President Xi Jinping chose the 14th Army Corps, a former power base of the jailed Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai, for his first domestic inspection tour this year. Military observers said the visit was aimed at boosting military morale amid the ongoing anti-corruption campaign in the armed forces. Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, urged soldiers in the Kunming, Yunnan-based 14th Army Corps to follow the instructions of the Communist Party to consolidate the development of the army, Xinhua reported. The army unit was dubbed the power base of Bo because his father, Bo Yibo , was one of the founders of the battle group. In later years, the younger Bo boasted of his ties with the military unit. A few days after Bo's right-hand man and police chief Wang Lijun attempted to defect to the US consulate in Chengdu in February 2012, Bo paid a high-profile visit to the 14th Army Corps in his capacity as Chongqing's party chief. Bo was jailed for life in September 2013 for corruption and abuse of power. "The end of Bo Xilai also proved the 14th army group's innocence. Xi's inspection of the unit might be aimed at clarifying rumours about the close relationship between the battle group and Bo's family," Hong Kong-based military observer Leung Kwok-leung said. "In fact, Bo Yibo never took charge of the unit, even though he was one of the founders of the 14th Army Corps." During his visit to the corps, Xi honoured Wang Jianchuan, a former member of the unit who died in a border conflict with Vietnam in 1984 when he was only 19, Xinhua reported. Xi said he was moved by poems Wang wrote to his mother, in which he pledged his devotion to the security of the motherland, Xinhua said. Later in the day in Kunming, Xi also visited the local base of the Second Artillery Corps, which controls the PLA's strategic missile forces. He told troops to maintain a "high degree of unity, purity and solidarity". Xi's three-day trip to Yunnan also included a visit to the nearby Dian Lake, which has suffered serious water pollution in recent years. He also visited areas previously hit by disasters in the province, most of them in relatively underdeveloped ethnic regions, Xinhua said. Xi urged local officials to work together in the "tough battle" to eliminate poverty, speed up environmental protection and disaster relief, as well as efforts to improve the livelihood of ethnic groups, the report said.