Building stronger national defence a crucial goal, says Chinese President Xi Jinping

President Xi said efforts must be made to strengthen coordination between economic development and a strong military. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China should advance the modernisation of its national defence and armed forces to build a strong country, said President Xi Jinping.

Mr Xi, who is also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark while presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee last Thursday (July 30), two days before China's Army Day.

To develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and realise the great national rejuvenation, efforts must be made to strengthen coordination between economic development and efforts to build a strong military, he said.

This will ensure that the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces accommodates the national modernisation process and the country's military capability matches national strategic needs, Mr Xi said.

Stressing that building a strong national defence and armed forces is a goal that the Communist Party of China has assiduously sought, Mr Xi said that China will achieve the targets and missions of strengthening the national defence and armed forces for 2020 and begin a new journey to fully transform the people's armed forces into a world-class one.

According to Mr Xi's report to the 19th CPC National Congress, the national defence and military will generally achieve mechanisation by the year 2020 with significantly enhanced informatisation and greatly improved strategic capabilities.

Facing the accelerated evolution of profound changes unseen in a century and the Covid-19 pandemic's deep impact on the global situation, Mr Xi stressed that China's security situation is undergoing growing uncertainty and instability.

He said the formulation of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for military development should be coordinated with national development planning and make reform of military policies and institutions a priority.

Mr Xi underlined the importance of independent innovation in army-building, urging efforts to accelerate breakthroughs in key and core technologies, speed development of strategic, advanced and disruptive technologies and implement major strategic projects related to national defence technology and weaponry.

While high-quality, professional military talent with ability and integrity should be cultivated, Mr Xi said efforts should be made to recruit excellent talent in various fields to throw themselves into the building of a strong army.

He also stressed civilian support for advancing the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces, requiring central and State organs, Party committees and governments at all levels to help solve problems concerning the employment of army dependents, education of service members' children and the treatment of veterans.

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