|President Hu hails PLA's historic contributions to mark its anniversary|
BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao spoke highly of the historic contributions the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has made to the country and the people since its founding 80 years ago.
Hu, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remark when addressing a gathering to mark the 80th founding anniversary of the PLA on Wednesday.
In the past 80 years, the PLA has, under the CPC's leadership, fought courageously in fulfilling its mission and made indelible historic contributions to China's liberation cause, socialist construction and reform drives as well as in safeguarding the national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, Hu said.
The PLA has stood firmly with the people of all ethnic groups and served the people heart and soul, and played an important role in upholding world peace and promoting human progress, Hu said.
"The PLA is internationally renowned as a mighty, disciplined and peaceful army, and has won trust and high commendation of the Party and the people," he said.
On Aug. 1, 1927, Communist-led armed forces held an uprising in Nanchang City, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, which marks the birth of the armed forces of the CPC.
The Nanchang Uprising marked the first shot in the fight against the Kuomintang reactionaries, and has been recorded as a great event in China's revolutionary history. Aug. 1, 1927 is now remembered as the PLA's founding day.
The PLA has made great contributions to the national independence, prosperity and strength, and the well-being of the people over the past 80 years, under the leadership of three generations of the Party's collective leadership with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin at its core respectively, and under the leadership of the collective leadership of the Party formed since the Party's 16th National Congress.
With 22 years of arduous struggle spanning the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the War of Liberation, the PLA defeated enemies from both within and outside the country and created fundamental conditions for the founding of a New China, Hu said.
After that, it has closely guarded China's long border and vast territorial sea, successfully performed its defense responsibilities in Hong Kong and Macao, and effectively destroyed various separatist schemes and sabotage that threaten the national security and unity, he said.
It has also provided strong support to the country's economic and social development by helping build key engineering projects that are vital to the national economy and people's welfare and assisting local governments in dealing with emergencies and combating natural disasters, he said.
"Our people's army has also made important contribution in safeguarding world peace through extensive exchanges with their foreign counterparts, active participation in UN peacekeeping missions and international disaster relief operations and enhanced international counter-terrorism cooperation," he added.
The rally was presided over by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.