Beijing, Feb 6 (IANS) Next Chinese president Xi Jinping visited troops stationed in northwest China and urged the military to enhance its combat preparedness and improve its ability to fulfill missions.
Xi, also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, inspected an air force base, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and the Lanzhou Military Area Command earlier this week, Xinhua reported.
At the satellite launch centre, Xi put flowers at a monument dedicated to Marshal Nie Rongzhen and others who dedicated themselves to developing China's space technology.
Nie headed research on China's first atomic bomb and satellite in the 1950s and 1960s.
In Lanzhou, Xi affirmed the military's role in safeguarding the country.
The leader stressed frugality and asked the troops to refrain from extravagance.
Earlier, Xi took a tour of the region, known for its barren land and poor natural conditions, and met impoverished villagers to get "first-hand information" regarding their well-being.
He shook hands with residents, and inquired about their food supply, access to medical services and schooling for their children.
He said the authorities attach high importance to poverty alleviation and the development of areas inhabited by ethnic minorities.
He assured greater government support to help people get out of poverty.
The leader also visited a cafeteria in a senior citizens' centre in Lanzhou, and served food to people.