BEIJING, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- China's Xi Jinping has commanded the country's People's Liberation Army to prepare for real combat while conducting military training.
Xi serves as general secretary of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee and chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission. He is expected to become China's President in March when the National People's Congress convenes.
"Bear in mind that it is the soul of the military to obey the command of the party without compromise," Xi said while visiting military troops in Guangzhou. "It is the top priority for the military to be able to fight and win battles and it is fundamental that the military consolidates itself through governing the troops lawfully and austerely.
"The PLA should unconditionally implement the principles to govern the military lawfully and austerely, train the troops through strict discipline, always focus on grassroots units and further improve fighting capabilities," Chinese state media reported Xi said Thursday.
Xi also asked PLA officials to use "real combat" techniques in training for diversified military operations.
During his inspection tour, Xi also visited the PLA navy's Haikou destroyer, built in Shanghai's Jiangnan Shipyard and a symbol of the country's growing naval presence.
China's People's Liberation Army, with 2.3 million enlisted personnel, is the largest in the world.