Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday reaffirmed the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s absolute leadership over the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
"To build a strong military, [we] must unswervingly adhere to the Party's absolute leadership over the armed forces, and make sure that the people's army always follows the Party," Xi told a grand gathering in Beijing to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the PLA.
According to Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, the Party's leadership is a "fundamental guarantee" for the PLA to maintain its great cohesion, creativity and combat capabilities.
It is an essential trait of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and a major political advantage of the Party and the state, he said.
"It is what the PLA was first built upon, and the very soul of building a stronger army," said Xi.
"No matter how times develop and how circumstances change, this army of ours will always remain one of the Party and one of the people," Xi said.
He ordered the PLA to raise its awareness of political integrity, the overall situation, the core and conformity with the core and firmly protect the authority of the CPC Central Committee.
It must resolutely implement the fundamental principle and system of the CPC's absolute leadership over the army, and always follow the command of the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, Xi said.
"On this major issue of principle, we must be particularly clear-headed, and take firm stands and actions," he said. "There shall be no wavering, no hesitation, and no ambiguity."