Hu: PLA more modernized, professional

Updated: 2007-08-01 15:11

China to "gradually" increase defense budget

"We will gradually increase input in national defense as the economy grows, and continue to modernize national defense and the armed forces in a way that serves the interests of our national security and development," Hu said at the rally.

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The Chinese legislature approved in March the national defense budget for 2007 fiscal year, which reached US$44.94 billion, with an annual increase of 17.8 percent.

He said, the modernization of national defense and armed forces "is the historical mission of the PLA and the common cause of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups."

"Economic growth is the basis for enhancing defense capabilities, which is in turn an important indicator of the overall national strength," Hu said.

The President stressed that while adhering to the defensive nature of the country's military buildup, China must build a "slim but strong" armed forces by striking a sound balance between speed, quality and efficiency in the modernization drive of the country's 2.3 million-member troops.

"The world is experiencing profound transformation, China should be alert to potential risks," he said. "The international situation is generally stable, but the world is not all peaceful."

"We must endeavor to achieve sound and fast modernization of national defense and armed forces." he said, "In the new century and new stage, modernization of defense and military capabilities must be integrated into the country's overall modernization strategy and serve the interests of national security and development."

PLA's loyalty to CPC of paramount importance

Hu also stressed the loyalty of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"To follow the CPC's command is the overriding political requirement that the Party and Chinese people have placed on the PLA and is the unshakable and fundamental principle for the PLA," said Hu.

On Aug. 1, 1927, CPC-led armed forces held an uprising in Nanchang, now capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, which is regarded as the founding day for the PLA.

"In these 80 years, the PLA has fostered its fine revolutionary traditions," he said, stressing "the traditions, in essence, mean that the PLA is forever at the CPC's command and the service of the people and should be courageous and skillful at war fighting."

"The noble spirit that the PLA has nurtured over the years is to adhere to the absolute leadership of the Party," he said.

"Only by putting itself under the CPC leadership has the PLA been able to stay on the right course politically and maintained its strong cohesion and combat effectiveness as well as its vigor and vitality, " he said.

Improving national defense mobilization system

China should improve its national defense mobilization system, Hu said at the grand rally.

"We must have the participation of the whole people in strengthening national defense," Hu said.

A nation-wide education on national defense should be carried out in a bid to foster an atmosphere in which everybody supports and participates in the development of national defense, he said.

"We must carry forward the fine tradition of relying on the people to enhance military capabilities and strengthen national defense," he said.

Closer relations between the army and the government and between the army and the people should be built, according to Hu.

Hu made the remarks at the grand rally to mark the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and to honor the heroes and model servicemen of the PLA.


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