Voices within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have gathered repeatedly to call for the armed forces to be loyal to the nation or to the state, and to denounce allegiance to the Communist Party. On July 22, 2007, for example, Xinhua published a PLA Daily editorial regarding this issue. “The so-called ‘nationalization of the armed forces’ makes absolute the military’s subordination to the state. The crucial issues are: one, it removes the right of the Party to lead the armed forces; and two, it denies the ‘socialist’ nature of the state. Therefore, we must resolutely resist it.”  The Party finds that it must continually assert its control over the military.
According to the Xinhua news agency, at an important military meeting on December 30, 2008, Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CCP Central Committee, Chairman of PRC & Chairman of the Central Military Commission, again addressed this issue. Hu stated that of the five ideological core values for current revolutionary army personnel, the first is “Loyalty to the Party.”  Starting in January 2009, China’s state-run and military media published a series of articles elaborating the significance, meaning, and reasons for, as well as the actual applications of the army’s “Loyalty to the Party.” The purpose is: resisting the influence of the “non-partisan and apolitical army” and “army nationalization” ideology that Western countries advocate. An army-wide “Loyalty to the Party” education movement has just started in China. Below are excerpts from nine recent articles the state-run media and the army-run media have published on the army’s loyalty to the Party.
Hu Jintao: “Be Loyal to the Party, Love the People, Serve the Country, Sacrifice for the Mission, and Appreciate Honors” must be widely promoted in the army as contemporary military personnel’s core ideological values.” 
Hu Jintao emphasized: “Loyalty to the Party is conscientiously adhering to the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces, holding high the great socialist banner with the Chinese characteristics, firmly believing in the Chinese characteristic ideal of socialism, and absolutely obeying the Party under any circumstances at any time.”
Hu Jintao pointed out that the five aspects of the core ideological values are interrelated as a whole, and should be accurately comprehended, strongly advocated and fully nurtured in the army. In order to integrate the military personnel’s core ideological values into every aspect of the army construction, Hu called for ideological education, media guides, cultural influence, typical model displays, growth with practice and system guarantees so as to let all of the army officers and soldiers understand the core ideological values and consciously cultivate those values in practice.
PLA Daily: Being Loyal to the Party = Loyal to the Country, Loyal to the People and Loyal to Socialism 
The fact that Chairman Hu listed ‘loyalty to the Party’ as the first core ideological value that a current revolutionary army personnel should possess fully displays the nature and the mission of the people’s army and reflects the political character of our military officers and soldiers.
In the early years of our army establishment, the army’s nature, mission and duties were already prescribed in line with the Party’s requirement. The concept of loyalty to the Party has been integrated into the army’s blood and become the military personnel’s spiritual support. The history of the people’s army is the history of being loyal to the Party, sacrificing for the Party and struggling for the Party’s cause. However, in the new historical era, our army’s tradition of being loyal to the Party is facing new challenges. Western hostile forces focus on westernizing and dividing our armed forces, and trying to infiltrate our army ideologically. They advocate a ‘non-Party & apolitical army’ and ‘nationalization of the armed forces’ in an attempt to separate our army from the party’s leadership and change the nature of our army. Therefore, the emphasis on loyalty to the Party becomes particularly urgent and important.
The Chinese Communist Party is the leadership core of our Chinese style socialist cause, faithfully representing the interests of the Chinese people. Being loyal to the Party is equal to being loyal to the country, loyal to the people and loyal to socialism.
Experts: Our Army Was Born with the Nature of Obeying the Party and Expressing Loyalty to the Party 
A “People’s Navy” newspaper reporter recently interviewed Professor Gong Fangbin from the National Defense University on the five core values, especially, the first one “Loyalty to the Party,” which has caused disputes on the Internet. Many people believe that armies should be “non-partisan” and “nationalized”.
Professor Gong Fangbin: To truly comprehend that the Party’s leadership is indispensable for the PLA. We must thoroughly understand three issues:
“Firstly, the history of our army’s growth is the history of the Party’s leadership.”
“Secondly, in socialist China, only by adhering to the Party’s leadership can our army maintain the nature and mission of the people’s army and thus not be in conflict with the people’s interests and pursuits.”
“Thirdly, the leadership system of our army is fundamentally different from the leadership system of the Western countries’ armies.”
Since more than one party take turns in power in the Western countries, their armies have to be subordinate to the country rather than a certain political party. Besides, Western bourgeois armies generally came into existence prior to political parties and thus do not have the tradition of having the party leadership over the armed forces.
