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Xi completes nationwide military tour

Xi completes nationwide military tour

Chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Military Commission Xi Jinping has addressed all five major branches of the People's Liberation Army since being elected in November last year.
Xi visited a PLA air force base deep in the Gobi Desert Saturday and inspected modern equipment there. Xi told staff at the air base that he has always had them in mind and came to visit them especially, according to the official microblog of the PLA's news website. It is reportedly the first time official media has covered Xi's activities via microblog.
Xi stressed that the Party's Central Commitee and Central Military Commission highly recognize the importance of national defense and building up of the military, the development of the PLA's air force and its military equipment.
This has been the fifth meeting with PLA units from different branches since Xi was elected Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, after he inspected the armed police headquarters in Beijing and the South Sea Fleet and a PLA army group in the Guangzhou Military Region as well as the second artillery force in the past months.
"The visits have emphasized the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the CPC on transforming China into a maritime power to better protect its national interests. To pursue this goal, the PLA must have a strong air force and navy and long-range strike weapons," Zhang Xixian, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times.
China's territorial disputes with neighboring countries have escalated recently. Though Beijing hopes to solve the disputes through talks, the PLA must be fully prepared for war situations when resorting to force becomes an inevitable choice, Zhang said.
China will remain on a path of peaceful development, but it will "never give up" its legitimate rights or sacrifice core interests, Xi said at a group study session with members of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau in late January.

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