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Hu Stresses National Defense, Economy

Chinese President Hu Jintao said Saturday that the nation must carry out comprehensively the guideline of maintaining a coordinated development of national defense and economy, so as to ensure a favorable security environment for the nation's modernization drive.

On the basis of economic development, China must make efforts to push forward the construction of national defense, Hu, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said.

Hu made the remarks when presiding over a group study focusing on how to coordinate the military and economic development. Members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee participated in the study.

Hu said the current international situation in general favors China's goal of building a "xiaokang", or relatively well-off, society.

"We should hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, adhere to the independent foreign policy of peace, unswervingly persist in the way of peace development, and unswervingly safeguard world peace and promote common development," he said.

"At the same time, we should put national sovereignty and security first, resolutely safeguard the fundamental interest of the country, resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.

He urged party committees and governments at various levels to support the reform and development in the field of national defense, further improve the construction of the reserve forces of national defense, establish a prompt and efficient mobilization system, and further improve the construction of the national defense-related legal system.

Hu also extended sincere festival greetings on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to all soldiers and officers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) as well as the armed police, as the 77th founding anniversary of the PLA, which falls on August 1, nears.

(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2004)

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