President Xi Jinpingmakes a speech after reviewing the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea on April 12 (XINHUA)
On April 12, President Xi Jinping, also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), reviewed the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea, saying that the need to build a strong navy has never been more urgent than today, and calling for efforts to build a first-class naval force.
President Xi Jinping with officers and sailors on the missile destroyer Changsha (XINHUA)
The navy review was the largest of its kind in the People's Republic of China since its founding in 1949. Taking part in the review were more than 10,000 service personnel, 48 vessels and 76 aircraft. They included the aircraft carrier Liaoning and the country's latest submarines, ships and fighter jets. More than half of the vessels were commissioned after the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012.
Xi made a speech following the review, saying that it has always been China's aspiration to have a strong navy, which serves as a key guarantee to achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
"The Party and the people are proud of the PLA Navy," Xi said.
Vessels and aircraft including the aircraft carrier Liaoning and the country’s latest submarines, ships and fighter jets take part in the review (XINHUA)
He asked naval officers and soldiers to fully implement the Party's leadership over the armed forces, be firm in their ideals and convictions and uphold the country's glorious traditions, while pushing for technological innovation, developing new types of battle forces, and building a modern maritime combat system. Officers and soldiers were also called upon to remain on high alert, answer the call of the Party and the people at all times, resolutely defend national interests and strive to contribute more to upholding peace and stability in the region and the world.
Liu Furong, Commander of an underwater attack combat group, said the review was a good demonstration of the navy's historic achievements under Xi's call for building strong armed forces.