Continue to Strengthen Our Military

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II Updated: 2021-12-27

Continue to Strengthen Our Military*

August 1, 2017

History ever moves on. In the world today, the international situation is undergoing unprecedented change. In China today, socialism with Chinese characteristics is advancing in all respects. We have a solid foundation and a golden opportunity and are full of confidence in realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. At the same time, we must be fully aware that our way forward will not be smooth. Severe challenges, risks, difficulties and problems will continue to arise. These historical features presage a great struggle.

At this new historical starting point, we must not forget that it was the heroic people's military that lifted the Chinese nation out of misery and liberated the Chinese people. We feel more strongly than ever that in order to achieve national rejuvenation and better lives for the people, we must speed up the building of the people's military into a world-class force. We should stay true to our mission, keep moving forward, and make steady progress in strengthening our military with Chinese features.

– To strengthen our military, we must uphold the Party's absolute leadership over the military and make sure that the people's military will always follow the Party. The Party's leadership is a fundamental guarantee for the strong cohesiveness, affinity, creativity and combat capability of the military. The Party's absolute leadership over the military is a defining feature of Chinese socialism, and a major source of political strength to the Party and the state. It is fundamental to the building and strengthening of the military. However the situation changes with the times, our military will always be the military of the Party and of the people. The military should enhance its political integrity, develop a better understanding of the general picture, follow the core leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and act consistently with Central Committee policy. It should safeguard the authority of the Central Committee, uphold the fundamental principle and institution of the Party's absolute leadership over the military, and follow the command of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission. On this matter of overall importance, we should remain especially clear-headed and unequivocal. There can be no wavering, no hesitation, and no ambiguity.

– To strengthen our military, we must stick to and develop the Party's military theory, and constantly open up new horizons for the military theory of Marxism and for military practice in contemporary China. The key to the continuous growth of the people's military is the guidance of advanced military theory. Since its 18th National Congress in 2012, our Party has put forward a series of new visions, new ideas, new concepts, and new requirements on national defense and the military, as the Party's thinking on the development of the military in the new era has taken shape. The military should fully implement the Party's military theory, educate the troops in the Party's thinking, and make steady progress. There is no end to practice, to seeking truth, and to theoretical innovation. Developing our military forces is a pioneering endeavor. We must always adapt to new situations, respond to new challenges, solve new problems, make breakthroughs in theory, and courageously explore new ways in practice, to enrich and develop the Party's approach to developing the military, so that the truth of Marxist military theory applied in practice will shine brighter in China.

– To strengthen our military, we must always focus on combat readiness, and build an elite military that is ready and able to fight and prevail at all times and under all circumstances when the call comes. In safety, we cannot forget about danger; in peace, we cannot forget about turbulence. We have a wide range of measures and options to safeguard peace, maintain security and deter war, but the military option will always be the ultimate guarantee. The military is forever a fighting force, its vitality being its combat capability. The military should be ready to respond to adversity and crisis, and adopt a worst-case scenario mentality. All should focus their attention on training and preparation for war, so as to ensure that whenever they are needed by the Party and the people, they can respond promptly and readily to any scenario at any time and under any circumstances, and always emerge victorious.

The military should implement the Party's military strategy in the new era. All men and women in uniform should study military affairs, wars and strategy, in order to understand the laws of modern war and the laws of command and control, and thus enhance combat readiness. We must enhance combat readiness through rigorous training in real combat scenarios. The military must enhance its ability to fulfill diverse military tasks.

The Chinese people cherish peace. We will not engage in aggression or expansion. But we are confident that we will defeat any aggressor. We will never allow any person, any organization or any political party to split any part of the Chinese territory away from the country at any time, in any form. No one should expect us to accept anything that damages our sovereignty, security, or development interests. The military must resolutely safeguard the Party's leadership and our socialist system, our sovereignty, security and interests, and regional and world peace.

– To strengthen our military, we must count on political work, reform, science and technology, and the rule of law to upgrade our national defense and modernize our military in all respects. We must put into practice the guiding principles adopted at the New Gutian Meeting. Political work is the lifeline of the military, which will play an essential role in fostering a new generation of revolutionary forces dedicated to the Party's ideals and leadership, capable of winning wars, fearless, and equipped with moral integrity, with men and women as strong as iron in their belief, faith, discipline and sense of responsibility, so that the nature, purpose and character of the military will remain unchanged. We must drive deeper all-round reform of national defense and the military, overcome prominent institutional, structural, and policy barriers that constrain their development, improve and develop the system of a modern military with Chinese characteristics, and accelerate the development of a system of Chinese-style modern armed forces that are capable of winning IT-based warfare and can accomplish their missions.

We must fully implement the strategy of strengthening the military with science and technology, the essence of which is innovation. We should follow developments in military science and technology throughout the world. Plans and designs should be forward-looking. Research and development should focus on strategic, cutting-edge and disruptive technologies, which will contribute to the building of the military and the improvement of combat capabilities. The military should be well aware of the rule of law. The establishment of a military law system has to be accelerated, so as to facilitate a fundamental change in the command and control of the military.

– To strengthen our military, we must promote deeper civil-military integration and build a national strategy and ability to advance such integration. Upgraded as a national strategy, civil-military integration is a major result of China's long-term endeavor to coordinate economic development with national defense. It is a strategic decision based on our overall national development and security interests, and a key measure to deal with complex security threats and gain national strategic advantage. It is of the utmost importance to strengthen centralized and unified leadership and uphold a holistic view of national security and the military strategic guideline with a problem-oriented approach in this new era. The top-level design should be an overall plan for the integrated use of infrastructure, key facilities, and resources based on essential requirements. Meanwhile, we should reform institutions and mechanisms, integrate military systems with concrete elements, and improve the general standards for both military and civilian development, so as to put in place a comprehensive and highly-efficient network of integration. We should strive to promote the coordinated, balanced and inclusive development of the economy and national defense. National defense is the defense of all the people. The modernization of national defense and the armed forces is the common undertaking of the Party and the people. Party committees and government departments at all levels should be fully aware of the importance of national defense, and create a favorable environment for, take an active part in, and give their strongest support to the reform of national defense and the military.

– To strengthen our military, we must always remember that serving the people wholeheartedly is our fundamental purpose. We must stand side by side with the people so as to be trusted, supported and loved by the people. Our victories would not have been possible without the support of the people. The military is deeply rooted in the people; the power of people's war lies in the great power of the people. The military should keep the people in our hearts, keep the sacred duty of fighting for the people in our minds, and safeguard their peaceful lives and labors. We should carry forward the worthy tradition of close ties with the people, go through thick and thin with them to consolidate the ties, and always be the defender of the interests of the people. The military should take an active part in local economic and social development, being ready to serve the people with concrete actions and take on responsibilities in the face of urgent, difficult, dangerous and heavy tasks. The unity between military and government and between military and people is the unique political strength of the Party and the military. All Party members, all men and women in uniform, and all the people of China should carry forward the great tradition of mutual support between people and military, and consolidate the rock-solid relations between military and government.


* Part of the speech at the rally marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)

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