On the contrary, our country’s social transformation came from violent revolution. During the process, the Party’s leadership over the armed forces became logical and fundamental. Meanwhile, our whole country is under the leadership of the CCP. Even if we took the path of nationalizing the military forces, the army would still be under the Party leadership. Thus, such nationalization is meaningless.
Professor Gong Fangbin emphasized that our army was born with the nature of obeying the Party and expressing loyalty to the Party.
Using Chinese Martial Arts Principles to Suppress the Wrong Ideological Trend of “Army Nationalization” 
We need to value the Chinese martial arts principles and cultures in the process of developing socialist harmonious cultures and rejuvenating the great Chinese nationality. Traditional Chinese martial arts principles have a profound cultural foundation and a wide range of social, and national characteristics.
Traditional Chinese martial arts principles represent a cultural system centered on “benevolence.” The core value of benevolence is to love the people and the country, which is the highest value pursued by military personnel. The culture of traditional Chinese martial arts principles is a cultural system of “serving the country loyally,”  defending the nation, and protecting the people. A patriotic banner of defending the nation and protecting the people can not only win a majority of people’s hearts but also set off a powerful national cohesive force.
The People’s Army led by the CCP is the successor, innovator and developer of the traditional Chinese martial arts principles. Putting “loyalty to the Party” in the first place among all the core ideological values that the current revolutionary army personnel should process, we have given traditional Chinese martial arts principles a new meaning in the modern era, i.e., conscientiously adhering to the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces, firmly believing in the socialist ideal which has Chinese characteristics, and obeying the Party under any circumstances and at any time. When the Western hostile forces are speeding up infiltrating us with their ideological values, we must make greater effort to develop the character of unwavering loyalty to the Party, which is the first priority in fostering the core ideological values in the mind of modern revolutionary army personnel.
PLA Daily: The Party’s Absolute Leadership over the Armed Forces is the Soul of Our Army 
The current revolutionary army personnel’s core ideological values “Be Loyal to the Party, Love the People, Serve the Country, Sacrifice for the Mission, and Appreciate Honors” proposed by Chairman Hu not only embody our army’s nature and mission but also endow the new era’s meaning, which is the great integration of theory and practice, tradition and reality, and generality and specialty.
Our army consists of armed groups that implement the Party’s political tasks. It always positions itself as “the Party’s army, the People’s army and the socialist country’s army.” The Party’s absolute leadership over the army is our army’s soul; serving the people whole heartedly is our army’s fundamental mission.
Chairman Hu’s military personnel’s core ideological values are based on our army’s developmental history, our country’s political system, and the people’s fundamental interests. Such core ideological values of “loyalty,” “love,” “service,” and “sacrifice” extended from politics can only belong to our army, the people’s army that implements the political tasks under the absolute leadership of the Party.
The Character of Loyalty to the Party needs to be Fostered and Constantly Strengthened 
The Scientific Connotation of “Loyalty to the Party”
Loyalty is sincere and selfless dedication, one of the most valuable characters military personnel should possess. Such character needs to be constantly fostered and strengthened. The People’s Army must be loyal to the Party. Loyalty to the Party is the People’s Army’s most important political requirement and the most basic moral criterion. It is also the highest value and political belief of our military officers and soldiers.
1) The history of the People’s Army is the history of being loyal to the Party, sacrificing for the Party and struggling unremittingly for the cause of the Party.
2) The CCP is the leadership core of the Chinese style socialist cause, faithfully representing the interests of the Chinese people. As the people’s army, we need to be loyal to the people, thus we must be loyal to the Party; as the military forces defending the homeland, we need to be loyal to our country, thus we must be loyal to the Party. As the socialist army, we need to be loyal to socialism. Thus we must be loyal to the Party.
3) Only when we are loyal to the Party, we can view the Party’s cause above anything else and are willing to give up everything for the Party’s cause; only when we are loyal to the Party, we can serve the people wholeheartedly and be selflessly dedicated to the people’s interests; only when we are loyal to the Party, we can willingly fulfill the revolutionary army personnel’s sacred duties, loving the army, being proficient in military tactics, enjoying working, fearing no death, being good at fighting courageously and completing the mission successfully entrusted by the Party and the people.
Foster the Mindset of Loyalty to the Party among Military Personnel
As military college students and the revolutionary military personnel of the new era, we should consciously foster the military mindset of loyalty to the Party, strengthen the sense that the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces is our army’s soul, and adhere to the fundamental principle and system of the Party’s leadership over the army. To this end, we should do the following:
1) We must always strive to arm our brains with the Party’s new innovative theories, especially, scientific development concepts. Only when the Party’s ideologies and theories enter into our brains, we can understand the Party more deeply. Thus, we will be able to comprehend the Party’s directions and follow the Party’s policies.
