Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping, who is also president of China and the general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visits an exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Air Force on Friday. LI GANG / XINHUA
President tells airmen to implement military strategies, policies of new era
President Xi Jinping urged the People's Liberation Army Air Force on Friday to keep moving toward success and to build itself into a world-class air power.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the PLA Air Force has 70 years of glorious history, and generations of Air Force personnel are remembered for their immortal contributions to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests.
He stressed that the Air Force is at a new starting point, so its airmen must uphold the Party's thoughts in the new era on strengthening the military, implement military strategies and policies of the new era, stay true to their mission, stick to the Air Force's time-honored traditions, and make all-out efforts to innovate and catch up with leading air powers.
The president spoke as he attended a ceremony at the China Aviation Museum in Beijing's Changping district that marked the 70th anniversary of the PLA Air Force's founding. The museum, run by the Air Force, is the largest of its kind in Asia.
Accompanied by all members of the Central Military Commission, Xi extended congratulations and greetings to all Air Force personnel on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the commission.
He presented a wreath at a memorial dedicated to the Air Force's fallen heroes, inspected an exhibition displaying the Air Force's history and accomplishments and met with representatives of distinguished units and decorated personnel.
Over the past several years, Xi has repeatedly requested that the Air Force accelerate the transformation toward a strong air power with integrated air and space capabilities as well as balanced strength in both defensive and offensive operations.
The PLA Air Force was established on Nov 11, 1949, in Beijing, about one month after the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Last month, the Air Force hosted an open house in Changchun, capital of Jilin province. During the 5-day event, aviation fans were treated to flight shows at the Air Force Changchun Airport, including performances by the J-20, China's top combat plane and the world's third operational stealth fighter jet, and the Y-20, the newest strategic transport plane.
There were aerobatic performances by 35 aircraft of 10 types in Air Force active service, and 71 ground weapons of 46 types were displayed.
In March 1946, the first flight school of the CPC's armed forces was set up in Tonghua, Jilin province, and it was later moved to Changchun. The school is described by the Air Force as its cradle.