Deng Xiaoping

Build Powerful, Modern and Regularized Revolutionary Armed Forces


Published: September 19, 1981
Translated by: Unknown
Source: Deng Xiaoping Works
Transcription for MIA: Joonas Laine


Comrade officers and men,

You have successfully performed your task in these military exercises. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Party, the State Council, and the Military Commission of the Central Committee, I want to express our warm greetings and congratulations.

These exercises have given us an opportunity to assess our achievements in building modern, regularized armed forces, and have simulated modern warfare fairly well. They represent part of our effort to explore combined operations by the various services and arms under modern conditions, and have enhanced the political consciousness and military capability of our army, especially its capacity to fight actual battles. This will give a great impetus to our efforts to build up the armed forces, train them and make them ready in the event of war. The exercises have achieved the anticipated results and have been a success. They have fully demonstrated that our people’s forces, created by the Party and armed with Mao Zedong Thought, are politically and militarily sound, that they possess a fine style of combat and a strict sense of organization and discipline, and that they are combat-worthy. We are convinced that with such a fine army and with the support of the masses, we can defeat any aggressor.

At present our country is passing through a significant period in its history as we strive to carry forward the revolutionary cause and open up new vistas for it. Thanks to the vigorous implementation of the Party’s correct line, principles and policies, political stability and unity have been enhanced throughout the Party and army and among our people of all nationalities, and the situation in all fields is steadily improving. On the international scene, the struggle against hegemonism has grown and the hegemonists are increasingly isolated. But we must recognize that the intensified rivalry between the superpowers and the quickened pace of global strategic deployment by the Soviet hegemonists present a serious threat to world peace and to our own national security. We must be constantly alert to this danger.

As a strong pillar of our people’s democratic dictatorship, the army is entrusted with the glorious mission of defending our socialist motherland and China’s four modernizations. We must therefore make it a powerful, modern and regularized revolutionary army.

We must adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles, strengthen political and ideological work, and try to make the armed forces a model so far as carrying out the Party’s line, principles and policies is concerned.

On the basis of our steadily expanding economy, we must improve the army’s weapons and equipment and speed up the modernization of our national defence.

We must further cement the army’s relations with the civil authorities and the people, enhance unity inside the army, improve our work in building the people’s militia and carry forward the glorious traditions of an army of the people.

We must intensify the army’s military and political training and further enhance its political consciousness and military capability. We must work hard to improve its ability to conduct combined operations involving the various services and arms under modern conditions.

We must be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness and further promote the “four haves, three stresses and two defy’s”. We must make greater efforts to cultivate a fine style of work and to foster a strict sense of organization and discipline in the armed forces.

We must make solid preparations to resist wars of aggression, make new contributions to the safeguarding of world peace and the territorial integrity of our country, and work for the early return of Taiwan to the motherland so as to achieve the sacred goal of national reunification.

(Speech on reviewing the People’s Liberation Army units taking part in military exercises in north China. Comrade Deng Xiaoping was elected Chairman of the Military Commission of the Central Committee at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in June 1981.)