Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, August 01, 2002
Reception Marks PLA's 75th Anniversary
Speaking at the Wednesday reception marking the 75th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) held in the Great Hall of the People, Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian described the PLA as "a Great Wall of steel that is forever loyal to the Party, the motherland, the people and socialism."
All China's top leaders attended a reception Wednesday marking the 75th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) held in the Great Hall of the People.
Speaking at the reception, Defense Minister Chi Haotian described the PLA as "a Great Wall of steel that is forever loyal to the Party, the motherland, the people and socialism."
The absolute leadership of the CPC is the fundamental guarantee for the PLA to become stronger and win victory after victory, said Chi, who is also a vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and a state councilor.
The PLA would, as always, strictly follow the command of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC.
The Defence Minister vowed to build a stronger army through science and technology and run the army by law.
Chi told the reception: "We must pay close attention to quality and build a leaner yet more effective force with Chinese characteristics.
"We should step up military training with high-tech weapons and equipment and enhance the troops' combat readiness under high-tech conditions.''
Chi also called for further research into and development of weapons and equipment and improved logistical support to lay a solid material and technological foundation for operational readiness.
"We should work hard to develop more qualified, high-calibre military professionals,'' said Chi. He added that the system of national defence mobilization should be improved and the general population should be educated more about defence matters.
Chi said that it is the common aspiration of Chinese people around the world to resolve the Taiwan question and achieve the complete reunification of the motherland.
"We will try our utmost to achieve peaceful reunification but we will not renounce the use of force,'' said Chi.
He stressed that any attempt to separate Taiwan from the country is doomed to failure.
"We have the determination and capability to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity,'' he added.
The minister said that China will continue to follow the basic principles of "peaceful reunification'' and "one country, two systems'' as well as the eight-point proposal put forward by President Jiang Zemin on the development of cross-Straits relations at the current stage and on achieving progress towards peaceful reunification.
The minister said that the Chinese people and their army love peace and they are a staunch force working for world peace. He added that China has always pursued an independent foreign policy for peace and is ready to step up exchanges and friendly co-operation with other peoples and their armed forces on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
Some 1,700 people, including Communist Party of China (CPC) andgovernment leaders Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, Li Ruihuan, Hu Jintao, Wei Jianxing and Li Lanqing, and heads of various CPC, government and military departments as well as foreign diplomats, were present at the reception hosted by the Defense Ministry.
On August 1, 1927, an uprising at Nanchang in east China's Jiangxi Province marked the beginning of the CPC's independent leadership of the armed forces. After the founding of the People'sRepublic of China in 1949, the government set August 1 as the Army Day, a national festival.