President Xi reviews navy in South China Sea
President Xi Jinping has reviewed the Chinese Navy in the South China Sea, highlighting that the need to build a strong navy "has never been more urgent than today."
The navy review was the largest of its kind in the People's Republic of China since the country's founding in 1949.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for efforts to build a first-class navy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviews the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018. Xi made a speech after the review.[Photo: Xinhua]
"Building a strong navy has been a long-cherished wish of the Chinese nation for generations and also an important guarantee for realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the PLA Navy has made enormous achievements and bravely kept pace with the times after cleaving through the waves and overcoming numerous difficulties. The current PLA Navy is towering in the east of the world with a new outlook. The Party and the Chinese people are proud of the heroic and glorious PLA Navy."
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, poses for a group photo with officers and soldiers on the missile destroyer Changsha on April 12, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]
More than 10-thousand service personnel, 48 vessels and 76 aircraft took part in the review.
They included the aircraft carrier Liaoning and the latest submarines, vessels and fighter jets.
President Xi boarded the missile destroyer Changsha Thursday morning.
The procession was directed by Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang.
Vessels and aircraft including the aircraft carrier Liaoning and latest submarines, vessels and fighter jets take part in a review in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018. [Photo:Xinhua]
Xi Jinping made a speech after the military review, pledging to speed up the modernization of the navy.
"Naval officers and sailors, I call on you to implement the standard of the combat capacity in a comprehensive way, greatly strengthen military combat training and remain on high alert. You should follow the orders of the Party and respond to the calling of the people at any moment to firmly safeguard the national interests and do your best to make greater contributions to maintaining world and regional peace and stability. I'm fully convinced that the PLA Navy will accomplish your mission, live up to people's trust, and constantly make more brilliant achievements in the new era."
Immediately after the review, the navy launched a full-scale live drill.
Liu Zhe, captain of the aircraft carrier Liaoning, said the carrier will leave for new waters to conduct combat drills.