BEIJING, March 15 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is head of a leading group for deepening reform on national defense and the armed forces, on Saturday stressed that the country's military reform should be guided by the objective of building a strong army.
Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks during the first plenary meeting of the group under the CMC.
CMC vice chairmen Fan Changlong and Xu Qiliang serve as the leading group's deputy heads.
"National defense and military reform are an important part and an important symbol of China's overall reform," Xi said.
With "being able to combat and win battles" as the focus, Xi said the reform should target key problems in strengthening combat preparedness and weak links in honing combat effectiveness.
The president urged deepening reform to modernize army establishments.
Reform of the commanding system, power structure and related policies should be advanced to support the consolidation of national defense and the building of strong armed forces, according to Xi.
The reform should ensure the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s absolute leadership over the military, Xi said.
The president warned, however, that reform must be carried out in an "active yet prudent" manner.
Things requiring change must be reformed in a timely, courageous and determined way, he said.
"Important reform measures must be taken prudently because a slight move in one part may affect the situation as a whole," he said, adding that repeated reviews and scientific assessment are needed before a move is introduced.
The CPC leadership vowed to build modern armed forces with Chinese characteristics as part of a grand reform blueprint revealed in November of last year.
The goal is to build an army that "obeys the Party's command, is capable of winning battles and has a sound work style" by clearing obstacles to the development of national defense and the armed forces, according to a communique issued after a key reform meeting.
Members of the leading group approved working rules and a work-division plan for important reform measures during Saturday's meeting.