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Nearly Eight Decades On -- Chinese Army Retains Vitality
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China's 2.3 million soldiers and officers are currently devoting themselves to training for the 79th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) which falls on Tuesday.

China's army had successfully sustained vitality for almost eight decades because it kept upgrading its functions and missions in line with the demands of the times, said Hu Wenlong, a researcher with Chinese PLA Military Academy of Sciences and chief editor of the Military Sciences Press.

"Military training is an imperative task for fulfilling the army's historical mission in the new century and the new development stage," Hu told Xinhua.

The PLA Daily has fully reported the military exercises involving the army, air force and navy. Included in the training are missile launches. 

The newspaper reported that in an unidentified part of southern China the air force held an exercise in late July with one team of advanced jet fighters playing the "red army" and another the "blue army".

Hu stressed training was the only way of improving the army's power and combat capabilities amid increasingly complicated international strategic circumstances which were dominated by information technologies.

An editorial published by PLA Daily Tuesday highlighted the conflict between the army's level of modernization and the requirements for winning a regional war in an IT-based era. This was now a major challenge for the country's armed forces. 

"The army should shift its reliance from battle force and productivity to the development and innovation of scientific and information technologies so as to be adapted to the global military reform trend," said the editorial.

It asked for a scientific concept of development to be put into effect which would help transform the army building mode and promote fulfillment of their new mission.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, has urged the armed forces to earnestly perform their historical mission on several occasions this year.

Hu outlined the army's mission in the new century as safeguarding the Party's leadership, ensuring security in the current important strategic period, protecting national interests and promoting world peace and development.

"But the core task, to serve the people, has never changed," said Hu Wenlong. He added that President Hu's new definition of the army's mission was vivid. 

"The Party's leadership is key to the country's lasting stability and durable peace which conforms to the people's fundamental interests," Hu Wenlong added. 

The first two decades of this century were of strategic importance to China's economic development and the military forces would always be the most reliable and important support for security during this period, he said. 

(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2006)





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