As the 80th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) approaches, China's Defence Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), has reiterated a pledge to recognize the absolute leadership of the Communist Party over the nation's military.
In a signed article published by the Party Journal Qiushi, meaning "Seeking Truth", on July 16, Cao Gangchuan, third in the chain of command of the PLA, said, "We must unswervingly adhere to the fundamental principle of the Party's absolute leadership over the military."
"Troops obeying the command of the Party Central Committee is the principle of the PLA's establishment and the greatest political demand of the military put forward by the Party and the Chinese people," he said.
Some factions in China in recent years have argued for the PLA to be brought under the leadership of the State rather than the Party.
"Some hostile forces have made it their priority to westernize the Chinese military and have preached the non-politicalization and nationalization of the military in an attempt to separate the military from the Party leadership," he continued.
"The PLA regards the political tasks of the Part as its own tasks ... all Chinese servicemen have a firm belief in obeying the Party's order and following the Party line," he said.
"The party's core leadership of three generations and the current CMC Chairman and Chinese President, Hu Jintao, has made the Party's absolute leadership over the military its top priority.
"Chairman Hu once said it is important, historically, to pass down fine traditions of the military to generation after generation, maintain inherent qualities and styles of the army and make the PLA the people's army under the absolute leadership of the Party," Cao noted
(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2007)