Xi reviews troops in field for first time
Xinhua 2017-07-30 15:44:00
ZHURIHE, Inner Mongolia, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinpingreviewed the country's armed forces on Sunday morning, as part of the commemorations to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army(PLA).
It is the first for Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, to oversee such a large military parade in the field.
Xi was greeted by Han Weiguo, commander-in-chief of the parade and commander of the Central Theater Command.
"Comrade chairman, the troops are ready. Please review," Han said.
"Proceed!" Xi replied.
Clad in a camouflage military suit, Xi stood in an open-roof jeep that drove slowly past troop formations to a backdrop of military music.
The officers and soldiers stood to attention along the length of an airstrip at Zhurihe military training base in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, flanked by sandy prairies that stretched to mountains on the skyline.
Every few moments, Xi called out "Salute to you, comrades," to which assembled troops responded "Hail to you, chairman."
Xi alternated the greeting with "Comrades, thanks for your hard work," to which soldiers replied "Serve the people!"
"Follow the Party! Fight to win! Forge exemplary conduct!" Servicemen and women exclaimed to Xi.
More than 12,000 service personnel from the air force, army and navy, as well as the newly formed rocket force and strategic support troops, took part in the parade. Advanced weapons including stealth fighters and nuclear missiles were displayed.
It is the first time that China has commemorated Army Day with a military parade since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
The PLA is in the midst of an unprecedented reform led by Xi to improve its combat capability.
Xi was endorsed as the core of the CPC Central Committee in 2016.
The PLA has come a long way since its birth in the Nanchang Uprising on Aug. 1, 1927. Today, the PLA commands about 2 million service personnel, one of the world's largest military forces. Army Day falls on Aug. 1.
In a speech after the inspection, Xi said the country needs a strong army more than ever, calling for the building of the PLA into a world-class military force.
"The PLA has the confidence and capability to defeat all invading enemies and protect China's national sovereignty, security and development interests," Xi said.
The parade exhibited reform achievements, including major structural transformations, system and policy innovations and the introduction of new weapons.