Communist Party general secretary Hu Jintao has called on the People's Liberation Army to safeguard social stability and the loyalty of the army ahead of the party's key congress this autumn.
Hu, who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), was speaking at a plenary meeting of PLA deputies to the National People's Congress in Beijing on Monday, Xinhua reported.
'Every soldier in the military must be aware that the nation's development and the maintenance of stability are the priorities,' Hu told the deputies.
'The PLA and the armed police must prioritise ideological and political development and unswervingly uphold the Communist Party of China's absolute leadership over the armed forces.'
Military analysts said Hu's words were a sign that the country was facing problems in both the public and military sectors.
A Shanghai-based retired senior colonel, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the speech appeared aimed at urging senior PLA leaders to ensure, at the very least, that their actions and words were consistent with those of the party leadership.
He said some outspoken comments by high-ranking PLA officers appeared to have 'undermined the absolute leadership of the Communist Party'.
He pointed to comments made by military personnel, such as by General Liu Yuan, who hinted in articles published in army circulars that some top leaders of the CMC were involved in corruption.
Meanwhile, during an internal speech to mid-level PLA officers earlier this year, Lieutenant General Liu Yazhou of the National Defence University publicly acknowledged two former PLA generals, Xu Qinxian and He Yanran , for refusing to suppress protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
'Since the top leaders of the CMC are all nearing retirement, Hu's speech aimed at stopping these outspoken and aggressive generals from attempting to get promoted [to the CMC], as their words increase uncertainty among the army,' the retired senior colonel said.
Xinhua said Vice-President Xi Jinping, who was also CMC vice-chairman, was present at the meeting, which was presided over by CMC Vice-Chairman Guo Boxiong Another commission vice-chairman, Xu Caihou , attended the meeting with eight other members of the CMC.