| Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks at a grand ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the success of the Long March in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 22, 2006.|
Chinese President Hu Jintao
called for strengthening party and national unity, advancing national defense and army building and improving the Party's governance capability here on Sunday at a grand ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the success of the Long March.
"This great historic event is the pride of the Chinese Communist Party members, the glory of Chinese army and the pride of Chinese nation," said Hu, who is also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun and Luo Gan attended the ceremony, held in the Great Hall of the People.
Hu said the Long March opened a bright future for China's revolution and laid an important foundation for the victory of China's revolution.
"The aim of the grand ceremony is to inspire the whole Party, the army and people of all ethnic groups of China to continue to advance valiantly along the socialist road with Chinese characteristics," said Hu.
The Long March was a strategic military manoeuvre carried out by the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army from 1934 to 1936 led by the CPC in its fight with the Kuomintang Regime. After overcoming rivers, snow-capped mountains, vast grasslands dotted with dangerous swamps and numerous blockades and attacks on their way, the Red Army arrived in the border area of Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia after a 25,000-li (12,500-kilometer) trek.
In his speech, Hu called the Long March a rarely-seen expedition in the history of human warfare in terms of the long time it took, the long route it traveled, the great disparity of force between the Red Army and enemy troops it witnessed, and the abominable natural conditions it experienced.
The victory of the Long March shows the outstanding capabilities of the Chinese Communists in leading the revolutionary war, the undaunted spirit of the Red Army officers and soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for national independence and people's emancipation, and the fact that the just power of the people's revolutionary war is unbeatable, Hu said.
He said the Red Army's Long March is a "great turning point" for the Chinese Revolution to go from defeat to victory, which ushered in the new dawn and opened up a bright future for the Party to unite and lead the people to beat the Japanese militaristic aggressors and strive for building a new country that would be independent, free, democratic, united and prosperous.
Long March is of great and profound significance to the development of the Party, the Army and the Chinese Nation, said Hu.
Since the victory of the Long March 70 years ago, the Party has united and led the people of all ethnic groups to carry out great new "Long Marches", one after another, and achieved great victories during the different historic periods of revolution, construction and reform, he said.
Hu called for inheriting and carrying on the glorious revolutionary traditions of the Red Army in the Long March during the country's ongoing reform, opening up and socialist modernization drive.
He called for greater efforts to promote the sinicization of Marxism and to explore the new horizon of Marxism in contemporary China. He said the lofty revolutionary ideal of the Long March should be carried on as a powerful spiritual pillar in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
"We should strengthen unity of the whole Party and among the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, in order to conglomerate the wisdom and power in the widest range for the development of the cause of the Party and the people, " he said.
He said without the unprecedented unity of the Party and the Red Army, the success of the Long March would be impossible. Unity is an important guarantee of the success of great causes.
In addition, he said the modernization of national defense and the army and the building of the Party's ruling capabilities and advanced nature should be strengthened as well.
He said in the new "Long March", Party-building should be continuously pushed forward with emphasis on strengthening governance capability and enhancing vanguard character of CPC members.
He asked the party members, especially leading cadres, to learn from the party members in the Red Army and serve the people whole-heartedly.
"Today, we could say it with pride that the revolutionary ideal the Red Army demonstrated in its Long March has turned into reality, and the seeds the Red Army sowed during its Long March have blossomed and born fruits. There will be more colorful flowers and fruits," Hu said.
About 3,000 people, including Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, Li Ruihuan, Liu Huaqing, Wei Jianxing and Li Lanqing, attended the ceremony.
The ceremony was broadcast live by China National Radio, China Central Television and China Radio International, as well as Xinhuanet.Com and People.Com.Cn, the official Websites of Xinhua News Agency and People's Daily.