Chinese President Xi Jinping has said the country's army should closely follow the changing international situation and be prepared to fight and win wars at any time.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the instructions on Friday during an inspection of the Southern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The Southern Theater Command was established on February 1, 2016, when the PLA's seven military area commands were regrouped into five theater commands.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a meeting during an inspection of the Southern Theater Command of the PLA in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on April 21, 2017. /Xinhua Photo
During the inspection, Xi urged the army to focus its training on winning wars and make targeted efforts to enhance its combat readiness. He also required the Southern Theater Command to accelerate the building of a joint operational command system.
The army should carry out its transformation by developing new combat capabilities and improving its fighting effectiveness, Xi stressed.
The Chinese president called on the army to implement the strategy of military-civilian integration to facilitate synchronized development of national defense and the economy.
China set up a central commission for integrated military and civilian development this January, which is headed by Xi. Experts believe the move has highlighted the country's determination to boost innovation and economic growth by applying advanced military technologies in civilian fields.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L, front) confers military flags to top officers of the five newly established theater commands of the PLA in Beijing on February 1, 2016. /Xinhua Photo
Apart from the establishment of the five theater commands and the central commission for integrated military and civilian development, other recent reforms to China's armed forces included reorganizing former military headquarters into 15 new agencies under the CMC and setting up a joint logistics force last year, followed by the creation of 84 corps-level units earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the country has maintained a tough stance on corruption in the PLA in recent years, with former senior military official Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou convicted for graft. A total of 4,885 military officials were punished for disciplinary offenses in 2016.
Xi urged the PLA to fully eradicate the negative impact of Guo and Xu's cases and fight against corrupt behaviors, no matter how "small" they might seem.