Hu Calls for Stepping up Army Building

President Hu Jintao on Saturday called on the Chinese army to enhance national defense and step up army building to safeguard national sovereignty, unification, territorial integrity and security.

"We should strive to improve the capability of the armed forces to deal with crisis, maintain peace, contain wars and win victory in possible wars," said Hu when he joined in the panel discussion of the delegation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to the Fourth Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing Saturday afternoon.

Hu is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

After hearing the PLA deputies' views, Hu said the next five years are crucial to China's drive for building a comparatively prosperous society in an all-round way. It is also "an important period" for the modernization of national defense and army building, he said.

"We must give top priority to defending national sovereignty and security, and get ready for military struggles," said the president.

"We must follow the scientific concept on sustainable development to strengthen national defense and army building."

Hu also urged efforts to promote development in the fields of economy, science and technology, education and personnel training for both military and civilian purposes, and earn rich resources and strong support from the country's economic and social development for national defense and army building.

(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2006)

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