Today, we are closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than any other time in history, and we need to build a strong people's military more than any other time in history.[Special Coverage]
—Speech given by President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, during a military parade at Zhurihe training base in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region on July 30, 2017
I. Reshaping PLA
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Party has put forward the goal of building a strong military that follows the Party, fights to win and forges exemplary conduct.
The Party has strengthened political work within the armed forces and made firm efforts to ensure a clean environment and fight corruption in the military.
A series of major structural reforms have been made in recent years, including the establishment of the PLA Army General Command, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force.
The four general departments were reorganized into 15 agencies of the CMC, and five theater commands have replaced the seven military area commands. The CMC has taken charge of the overall military administration, while theater commands focus on operations and different services on troop developments.
"The system, structure, pattern and image of the people's military have all been renewed," Xi said.
Moreover, Xi said the fundamental changes have taken place in the governance of the military. Putting combat effectiveness as the "sole and fundamental" standard for the military, the PLA remains resolved in safeguarding the country's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.
II. Party leadership
Xi reaffirmed the CPC's absolute leadership over the PLA. which is a "fundamental guarantee" for the army to maintain its great cohesion, creativity and combat capabilities.
Quoting Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, Xi said: "Our principle is the Party commands the guns, and we will never allow the guns to command the Party."
He ordered the PLA to always follow the command of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC."There shall be no wavering, no hesitation, and no ambiguity."
The CPC has put forward a series of new ideas and requirements concerning national defense and military building in the past five years. These theories should be constantly enriched and developed to cope with new challenges and solve new problems, he said.
III. Fight to win
Xi urged the PLA to focus on war preparedness to forge an elite and powerful force that is always "ready for the fight, capable of combat and sure to win."
The PLA must have ironclad faith, beliefs, discipline and responsibility, and retain its nature and goal as the people's army, he said.
IV. Serving the people
China must build a national strategic system and capacity in military-civilian integration, Xi said.
Upgrading integrated military and civilian development as a national strategy is a major decision made in consideration of national development and overall security, and a major measure to deal with complicated security threats and gain national strategic advantages, Xi said.
Xi also urged the armed forces to bear in mind the sacred duty of fighting for the people.
The PLA is deeply rooted in the people and its strength comes from the people. It must maintain a close relationship with the people and "go through thick and thin" with them, he said.
V. Builder of world peace
China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and an upholder of international order, Xi said.
The PLA will continue international military exchanges and cooperation to cope with global security challenges, Xi said. It will implement the responsibilities and duties commensurate with the country's international status and contribute to fostering a community of shared future for mankind, he said.