Chinese military should be headed by ‘reliable people’ loyal to Communist Party: Xi Jinping


Chinese President Xi Jinping (AP)

Beijing: China is facing mounting instability and uncertainty in the national security situation, President Xi Jinping has warned, asserting that the Chinese military should be led by “reliable people” loyal to the ruling Communist Party to ensure its “absolute leadership” over the world’s largest armed forces.
Speaking at a study session on Thursday on further implementing the strategy of strengthening the military by training competent personnel in the new era, Xi greeted the service personnel before the 95th anniversary of the founding of the PLA, which falls on August 1.

The two-million-strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the largest military in the world.

“We must lay emphasis on political integrity when cultivating, evaluating and appointing personnel, so that the party’s absolute leadership over the military is implemented in the whole process of personnel work,” he said.

Xi emphasised that the “armed forces must always be led by reliable people who are loyal to the Party”, according to an official press release.

“Noting that the starting point and ultimate goal of personnel work is to build armed forces that are able to fight and win, Xi called for efforts to enhance the supply of personnel with strong combat readiness in close step with developments in the forms of war,” it said.

In his address, Xi said the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation, adding that China is “facing mounting instability and uncertainty in the national security situation.”

His comments came as China has ratcheted up tensions with the US over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s planned visit to Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its mainland.
Xi told US President Joe Biden in their fifth virtual meeting on Thursday that “the position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan question is consistent, and resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people”.

“The public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this. The US should honour the one-China principle,” he said.

The PLA also announced military drills off Pingtan islands in its Fujian province close to Taiwan on Saturday in a bid to warn Pelosi from going ahead with her visit.

In his speech, Xi stressed further implementation of the strategy of strengthening armed forces by training competent personnel and called for efforts to give better play to the role of talent in spearheading and underpinning the cause of building a strong military.

The personnel strategy is of great significance to realising the Party’s goal for military development in the new era and building the people’s armed forces into a world-class military, Xi said.

In the coming five years, the key task for the country’s military is to achieve the centenary objectives of the PLA. The work to foster military talent should be strengthened comprehensively, Xi said.

The communication and cooperation between military and civilian sectors should be enhanced to further integrate the military’s talent-related work with the country’s efforts in developing a quality workforce, he said.

Besides heading the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Presidency, Xi is also the Chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), the overall high command of the PLA.

Since he took over the leadership in 2012, Xi has been regularly insisting on the PLA function under party leadership.

Xi completes 10 years in power this year and is widely expected to continue in power for an unprecedented third term and perhaps for life, unlike his predecessors who retired after two five-year terms.

Scores of high-ranking PLA officials have been sacked or punished under his massive anti-corruption drive which has helped him to firmly establish his leadership with military backing.

He also carried out massive reforms of the military at all levels including retrenching over three lakh troops to cut the size of the army and increasing the role of the navy, the air force, space and missile forces, enhancing the defence budget to over USD 230 billion.