Build Up Our National Defense and Armed Forces

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China I Updated: 2021-12-10

Build Up Our National Defense and Armed Forces* 

November 16, 2012 

The leading body of the Central Military Commission and the senior officers in the army shoulder major historical responsibilities in building up our national defense and armed forces. We must remain clear-headed, cherish the achievements of past generations, draw upon the precious experiences we have accumulated, and value the progress that is already being made. We must serve the Party and the people whole-heartedly and further strengthen our national defense and armed forces. 

Studying and applying the guiding principles of the Party's 18th National Congress must be our number one political task, and we must do it well. In line with the requirements of the Party Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, a campaign should be launched promptly in the armed forces to study and apply these principles. We should continue to study the Scientific Outlook on Development, and use it to guide our work. We should study the Party's guiding thoughts concerning the building of national defense and armed forces, taking the Scientific Outlook on Development as the guiding principle in this respect, and fully understand the features and laws of the building of national defense and armed forces in the new environment. We should summarize the valuable experience gained by Chairman Hu Jintao in building our national defense and armed forces, maintain the principles he developed, and continue to implement his policies and strategic decisions. 

We must uphold the Party's leadership of the armed forces. This is central to the nature and mission of the armed forces, the future of socialism, the enduring stability of the Party, and the lasting peace of our country. It is fundamental to the existence and development of the armed forces. In our efforts to strengthen our armed forces we must treat theoretical and political education as our first priority, so that the Party's leadership of them will take firm root in the minds of our officers and soldiers, and the whole armed forces will follow without hesitation the commands of the Party Central Committee and the Central Military Commission at all times and under all conditions. We must strengthen the leadership of the Party over the armed forces in the aspects of theoretical and political education, and political and organizational affairs. We will apply political convictions as a measure when reviewing and appointing officers to ensure that our weaponry is always in the hands of those who are reliable and loyal to the Party. We must strictly enforce discipline on those who commit errors in political or organizational affairs, safeguard the authority of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, and ensure the smooth implementation of their military orders. 

We must be able to fulfill a complete range of military tasks. The whole of the armed forces must have an in-depth understanding of the important role it has in the broad picture of China's national security and development strategies. It must put national sovereignty and security before any other consideration. Being "action ready" must be its major task, and it must comprehensively enhance its deterrence and combat capacity in the information age. The whole of the armed forces must attach strategic importance to military training, and keep raising its "real combat" capacity. 

In line with the principle of comprehensive development we must continue to modernize and standardize our forces, and strengthen their revolutionary spirit. We will take a holistic approach to all work related to political and military matters, logistics and equipment, in order to upgrade the overall capacity of our forces. In a new environment, we must promote innovation and development of our military strategy, use our strategy to guide our tasks in strengthening our forces, and base our policies on a military strategy of active defense. 

We will thoroughly apply the Party's guidelines on the development of national defense and the armed forces, promote such development in a balanced and coordinated manner, and strive to make real progress in transforming the mode of increasing combat effectiveness. We will press forward with the transformation of our military affairs and build a system of modern military forces with Chinese characteristics. 

We must carry on the glorious traditions of our military. These traditions have been developed under the leadership of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, and we will continue to apply them as we strive to modernize our national defense and armed forces. We will educate our officers and soldiers to intensify their ability to respond to adversity and crisis, so that their commitment will remain firm, their work determined, their morale high and their discipline unwavering. Our officers and soldiers will maintain an indomitable revolutionary spirit and be dauntless in combat. We will make every effort to combat corruption and promote integrity in the armed forces. Senior officers must take a clear-cut stand against corruption, and set an example in abiding by the code of honest conduct. 

With the firm leadership of the Party Central Committee and Central Military Commission, with the strong support of the people, and with the concerted efforts of all our armed forces, we will succeed in our determined campaign to forge an ever-stronger national defense and armed forces. 

* Main points of the speech at an enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission. 

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