Chinese President Xi Jinping (R, front), also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, shakes hands with senior military officers stationed in Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province, Jan. 23, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
President Xi Jinping called on the military to improve its political awareness, push forward reform, and govern it according to law to aid the building of a strong military.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), underscored the importance of improving combat readiness through troop training.
The president made the comments while visiting the 65th Army Group, which is stationed in northern China's Hebei Province, on Monday.
While at the barracks, Xi extended Spring Festival greetings to the armed forces, armed police force, the militia and reserve forces.
Xi visited a study room of a company of an infantry brigade under the 65th Army Group, where he saw servicemen using a smart phone app to compare their study results. He encouraged all soldiers to carry forward the country's excellent traditions and move with the times, while using the Party's new theories to arm their ideologies.
Xi was concerned about soldiers' living arrangements during the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 28 this year. He was briefed by a platoon leader that soldiers will have dinner, play games and attend entertainment events.
After listening to the soldiers singing, Xi sat with them, talking to every soldier in the platoon and urging the leaders to make sure that the soldiers have a good Spring Festival.
At the company club house, Xi posed for photos with the soldiers and told them that the grassroots units were the foundation of the military. He urged officers to care about their fellow servicemen and address their concerns.
He also voiced the hope that young servicemen could make personal achievements while in service.
At the command and training center of the army group, Xi ordered better ideological and political work, saying that the pernicious influence of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, two corrupt former CMC vice chairmen, should be purged.
It must be ensured that the military upholds the authority of the CPC Central Committee at all times and under any circumstances, and firmly follows the command of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, Xi said.
He demanded reform tasks be implemented and the military's combat capability be enhanced through drills under battle conditions.
Xi stressed that the military should be strictly governed and according to law, with a focus on primary-level units.
While striving to complete military missions, Xi said, the military should also support the integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the country's poverty alleviation efforts.