Chinese Army Day is August 1 -- the anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). This year marks the PLA's 79th anniversary.
To help the PLA celebrate, China.org.cn presents these photos of soldiers stationed on the Xisha Islands. Through these we salute all our soldiers who safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Located 330 kilometers southeast of south China's Hainan Province, the Xisha Islands are one of four big island groups in the South China Sea along with the Dongsha, Nansha and Zhongsha. Xisha's 45 islets are spread over an area 250 kilometers long by 150 kilometers wide.
Generations of soldiers have endured the harsh conditions of the islands and devoted themselves to defending the security of the islands.
(China.org.cn July 31, 2006)