Chinese celebrate 96th founding anniversary of PLA

By Xu Keyue (Global Times) 09:52, August 02, 2023

On Tuesday, with the morning's first rays of sunshine, the "heroic city" of Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, held a flag-raising ceremony at Bayi Square to celebrate the 96th anniversary of the August 1 Nanchang Uprising and the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

With the morning light still young, on the roads leading to Bayi Square, the masses stood still holding China's national flags, and everyone was solemnly looking forward to the flag-raising ceremony. On August 1, 1927, the Communist Party of China initiated its first military resistance against Kuomintang counterrevolutionaries. As a result, August 1 has been designated to commemorate the establishment of the People's Liberation Army.

On Tuesday, the warm vibe of "supporting the army and loving the army" spread across the country, with related topics also trending on major social media platforms including Sina Weibo. Floods of netizens have sent their best wishes and tributes to the Chinese soldiers, who they call the "loveliest people" in China.

As the residual circulation of Typhoon Doksuri, the fifth typhoon this year, continues to move northward, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has recently seen extremely heavy rainfall. Encountering rare heavy rain disasters, the PLA soldiers and police officers rushed to the front line of flood prevention and relief as always, spending their festival in flood rescue.

On Monday, a red warning for heavy rainfall was issued in Beijing. The capital's armed police unit dispatched more than 2,000 officers and soldiers with rescue equipment to the disaster front line, and promptly evacuated and transferred trapped people. As of 10 pm that day, officers and soldiers had successfully rescued more than 100 trapped people.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the PLA has a dual mission - military operations or the struggle against aggression, and non-combat operations including counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, humanitarian relief, disaster prevention and mitigation.

PLA service personnel have no holidays, including on August 1, as they have to take part in flood fighting, rescue disaster relief, and carry out a variety of exercises, Song said, noting that there are also many troops engaged in the defense of the country's borders.

"All this is to provide a peaceful and harmonious environment . So our military, our service members as well as our veterans are some of the loveliest people of our time," Song said.

On Tuesday, an army corps of the Xinjiang military command organized a ceremony to raise the national flag, and awarded commemorative medals to some officers and soldiers in recognition of their contribution to safeguarding the prosperity of the motherland, according to state-owned media outlet CCTV.

Yang Chuan, a soldier from the corps who was awarded the commemorative medal, said that he would continue to train his abilities against the enemy, and contribute all his strength to protecting the northwestern border of the motherland.

"Protecting the country is the duty of every citizen. China is now facing an unstable external environment and the world is not at peace," Song stressed.

Over the years, the PLA's military capability buildinghas advanced by leaps and bounds. It is because the world is not peaceful that it is even more necessary to strengthen its preparations for conflict, according to military experts.

"Only by being prepared for war can war be avoided, and peace can be won and consolidated through the dissolution of war. So the PLA still needs to work hard to make itself stronger," Song pointed out.

"I'm looking forward to the middle of the century when the PLA will become a powerful military to better safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests and to better safeguard regional and world peace," Song noted.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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