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Xi calls on military to improve combativeness

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-07-30 11:47

Related: Xi attends parade in Inner Mongolia as PLA marks birthday

President Xi Jinping ordered the country's military to further improve its combativeness and stay loyal to the Party after he observed a massive military parade in the field for the first time on Sunday.

China showcased its real combat capabilities at a training base in Inner Mongolia autonomous region to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Xi, also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected the troops on Sunday morning at the Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base, about 400 kilometers northwest of Beijing.

"I firmly believe that today we are closer than any time in history to achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we need more than any time in history to build strong people's military," Xi said after the parade.

"The Party and the Chinese people are proud to have such heroic military," he said.

Xi also urged all soldiers and officers to enhance political awareness, resolutely obey orders from the central leadership and improve combat readiness through reforms and innovations, thus to build the PLA into a world-class force.

"I firmly believe that our heroic military has the confidence and ability to defeat any incoming enemies," Xi said.

This is the first military parade held at the PLA's most advanced training camp, which is also the biggest in Asia. It is also the first time China has held a parade to celebrate the founding of the PLA.

The spectacle involved more than 12,000 troops, 600 pieces of military hardware and more than 100 aircraft of various types, representing the Chinese military's most cutting-edge technology.

All officers and soldiers in the parade are from actual combat units, from cyber warfare to Rocket Force. More than 40 percent of the equipment displayed at the event was showcased for the first time at a parade.

Zhurihe base facts

The Zhurihe base replicates realistic battle conditions in a variety of terrain, such as grasslands, hills and deserts. The training base covers an area of 1,066 square kilometers, almost the same as the land area of Hong Kong, and has its own hospitals and logistic facilities.

Zhurihe has been hosting realistic combat exercises since 2007. Drills, typically involving battles between red and blue units, are designed to get soldiers used to fighting more skillful and better equipped foes.

In 2014, Zhurihe hosted a six-day joint anti-terror drill with forces from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan teaming up with PLA personnel.

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