CHINA'S military chiefs have wrapped up a two-day meeting with calls for an all-out effort from government departments to find new jobs for demobilised soldiers. This week's conference of the seven-member Central Military Commission came after the Communist Party's 15th Congress - which ended last week with the removal of military leader General Liu Huaqing from the Politburo Standing Committee. It followed President Jiang Zemin's announcement that PLA troops would be cut by 500,000 in the next three years. According to a Beijing source, the commission stressed: 'Arranging jobs for demobilised soldiers is important to social stability and is a long-term political mission.' The meeting also highlighted the importance of strengthening ideological education of servicemen and demobilised soldiers to preserve morale within the PLA. 'We should strengthen colleagues' ideological education to make them understand and sympathise with the state's problems, take the interests of the whole situation into account and accept arrangements made for them,' one source explained. Mr Jiang and the six other members of the Central Military Commission were joined by top commanders from China's seven military regions for the meeting. Meanwhile, Generals Zhang Wannian and Chi Haotian, who became the two vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission at the party congress, threw their weight behind Mr Jiang and his plan to slash the Army by half a million troops. The cuts aim to free funds to help modernise the military with the purchase of hi-tech naval and air weapons. 'The Army should be tight-fisted in spending and enthusiastically support the reform measures of the party,' General Chi, also Defence Minister, told tank commanders of the Beijing Military Region. 'The slashing of our troops would help turn China's military machine into a leaner fighting force. We should deeply understand such a major decision by the central party and achieve this goal actively.' General Zhang told officers at the National Defence University: 'This is a major step to improve the quality of the Army and progress down the road of creating elite troops with Chinese characteristics.'