CHONGQING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping urged the strengthening of the armed forces through reform, loyalty to the Party and lawfulness when inspecting troops in southwest China this week.
Xi said the military must also enhance its political awareness to achieve the objective of building a strong army.
Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during an inspection of the highly decorated 13th Group Army in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing on Tuesday.
The 13th Group Army dates back to the 1930s. Xi has previously met with its personnel who participated in the disaster relief operations following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and the 2013 Lushan quake.
Touring the group's gallery, Xi called on the army to pass on its "red genes."
"Education on ideals, faith and theories should be increased among military officers and soldiers to strengthen their confidence in China's independent path, theory and system," the president said.
"The troops should maintain a high degree of conformity with the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Central Military Commission in ideology, politics and action."
He urged leading cadres in the army to take the lead in this drive.
The president asked the troops to "profoundly grasp, firmly support and actively engage in" the China's ongoing reform of its military.
In September, the country announced a military cut of 300,000 standing troops to be finished by the end of 2017, in an effort to build a leaner armed forces. It has since overhauled the command system of the People's Liberation Army, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force.
The reform should be carried out in a steady and well-organized manner to ensure a smooth transition, Xi told the troops.
Meanwhile, Xi urged intensified law enforcement. He said leading officers should ensure the authoritativeness of rules covering the army.
They must exercise their power "according to rules, cleanly and discreetly," and a system should be established to check and supervise their power, according to the president.
He also called on the troops to support the local government's work on economic development and poverty reduction, asking them to be brave in disaster relief and to help the government maintain social stability.