Strengthen the Party's Leadership and Organizations in the Military

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China III Updated: 2021-12-31

Strengthen the Party's Leadership and Organizations in the Military* 

August 17, 2018 

Strengthening the Party's leadership and organizations in the military in the new era is a prerequisite for implementing the great new project of strengthening the Party, and for building a strong country with a strong military. The military must implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles of the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, the Party's philosophy on strengthening the military, and the general requirements for strengthening the Party for the new era. The military must implement our Party's organizational principle, uphold the Party's absolute leadership, ensure the Party's full and rigorous self-governance, and focus on improving combat readiness and winning wars. The military must provide a firm political guarantee for achieving our Party's goal of building strong armed forces and fulfilling their missions in the new era.

After the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission (CMC) set about strengthening the military and its political governance. In particular, the Gutian Conference on Military Political Work was held in 2014 to emphasize the need to promote our Party's full and rigorous self-governance and govern the military with strict discipline in every respect. As was decided at the meeting, we must:

• uphold absolute Party leadership over the military;

• enhance political education to improve Party conduct in the military; 

• preserve the unity of the military through theoretical education; 

• strengthen Party organizations in the military; 

• set up qualification requirements for military officers; 

• improve Party conduct and enforce Party discipline; 

• fight corruption and punish vice; 

• lead the military in maintaining our original aspiration, abandoning outdated practices, and creating new institutions; and 

• ensure Party self-governance with stricter, harsher, and more punitive discipline.

Through these efforts, the Party's leadership and organizations have been strengthened, as a firm political guarantee for the historic achievements and changes required in building a strong military. We must review experience and consolidate current outcomes.

Strengthening the Party's leadership and organizations in the military is key to the long-term stability of the Party and the country. To realize the Party's goal of building a strong military in the new era, to transform the military into world-class armed forces, and to complete the mission entrusted by the Party and the people for the new era, we must make sustained efforts to resolve the problems and weaknesses in Party leadership, and do more solid work to strengthen the Party organizations in the military at all levels.

Upholding absolute Party leadership over the military is the top priority. We must strengthen the Party politically, and guide the military in upholding the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership, and in obeying the command of the Central Committee and the CMC. We must continue to educate our officers and soldiers with the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and our Party's philosophy on strengthening the military for the new era, as a foundation for maintaining the military's absolute loyalty to our Party.

We must implement the leaders' responsibility system under the unified, collective leadership of Party committees, ensuring that all work is done under the leadership of Party committees and all major issues are decided by the Party committees after discussion. We must improve the institutional framework for Party leadership in the military to make Party affairs and other political work in the military more procedure-based.

Our Party's strength comes from its organizations. The military led by strong Party organizations must be powerful. In the armed forces, the Party's organizational principle serves its political principle. The military must focus on improving its combat readiness and winning wars as its major responsibility. We must strengthen Party organizations at all levels in the military, enhance their leadership, organizational capability and performance, and try to win wars based on our Party's political and organizational strength. The military must be adapted to its reformed institutions and functions, under a new structure with the CMC exercising overall leadership, the theater commands responsible for military operations, and the services focusing on developing their capabilities. Military Party organizations at all levels must identify their functions, improve their structure, institutions and mechanisms, and their way of exercising leadership, so as to fully perform their organizational functions.

Party committees at the army level and above are important military Party organizations. They must take a clear political stance and be more capable politically. They must be better able to devise strategies, prepare for real combat, reform and innovate, give effective command, and implement decisions and plans.

Success in building a powerful military lies in capable military personnel. We need to attach greater importance to the training of officers and professionals, with a focus on training competent officers who are loyal to our Party and our people, have moral integrity, and demonstrate a keen sense of responsibility, and on using outstanding professionals who are resolved to strengthen the military and win wars. In selecting and appointing officers, we must emphasize both integrity and ability, with the former taking precedence. We must make good use of the talent needed by a strong military, and place the right people in the right posts. In accordance with the strategy of the Central Committee, we must formulate and implement plans for training outstanding young officers and give promising officers special training in the forefront of our military combat and war readiness, assigning them with urgent, difficult, dangerous, or weighty tasks.

Human resources are a source of strategic wealth for strengthening and developing the armed forces. We need to build a new system for training military personnel, which consists of military school education, field training, and professional military education, with a focus on training commanders for joint operations, new types of combat personnel, high-caliber personnel for technological innovation, and high-level strategic management. We need to improve related supporting policies and strengthen the training of civilian staff. We need to be both strict and caring, and place equal emphasis on providing incentives and imposing constraints. We need to encourage solid work and innovation, help resolve practical difficulties for military personnel, and fully arouse their enthusiasm, initiative and creativity.

We must never falter in our efforts to improve Party conduct and combat corruption in the military, with the strictest discipline in all respects and at all times. We must fight hedonism and extravagance and eliminate the practice of favoring form over substance and bureaucratism. We need to adapt our military governance, perform duties and exercise powers as prescribed by law, and carry out our work in accordance with regulations. We need to enhance discipline education and tighten discipline enforcement, exercising full and rigorous governance over the Party and the military.

The fight against corruption must go on with firm resolve. We must continue to see that there are no no-go zones, no ground is left unturned, and no tolerance is shown for corruption. We must punish both those who take bribes and those who offer them. We must improve systems to apply checks and oversight over the exercise of power. We must strengthen the confinement of power, leaving no back doors for abuse of power. We must address both the symptoms and root causes of corruption by enhancing intra-Party political education while encouraging officials to employ self-cultivation, self-discipline, and integrity in the fight against unhealthy tendencies and wrongdoing.

* Main points of the speech at a meeting of the Central Military Commission on strengthening the Party.

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