On Wednesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China's strategic force President Hu Jintao inspected the headquarters of the Second Artillery Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).
In his speech Hu pledged to step up military reforms, intensify preparations for the military struggle and strengthen the overall build-up of the Second Artillery Force.
During his stay, the president, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), met with senior officers of the Second Artillery Force, the commander Jing Zhiyuan and commissar Peng Xiaofeng.
Hu saluted those who had contributed to founding and developing the Second Artillery Force. He said the formation of strategic missile troops and the Second Artillery Force 40 years ago was "a major strategic decision" made by the CPC Central Committee and the CMC.
"The Second Artillery Force has gone down an uncommon road since its founding 40 years ago," said the leader, "The Party and the people will have your achievements in mind for ever."
Noting that the Second Artillery Force shouldered a glorious mission and important duties in the new century, Hu said the Party Central Committee and the CMC had attached great importance to, and pinned high hopes on, the development of the Second Artillery Force.
Those who joined in the study tour were CMC Vice Chairmen Guo Boxiong, Cao Gangchuan and Xu Caihou and CMC Members Liang Guanglie, Li Jinai, Liao Xilong, Chen Bingde and Qiao Qingchen.
Hu and other military leaders watched an art performance entitled "Song of Dong Feng (East Wind)", which explained the 40-year history of the Second Artillery Force in an artistic fashion.
(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2006)