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Xi urges military to remain steadfast in flood battle

President Xi Jinping addresses military forces tasked with flood control and relief missions during his visit to a floodwater diversion zone in Feidong county, Anhui province, on Wednesday. YAN YAN/XINHUA

President Xi Jinping on Thursday urged China’s military to make unremitting efforts to fulfill follow-up tasks in the ongoing flood control and disaster relief work.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, greeted members of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police Force, the militia and the reserve service who had taken part in flood control and aid efforts. He told them to continue contributing to flood control and reconstruction work.

The president, who had been in Anhui province since Tuesday for an inspection tour, gave the instruction after hearing reports from the military on its cooperation with local governments in battling floods across the country.

Commanders from the Central Military Commission’s Joint Staff Department, the PLA Eastern Theater Command, the PLA Anhui Provincial Command and the People’s Armed Police Force’s Anhui Provincial Service briefed Xi about their troops’ roles in the fight against the floods.

By Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of military personnel had been mobilized to take part in flood control and aid operations in 17 provincial-level regions. They helped local authorities relocate over 170,000 residents, handled more than 3,900 emergencies, reinforced over 900 kilometers of dikes and dams, and repaired about 350 km of damaged roads, according to the officers.

Xi acknowledged the contribution of the armed forces, saying that they have won a significant victory in the battle against the floods.

He ordered them to work with local governments to strengthen the monitoring and forecasting of floods so their forces could be deployed more efficiently and effectively.

They must strive to keep their troops in good condition, detect and remove hazards in a timely manner, safeguard people’s lives and property, and assist with relief and reconstruction efforts, Xi said.

He ordered the military to strictly manage its troops, in order to honor its good reputation and image.

The fight against the floods can also be regarded as an opportunity to examine the military’s command and operational capabilities, the fighting spirit of officers and soldiers, and the relations between the military and local governments as well as the public, Xi said, asking the military to summarize its experiences gained in the operation and use this to improve its work.

In addition, the president demanded that the armed forces must achieve this year’s goals in the fields of national defense and military building and realize the missions set by the Party and the people.

The military’s crisis preparedness, bottom-line thinking and combat training must be enhanced to ensure it can respond to any contingencies and win a war, he said.

Moreover, key work such as the making of long-term plans and reforming policy systems must be intensified, Xi ordered.

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