Hu stresses army's obedience to party
President Hu Jintao has stressed that the People's Liberation Army should make 'complete obedience to the party' one of its tasks amid military modernisation.
Loyalty to the party has always been PLA policy, but analysts believe Hu reiterated the ideological imperative after seeing what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
'[We] must persevere with socialism with Chinese characteristics in our armed forces, which make the whole army maintain a clear and solid ideology,' Hu (pictured) told PLA deputies in a panel session at the annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing yesterday.
'[The army] should unswervingly obey the party's command - which is the basic principle - and keep fostering the core values of contemporary soldiers.'
The so-called 'core values of contemporary soldiers' stress five spirits - loyalty to the party, love for the people, serving the country, devotion to missions and upholding honour.
Hu mentioned the importance of 'loyalty to the party' three times in his speech, according to a Xinhua report.
Antony Wong Dong, president of the International Military Association in Macau, said it was rare for Hu, who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, to reiterate the importance of 'loyalty to the party' before so many model army officers and soldiers.
'We know the success of the revolution in Egypt was caused by the army's declaration of neutrality, while in Libya, many soldiers even took part in uprisings,' Wong said.
'Hu wanted to remind the PLA that the impact of 'jasmine revolutions' in the Middle East and Africa should be nipped in the bud in China, and the army should also be well-prepared to cope with any social unrest caused by 'jasmine rallies'.'
Beijing announced last week that the PLA's military budget would be increased by 12.7 per cent this year, and a pay rise of up to 40 per cent was also offered.
Wong said that gave Hu more bargaining chips to demand obedience from the army.
Xinhua said Hu also urged the army to provide a solid security guarantee for the building of a moderately prosperous society.