BEIJING --- Less than a month after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese military has taken measures to become "world-class."
China will basically complete modernization of national defense and armed forces by 2035 and fully build the army into "world-class forces" by the mid-21st century, pledged Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, in his report to the congress held in October.
LOYAL TO PARTY
The Central Military Commission (CMC) issued a guideline on Nov. 5 to affirm the absolute leadership of the Party over the army, requiring that troops be absolutely loyal, honest and reliable to Xi, who is also chairman of the CMC.
The CMC said the armed forces should deeply and comprehensively implement a system in which the chairman of the CMC has overall responsibility for the military. The system was added to the CPC Constitution at the Party congress.
The top priority of maintaining the authority of the leadership core is to safeguard the CMC chairperson responsibility system, Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the CMC, wrote in the People's Daily Tuesday.
"In the face of profound and complex changes at home and abroad, along with fierce ideological struggles, it's a fundamental issue for our military to maintain its original nature, tenet and color," Xu said in the article.
Noting the political environment in the military has improved, Xu ordered troops to strengthen their consciousness in maintaining political integrity, thinking in big-picture terms, following the leadership core and keeping in alignment.
BUILT TO FIGHT
"A military is built to fight. Our military must regard combat capability as the criterion to meet in all its work and focus on how to win when it is called on," Xi said at the CPC National Congress.
During his inspection tour to the CMC joint battle command center on Nov. 3, Xi reiterated the need for the armed forces to improve their combat capability and readiness for war.
"The capability to win is strategically important in safeguarding national security, and strengthening that capability and combat readiness in the new era would provide strategic support to the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation," Xi said, urging progress in joint operation command systems and training conducted under combat conditions.
To sharpen the military's fighting capacity, reforms have been made in the past few years, including the establishment of the PLA Army General Command, PLA Rocket Force and PLA Strategic Support Force.
The four general departments were reorganized into 15 agencies of the CMC, and five theater commands have replaced the seven military area commands.
STRICT MILITARY GOVERNANCE
The CMC released a regulation Monday to standardize the benefits for military officials, including offices, housing, cars and medical services, in its latest move to govern the military with strict discipline.
To curb decadence in the military and make the troops more combat-ready, the CMC issued an alcohol ban in late September, listing 11 occasions on which soldiers and officers are not allowed to drink alcohol.
In the past five years, fighting corruption in the military has been a focus of the sweeping anti-graft crackdown.
Dozens of military officers have been investigated and jailed, including Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, both former top generals and vice chairmen of the CMC. Guo was convicted of accepting bribes and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2016, while Xu died of cancer in 2015 before he could face trial.
"The building of work style and the fight against corruption in the military have gained major achievements," Xu Qiliang wrote in the article.