Saturday, 10 November, 2007

Chinese president urges missile troops to improve capability

Chinese President Hu Jintao Sunday called on the Second Artillery Force (SAF), China's strategic missile troops, to improve themselves "quickly and well".

Hu, also chairman of Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remark when meeting with delegates of the seventh congress of the SAF of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

He urged soldiers and officers of the SAF to fully grasp the essence of the 17th CPC National Congress and "spare no efforts" to fulfill their tasks.

"The SAF has speeded up its modernization process and fulfilled the tasks assigned by the Party and people very well in recent years," said Hu, encouraging the troops to further improve capability.

Special efforts should be made to improve the work of Party organs in the army, he said.

The SAF, under the People's Liberation Army that consists of 2.3 million members at present, was founded in 1966 to upgrade the army's overall combat strength.

The force has formed its own unique series of weaponry and equipment, comprising both nuclear and conventional missiles of various types and ranges.

It boasts a great number of missile specialists who have been considered "talents" or "special personnel" of the PLA, which accords with the army's long-standing policy of adopting "high-tech means" to strengthen the capability.

The white paper on China's national defense in 2006 says "high-tech means" have been widely adopted to "reform military training" and accelerating the process of "new weaponry becoming combat-ready ones".

The force has conducted several simulation exercises to enhance weapon precision and displayed several missiles in a parade on the Tian'anmen Square in 1999 when China celebrated its 50th anniversary.

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