President Xi Jinping's thought on strengthening the military provides a scientific guide for the Chinese army to become a world-class force, according to a senior military official writing in the People's Daily Tuesday.
"Firmly upholding the guiding role of the thought is of great significance practically and historically for adherence to the path of building a powerful army with Chinese characteristics and for advancing the modernization of national defense and armed forces," wrote Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Military Commission (CMC) in the article.
Strengthening the military is part of "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era," which was unveiled at the 19th CPC National Congress and enshrined in the Party Constitution in October. [Special coverage]
"The troops should unswervingly follow the absolute leadership of the Party," Xu said, adding "the top priority is to safeguard the system in which the CMC chairman assumes overall responsibility over the military."
"The army should strengthen the consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment," Xu wrote.
He called for efforts to push for modernization of national defense and the military at different stages and implement the tasks required by the ongoing military reforms.
Xu also ordered the troops to improve their capabilities of fighting and accelerate the building of a modern combat system with Chinese characteristics, in which the basic fighting forces are from the army, navy, air force, and the newly formed rocket force and strategic support troops.