Xi visits fleet, praises Sanya sailors
President Xi Jinping inspected troops from the South Sea Fleet of the People's Liberation Army navy in Sanya, Hainan province, on Tuesday morning.
During the inspection, Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, viewed 11 warships of five different types, according to a China Central Television report.
President Xi Jinping greets naval helicopter pilots onboard the vessel Jinggangshan during his visit to the PLA navy in Sanya, Hainan province, on Tuesday. Photo by Li Gang / Xinhua
He then inspected the bridge, checked the weapons and boarded the ship-borne helicopter of the Jinggangshan, one of the navy's most advanced landing vessels.
Jinggangshan is the first Chinese naval vessel to be manned, in part, by female personnel.
Aytulun Xukrat, 19, a sailor from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, told Xi of her work on the landing vessel.
The Chinese navy has three fleets and started to enlist Uygur women in 2011. There are 20 female sailors on Jinggangshan, five of whom are ethnically Uygur.
Xi praised the women, saying their integration is conducive to promoting women's status and ethnic unity.
He received a hat and a badge with the logo of the warship and signed its logbook.
Inside a submarine, Xi talked with the sailors, praised their diligence and encouraged them to go to far seas and oceans to train.
He also met with commanders above regiment level at the navy's Sanya base and posed for photos with them.
At the fleet cafeteria, Xi ate lunch with the sailors.
Even though the PLA service members' livelihoods have been improved greatly, the sailors should continue to stick to the traditions of simple living and hard work, Xi said during the lunch.
One of the most important training courses is to educate the officers and sailors to combine their personal pursuits with the dream of building a strong military, Xi said.
The military officers and sailors should focus on their mission and duty and strive for an illustrious career in the military, he said.
Xinhua contributed to this story.