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Perform vital mission, Hu tells military
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-14 06:22

Perform your historic mission and safeguard China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests in the new century.

That is the message to the country's armed forces from President Hu Jintao, who was yesterday elected chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China.

Hu Jintao talks with army deputies of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People Sunday March 13, 2005. Hu was elected Chairman of the state Central Military Commission Sunday. [Xinhua]  

"We must continuously enhance our sense of political responsibility, and always place the task of defending national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity; and safeguarding the interests of national development above anything else," Hu said yesterday afternoon at a plenary meeting of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) delegation to the NPC in Beijing.

"All comrades of the military should correctly understand the situation and resolutely perform the military's historical mission in the new century and the new development stage," Hu said.

"We shall step up preparations for possible military struggle and enhance our capabilities to cope with crises, safeguard peace, prevent wars and win wars, if there are any," he said.

Hu, 62, was earlier elected chairman of the State CMC at a full-member meeting of the NPC, taking over from 78-year-old Jiang Zemin, whose request to resign was accepted by the top legislature five days ago. Jiang praised Hu as a "young and energetic" leader with "rich leading experiences" and "excellent qualifications."

Hu succeeded Jiang as chairman of the CMC of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last September.

Hu assumed the vice-chairmanship of the CPC Central Military Commission in 1999, and was directly involved in making a series of major decisions concerning the armed forces.

In a speech just before the opening of the parliamentary session, Hu set forth his four-point guidelines for cross-Straits relations, stating that the Chinese people will do their best to seek peaceful reunification of the motherland but will never tolerate "Taiwan independence."

The draft anti-secession law, which the NPC session is expected to ratify through vote today, says the nation would use "non-peaceful means" to stop Taiwan's secession from the motherland should all efforts at a peaceful reunification prove futile, according to Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee.

After taking over as chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, Hu pledged to implement the thoughts of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin on army building and national defence; and to revolutionize, modernize and standardize the Chinese army.

A white paper, titled "China's National Defence in 2004" issued late last year, shows the determination of the nation on the question of Taiwan.

"It is the sacred responsibility of the Chinese armed forces to stop the 'Taiwan independence' forces seceding Taiwan from the country," says the white paper. "...Should the Taiwan authorities go so far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of 'Taiwan independence', the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost."

Lawmakers representing the Chinese military have voiced their consensus for promoting IT-supported defence modernization to provide a solid security guarantee for the country's development.

"It has great bearing on the interests of the Party and State to resolutely follow the command of the Party's Central Committee, the CMC and CMC Chairman Hu Jintao," said Zhang Wentai, political commissar of the PLA's General Logistics Department, at a panel discussion during the parliamentary session.

(China Daily 03/14/2005 page1)

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