Government
Xi boards Liaoning aircraft carrier, watches training
Last Updated: 2013-08-31 07:39 | Xinhua
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (C front), who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission and general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, reviews an honor guard on the aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in northeast China's Liaoning Province, Aug. 28, 2013. Xi visited the Shenyang military theater of operations before attending the Saturday opening ceremony of the 12th National Games in Shenyang. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

President Xi Jinping has this week visited the Shenyang military theater of operations and watched a training session for the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), called on the military to deeply implement the goal of strengthening the troops so as to constantly enhance their ability to fulfill missions, during his recent visit to northeast China.

Xi, who is general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, urged the military to make greater contributions to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development.

On Wednesday, he watched take-off and landing training of carrier-based aircraft and asked questions about the equipment at a training base of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

Xi applauded the pilots' efficient performance and praised their command of flight skills under complicated weather conditions.

The president listened carefully to an introduction to the aircraft's design and capability, urging technicians to carefully analyze the plane's test flight data and encouraging them to make persistent efforts and keep studying and practicing in order to become excellent pilots.

He also visited the city of Dalian and boarded the Liaoning aircraft carrier at the Dalian Port to review a parade of the honor guard.

On the carrier, Xi went down into the cabin. He asked about the capabilities and features of the equipment on board and was told about soldiers' training progress.

Xi was concerned about the carrier's logistics, asking specifically about soldiers' lodging, dining and medical treatment.

The president accepted the carrier's emblem and souvenir cap presented by sailors and signed his name in the log.

Waving good-bye to soldiers, Xi urged the Liaoning's captain and commissar to keep in mind their duty and make contributions to build a strong Navy.

Ministry of National Defence spokesman Yang Yujun said on Thursday that the Liaoning is the Chinese military's first aircraft carrier, but "there will surely be more in future."

China will comprehensively consider the development of aircraft carriers in accordance with the needs of national defense and military building, Yang said at a news briefing.

Currently, China operates one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was refitted based on an unfinished Russian-made carrier and delivered to the Chinese Navy on Sept. 25, 2012.

The carrier's original design allows it to carry about 30 fixed-wing aircraft.

The Liaoning has conducted successful take-off and landing tests of its carrier-borne J-15 fighters, the main strike force of China's carrier group.

ABSOLUTE LOYALTY

On Thursday, Xi visited the Shenyang Military Area Command, stressing the CPC command in order to "ensure the military's absolute loyalty, purity and credibility" and their firm obedience to the command of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC "at any time and under any circumstances."

The president called for an improved PLA work style and a tackling of problems brought about by formality, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.

The military should also support local economic growth, helping poor people and assisting educational, medical, environmental and rural development, Xi said.

He called for the integration of military and civilian resources, and stressed the army's leading role in the ongoing relief work for northeast China's floods, in order to protect people's life and property.

He also emphasized the troops' security role to ensuring the smooth operation of China's 12th National Games, which opens on Saturday.

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