President Hu Jintao Monday reiterated the country's "fundamental principle" that the Communist Party of China (CPC) will unswervingly hold absolute leadership of the military.
"We must always prioritize building the military from an ideological and political perspective, and unswervingly uphold the fundamental principle and system of the Party's absolute leadership over the military," Hu said.
Hu, who is also chairman of the Party's Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks at a plenary meeting of PLA deputies to the National People's Congress on the sidelines of the two sessions.
Observers say this is a stern response to recent calls for the "nationalization of the military," which are aimed at breaking the Party's hold of military power.
Hu called for the PLA and the armed police to deepen preparations for combat to fulfill every task assigned them and prepare for the opening of the Party's 18th National Congress later this year, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
He noted that every soldier in the military must be aware that development while maintaining stability is the priority.
Hu, who is also the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said the military must abide by strict political and organizational discipline to ensure all orders are implemented to the letter and called for the military to enhance its fight against corruption.
"Hu's speech is very timely and necessary," Meng Qing-quan, a professor with the PLA's National Defense University, told the Global Times yesterday.
In recent years, there have been calls for the army to be separate from any political party in China, a notion that has been criticized by many observers.
"Under the current complicated international and domestic situations, various ideological trends are active. We should maintain consistency with the CPC Central Committee through improving ideological education," Meng said.
"The PLA needs to be led by united thinking, will, targets and guides, which are essential to improving the combat capability of an army," he said.
"An army is born and exists due to politics. Any army in the world belongs to a certain political group and has sharp characteristics in class. Any class and country establishes an army in a bid to realize its interests," Jin Weisen, a political commissar of a military area command in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, said during an internal discussion in March last year, PLA Daily reported.
Those who say the army should be neutral intend to change the PLA's nature, which is a bad idea, Jin said.
Vice President and CMC Vice Chairman Xi Jinping was present at the meeting, which was presided over by CMC Vice Chairman Guo Boxiong.