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Navy strives to be modern, strong as commander urged

By ZHAO LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-24 07:30
A file photo of the People's Liberation Army Navy honor guard. [Photo/VCG]

A year since an inspection by President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, the People's Liberation Army Navy has made massive strides in transforming itself into a world-class force, experts said.

In the past 12 months, the Navy has conducted a number of warfare drills in open seas, taken part in bilateral or international naval exercises, made several overseas visits and established the nation's first overseas support base.

It has also commissioned or tested new advanced hardware and invested heavily in research and development in cutting-edge technologies in order to follow Xi's instructions to boost the Navy's overall capability and joint operation ability and make full use of innovation in science and technology.

Wu Peixin, a military observer in Beijing, said the Navy's growth over the past year has been "obvious", and the force has been open and transparent in making its development public.

"It has commissioned many new weapons and equipment, some among the best in the world," he said, adding that the nation now has a better ability to protect its overseas interests thanks to the increasing naval prowess.

On May 24, 2017, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visited PLA Navy headquarters in Beijing. He said the Navy should continue to speed up its transformation into a world-class force, ordering all Navy commanders to honor their mission of building a modern, strong navy.

Xi said the Navy's development is strategically important and crucial to national interests and security. He asked the Navy to focus on strengthening its combat capability and carrying out joint operation exercises in line with modern naval warfare. He demanded that the Navy use systematic thinking in making development plans.

Innovation in science and technology must be used to inject momentum into the Navy's sustainable growth, he said during the inspection a year ago.

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