China to build world-class armed forces by mid-21st century: Xi

Xi-jinping

President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that the Communist Party of China (CPC) will strive to fully transform the country’s armed forces into world-class military by the mid-21st century.

By 2020, mechanization will be basically achieved, with IT application coming a long way and strategic capabilities seeing a big improvement, Xi said at the opening session of the 19th CPC National Congress.

The modernization of the national defence and armed forces should be basically completed by 2035, he added.

The CPC will build a powerful and modernized Army, Navy, Air Force, rocket force and strategic support force, develop strong and efficient joint operations commanding institutions for theatre commands and create a modern combat system with distinctive Chinese characteristics, he said.

“A military is built to fight,” he said, stressing combat capability as the criterion to meet, Xinhua news agency reported.

Technology was the core combat capability, he said, adding that people’s military would be made more innovative.

The CPC will speed up development of intelligent military and improve combat capabilities for joint operations based on network information system and the ability to fight under multi-dimensional conditions.

Founded in 1927, the People’s Liberation Army now commands about two million service personnel.

Today, a new military structure has been established with the Central Military Commission exercising overall leadership, the theatre commands responsible for military operations and the services focusing on developing capabilities.

The Chinese military has carried out major missions related to the protection of maritime rights, countering terrorism, maintaining stability, disaster rescue and relief, international peacekeeping, escort services in the Gulf of Aden and humanitarian assistance.