President Xi Jinping has visited a satellite launch site in China's southwest Sichuan province, days ahead of the launch of three satellites for Chinese navigation system BeiDou, seen as a rival to America's GPS. Xi, also the general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)'s Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected the preparation work for the launch at the site's command centre on Saturday. He discussed with scientists and technicians their research, work and lives.
They were told to keep pursuing precision and perfection to ensure the success of the launch of three satellites for BeiDou which is being developed as a competitor to America's Global Positioning System (GPS). Xi also extended festival greetings to all officers and soldiers of the People's Liberation Army and the armed police forces on the occasion of the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on February 16. Through a video call, Xi talked with soldiers stationed at an island in the Xisha area in the South China Sea and asked them what they had prepared to celebrate the upcoming Spring Festival, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. China claims almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea and has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims. Xi met with the base's senior officers and asked them to work with more commitment and be steadfast in building China's strength in aerospace to create more "Chinese miracles". He stressed military training under combat conditions to make it world-class and improve China's strength in aerospace. Noting that technology was a core combat capability, Xi called for intensified work to make breakthroughs in core and key technologies so that China could take the initiative in international competition. He also emphasised on the political loyalty of the armed forces, the report said. Comprehensive and strict guidance and management of the armed forces should be conducted to ensure the absolute loyalty, purity and reliability of the forces, Xi added.
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