Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) must be bold in reform and adept in innovation while staying away from rigidity and stagnation at any time and under any circumstances.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a grand rally marking the 90th founding anniversary of the PLA.
Over the past 90 years, the PLA has formed a set of principles on military building and management, developed strategies and tactics of people's war, and fostered special glorious traditions and fine conduct under the leadership of the CPC, which were hailed by Xi as the "magic weapon" for the PLA to claim one victory after another.
Xi said the armed forces must stick to the CPC's absolute leadership, which is their eternal soul and should be never discarded.
"The armed forces must follow the banner, the direction and the will of the Party at all times and under any circumstances," Xi noted.
"History has told us that the principle of 'the Party commanding the gun' is the fundamental guarantee for the people's army to retain their nature and goal," Xi said.
The principle is also an irreversible truth that the CPC has attained in struggles of blood and fire, he said.
"It is the CPC and its strong leadership that have designated the direction and injected impetus for the advancement of the armed forces," he continued.
Behind the glorious victories are also the ideals and beliefs, as well as the reform determination of the armed forces, Xi said.
"Only by continuous reform and innovation, can the people's army constantly gain development vitality and put itself in an impregnable position," Xi said.
The president also stressed the role of fighting spirit, revolutionary discipline and civilian-military unity in claiming various victories.
As long as the armed forces stand with and win the support of the people, a "wall of iron" can be fortified, Xi said, reminding the armed forces to keep firmly in mind the fundamental principle of serving the people.