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President extends greetings to military, inspects combat readiness

By ZHAO LEI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-01-20 06:32
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President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, greets military units on Wednesday while inspecting the combat readiness of armed forces via video link from Beijing, ahead of Spring Festival. LI GANG/XINHUA

President Xi Jinping extended Spring Festival greetings via video link on Wednesday to members of the People's Liberation Army, the People's Armed Police Force and the militia and reserve forces as he inspected combat readiness of several military units.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made a video call at the CMC headquarters in Beijing with officers, soldiers, sailors, pilots and special operations commandos who were on duty.

Xi first talked with troops from the Xinjiang Regional Command guarding the Khunjerab Pass, China's highest border checkpoint, located on the China-Pakistan border.

He asked about the effect of changing situations in neighboring regions on the border defense force's patrol. The troops' commander told him that they have increased patrols and strengthened surveillance of border areas. The soldiers also work more closely with local police and residents, the commander said, adding that the border region's security has been secured through these methods.

Xi also asked whether the troops received sufficient cold-resistant materials and fresh vegetables. He was told that multiple measures have been taken to ensure the warmth and nutrition of soldiers.

When speaking with sailors and naval aviators attached to a flotilla led by CNS Changsha, a Type 052D guided-missile destroyer, Xi asked the flotilla's commanding officer what plans they had prepared to respond to possible emergencies.

The commander answered that officers have made plans for all likely scenarios and the flotilla has arranged targeted training in defense maneuvers, countermeasures and joint strikes.

After listening to a report from the head of a PLA Air Force fighter jet unit, Xi said: "Being on duty means those involved must be very vigilant and be ready to engage in battle at any time. The troops must remain on alert during the festival and be sure they can handle any given situation and win."

At the end of the video call, Xi ordered all military personnel to get prepared to assist local governments in handling possible emergencies during the Spring Festival and remain vigilant during the holiday.

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