BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has inspected the joint operations command center of the Central Military Commission (CMC), during which he stressed that the entire military should devote all its energy to and carry out all its work for combat readiness, enhance its capability to fight and win, and effectively fulfill its missions and tasks in the new era.
Analysts commented on Wednesday that the inspection of the highest operational command of the Chinese armed forces signals China’s firm determination to protect its national security and interests in the face of provocation and pressure from others in a more chaotic situation. However, work for combat readiness does not mean to be belligerent, as the way to ensure that there is no war is to have the strength to win a war.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, chairman of the CMC, and commander-in-chief of the CMC joint operations command center, met with representatives of officers and soldiers of the command center and conveyed sincere greetings to all of its members.
Xi said that as the world is undergoing more profound changes unseen in a century, China’s national security is facing increased instability and uncertainty, and its military tasks remain arduous.
He demanded that the entire armed forces implement the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military for the new era, follow the military strategy for the new era and adhere to combat effectiveness as the sole criterion.
Xi also instructed them to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and successfully complete various tasks entrusted by the Party and the people.
The command center, which provides vital support to the strategic command of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, is of great importance and shoulders heavy responsibilities, Xi said. He noted that the center should make new and greater contributions to boosting military training and combat preparedness, effectively fulfilling all missions and tasks in the new era
The CMC joint operations command center was established in 2016 to partially replace the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Department. As the highest operational command of the Chinese armed forces, the command center is responsible for directing the joint operations of all the armed forces.
Reports and public documents show that Xi visited the command center for the first time on April 20, 2016, and again in 2017. Military strength, combat preparedness and national security were all mentioned during his three inspections.
The form of joint operations will be the mainstream in future military conflicts, so it is necessary to strengthen the cohesion and seamless connection of all arms and services to form a strong combat effectiveness, Chinese military expert Song Zhongping told media on Wednesday.
Echoing Song, Beijing-based military expert Li Jie said that the Russia-Ukraine conflict shows the importance of building a complete combat system and joint command. “It is necessary to lay a solid foundation for military preparedness in all areas of land, sea, air and space.”
Experts believed that the greatest security threats are from the US, which targets China as “most consequential geopolitical challenge” in the Biden administration’s first formal national security strategy released October, with the result of the midterm elections possibly leading to a tougher China policy.
The US threat is growing in both traditional and non-traditional security fields, and no matter whether it is in the Taiwan Straits or the South China Sea, the US is no longer hiding its efforts to step up provocations that directly target China, Song said.
When it comes to some Western media’s hype over the alleged “China threat” on military development, experts stressed that China’s military development is to protect its own interests from hegemonism.
“Working for combat readiness does not mean being belligerent,” Li said. “All countries prepare for the situation in their neighborhood, and China is no exception, especially in today’s increasingly tense situation.”
“The only way to ensure that there is no war is to have the strength to win a war,” Song said.
When the US hegemony continues to bully, provoke and even split China, only through strength can we safeguard national security and regional peace and stability, Song said.
As it says in President Xi’s report on the 20th National Congress of the CPC, the Chinese mainland will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures, Song said.