By PLA Daily
“As we put conscious effort into learning from history to create a bright future, we must accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces.” In his important speech at the ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President Xi expounded on the Party’s experience in commanding and building up the armed forces, spoke highly of the indelible achievements of the people’s military on behalf of the Party and the people and its vital role, and set out clear targets of accelerating the modernization of national defense and the armed forces, thus pointing out the direction and providing guidelines for realizing the Party’s goal of strengthening the military in the new era and transforming our people’s armed forces into world-class forces in all respects.
A strong country must have a strong military, as only then can it guarantee the security of the nation. Strong national defense will secure the nation’s survival and a strong military lays the keystone for national security. Due to a weak military and backward weapons and equipment, the Chinese armed forces and people, despite the bloody battles they had fought, could not stand the attacks during the Opium War, the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), and the invasion by the Eight-Power Allied Forces. History and reality have proved repeatedly that military strength is highly relevant to the destiny and rejuvenation of a nation. President Xi stated that “At the point that it was engaged in violent struggle, the Party came to recognize the irrefutable truth that it must command the gun and build a people’s military of its own.” Over the past hundred years, millions upon millions of revolutionaries have unswervingly followed the Party and forged an invincible army. History has made it clear that with the CPC, the people’s military will know where to go and continue to grow in strength on the way forward. It is precisely under the leadership of the Party that, since its establishment, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been bound up with the destiny of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, has made indelible achievements on behalf of the Party and the people in safeguarding the sovereignty, independence, security and dignity of the country.
Currently, the world is evolving like never before in a century. The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted profound impacts on the international landscape, and China’s security is facing rising uncertainties and instabilities in. Looking back in the past hundred years, we become more keenly aware that the development of the national defense and the armed forces serves as a strong backing for the country’s security. The people’s military is a strong pillar for safeguarding our socialist country and preserving national dignity, and a powerful force for protecting peace in our region and beyond. Grounded in the reality, we must be more clear-eyed about the fact that military means are the ultimate guarantee for national security, that the modernization of national defense and the armed forces must keep pace with the country’s modernization drive, and that military capability must satisfy the strategic needs of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee has formulated a strategic plan for accelerating the modernization of national defense and the armed forces at a new historical starting point, and clearly put forward to “secure the achievement of the military's centenary goal by 2027.”The present and coming periods are crucial for the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. The entire armed forces must fully implement Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the military and the military strategy for the new era, uphold the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces; must stay committed to the Chinese path of building strong armed forces, fully enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces, strengthen them through reform and technology and the training of competent personnel, and run them in accordance with the law, accelerate the modernization of the military in terms of theory, organizational structure, personnel and weaponry, so as to transform our people’s armed forces into world-class forces with greater capacity and more reliable means for safeguarding China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests.