The large-scale military exercise — dubbed “Mission Action 2013” — involving 40,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in October was personally approved by Chinese president Xi Jinping to prepare his troops in the event of war, according to a strongly-worded commentary published Saturday on the website of China’s official Xinhua news agency.
During a visit to Guangzhou, the capital of southern Guangdong province, to witness a naval exercise last December, Xi told his troops of his dream of rejuvenating the “great Chinese nation,” which he said cannot be achieved without a powerful army with Chinese characteristics.
The commentary said it was important to develop the country’s military through proper propaganda and education, the clarification of ideas and implementing strategies in every aspect of army building in a realistic and pragmatic manner. The PLA must persevere to modernize as well as expand and strengthen its military strategies to deepen preparations for potential conflict to ensure that the troops are ready if called upon not only to fight, but to win, the article added.
Noting that the pivotal third plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee last month is incorporating national security and military reforms into China’s overall reform strategy, the commentary said that the fundamental goal of the reforms is to increase the efficiency and battle-readiness of the military. Major goals of the reforms include fully bringing China’s military into the information age, revamping the command system for joint combat, and reforming the leadership structure.
The commentary highlighted a number of Xi’s visits to various PLA military zones across the country over the past year, saying that it illustrates his affection and care for the troops. In particular, Xi visited the Beijing Military Region on Aug. 1 this year to celebrate the founding of the PLA, and two months later personally oversaw “Mission Action 2013,” the large-scale joint military exercise in which 40,000 troops maneuvered over 30,000 kilometers by road, rail, sea and air to test the logistic capabilities of the PLA in real war situations.
Full article: Xi Jinping preparing the PLA for war: Xinhua commentary (Want China Times)