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Xi calls for strengthened navy

Xinhua

SANYA - Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the Navy to strengthen itself and integrate individual soldiers' aspirations into national hopes of reinforcing the military.

Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visited the People's Liberation Army Navy troops stationed in Sanya in south China's island province of Hainan after attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013.

Wearing a short-sleeved regular military uniform, Xi inspected a guard of honor of sailors and 11 new-type naval warships of five categories representing the South China Sea Fleet.

The president also viewed the naval vessels of Yueyang, Hengshui and Yulin, and saluted soldiers to the song of the parade.

On board the Jinggangshan vessel and another new-type submarine, Xi carefully examined weaponry features, inquired about soldiers' training and daily life, accepted the vessel's cap and emblem presented by soldiers as a gift, and signed his name in Jinggangshan's log.

Jinggangshan is the first Chinese naval vessel to be manned, in part, by female personnel. Five of the 20 female soldiers currently working on board are ethnic Uygur from far West China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Xi praised the ethnic women soldiers, saying their integration is conducive to promoting women's status and ethnic unity in China. He also encouraged sailors working in the submarine to better train themselves.

The president also examined the naval port's infrastructures and had lunch with sailors in the dining hall.

"The spirit of thrift and perseverance should be better promoted and soldiers should be trained to endure hardships, although military conditions have greatly improved," he told sailors.

Particularly as naval troops are scattered so far and wide in their posts, they should strengthen the building of CPC grassroots organizations and the training of Party cadres, Xi also urged.