategy of developing the army with science and technology should be fully implemented, Xi added.

The army should accelerate development of strategic, frontier and disruptive technologies in order to allow science and technology to play a bigger role in building the PLA’s capacity and advancing its military capabilities.

It should also enhance awareness of the rule of law throughout the PLA, step up efforts to build a military legal system with Chinese characteristics, and speed up a fundamental transformation of military governance, Xi said. 

Glorious traditions

Over the past 90 years, the PLA has formed a set of principles on military building and management, developed strategies and tactics of a people’s war, and fostered glorious traditions and fine conduct under the leadership of the Party, all of which were hailed by Xi as the “magic weapon” for the PLA to claim victory after victory.

Xi said the armed forces must stick to the Party’s absolute leadership. 

“The armed forces must follow the banner, the direction and the will of the Party at all times and under any circumstances,” Xi said. “History has told us that the principle of ‘the Party commanding the gun’ is the fundamental guarantee for the people’s army to retain their nature and goal.”

The principle is also an irreversible truth that the Party has attained in struggles of blood and fire, he said.

“It is the Party and its strong leadership that have designated the direction and injected impetus for the advancement of the armed forces,” he continued.

Behind glorious victories are ideals and beliefs, as well as a determination to reform, Xi said. “Only by continuous reform and innovation, can the people’s army constantly gain development vitality and put itself in an impregnable position.”

The president stressed the role of fighting spirit, revolutionary discipline and civilian-military unity in claiming victories.

As long as the armed forces stand with and win the support of the people, a “wall of iron” can be fortified, Xi said.

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