BEIJING, July 3 (UPI) -- Chinese armed forces must unswervingly follow the leadership of the Communist Party of China, a top military official said.
The call was made by Xu Caihou, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, the country's supreme military command, at a seminar coinciding with activities marking the 90th anniversary of the party's founding, Xinhua news agency reported.
Xu urged the country's armed forces, the largest in the world, to follow the party leadership and pursue the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the official description of the Chinese economic model that combines Marxism with reforms.
Xu's comments were in line with Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech at the start of the anniversary activities Friday.
In his speech, Hu, who also heads the Central Military Commission, said the party must adhere to the fundamental principle of "exercising absolute leadership over the army," while the army should "provide a strong guarantee for upholding China's sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity."
Xu said the military and the armed police should study Hu's speech in a serious manner, Xinhua said.
Founded in July 1921, the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949 after the long civil war which ended in the defeat of the Nationalist Party.