2) As for the job assignments at the time of graduation, we must firmly follow the army’s arrangement and obey the commands from the Party Central Committee and Central Military Commission and Chairman Hu, willing to go to the country’s border areas and the most needed areas so as to show our loyalty through actual actions.
3) As future military officers, we should use our patriotism to train the winning and powerful armed forces. When the interests of our country and the people are violated, we must go forward without any hesitation and complete our mission successfully so as to exhibit our highest and most sincere loyalty to the Party.
The Political Department of the Jinan Military Area Command: Lesson Two – The Profound Meaning of the Present Revolutionary Army Personnel’s Core Ideological Values 
On the Central Military Commission meeting at the end of last year, Chairman Hu systematically elaborated the fundamental meanings of the present revolutionary army personnel’s core ideological values, i.e., “Be loyal to the Party, love the people, serve the country, sacrifice for the mission and appreciate honors.” We must earnestly study and comprehend these ideological values, understand the values’ insight and the spiritual essence, and effectively lay a solid awareness foundation for their actual practice.
1) Loyalty to the Party – the Fundamental Requirement of the Present Revolutionary Army Personnel’s Core Ideological Values
The armed forces in Western countries are “non-partisan, apolitical” and “nationalized.” These are necessary qualities for different parties rotating their leadership roles. Even though their armies are not under the direct leadership of a certain bourgeois political party, they still follow the command of the bourgeois political parties’ government. The so-called “non-partisan and apolitical” armies are only a façade to safeguard their own class.
Our country has a different situation. Our Party’s ruling status was established by history and solemnly chosen by the people; the Party represents the interests of the majority of the people and does not have its own special interests. As the Party’s army, it is the people’s army of the whole country and it is also the socialist country’s army. Once our army leaves the CCP’s leadership, hostile forces will take advantage of its weakness and set off the deterioration of the people’s army and the discoloration of our red socialist country.
When the former Soviet Union collapsed and when Eastern Europe experienced the “Color Revolution” a few years ago, the ruling parties fell down immediately due to the intrusion of these reactionary ideals. At the crucial moment, the ruling party gave up its leadership over the armed forces. This was a very painful lesson.
2) Love the People – the Nature of the Present Revolutionary Army Personnel’s Core Ideological Values
In a foreign country or inside China and in the ancient time or nowadays, all the exploiting classes’ armed forces are the instrument to safeguard the interests of the rulers. They are in the opposite position against the majority people. Our army is a new type of army under the Party’s leadership. Our military officers and soldiers come from the people. Our army was established for the people’s interests, fighting for the people. We can say that no other army in the world can be like our army, completely harmonizing with the masses of the people like a flesh and blood relationship.
3) Serve the Country – The Goal and Direction of the Present Revolutionary Army Personnel’s Core Ideological Values
When revolutionary military personnel serve the country, they must first sincerely love their own homeland as well as its existing political system. Otherwise, serving the country will be empty words divorced from reality. Chinese characteristic socialism resulted from the combination of Marxist basic tenets and China’s practical situation, embodying the fundamental interests and common ideals of the Chinese people from all ethnic groups. In contemporary China, the concrete manifestation of patriotism is to love socialism and adhere to the development of the Chinese characteristic socialism.
4) Sacrifice for the Mission – the Highest Realm of the Present Revolutionary Army Personnel’s Core Ideological Values
It should be noted that the activities of “Taiwan independence” forces are still rampant; our territory disputes with India, Japan, Vietnam and other countries are the hidden dangers; and the “East Turkistan”, “Tibet independence” and other hostile forces are a direct threat. If we want to complete our mission in the future war, we must not be afraid of sacrificing lives. During daily life and training, we must be very strict with ourselves and empower ourselves with a strong fighting spirit so as to meet the requirement of future information warfare.
5) Appreciate Honors – the Moral Foundation of the Present Revolutionary Army Personnel’s Core Ideological Values
The honor sought by the revolutionary army personnel is different from the personal fame, positions, and achievements pursued by Western countries’ army personnel. Our revolutionary army personnel’s honor is based on collectivism, centered on serving the people, premised on fulfilling the mission and selfless contribution. What we emphasize is the unity of personal honor and collective honor as well as the unity of contributive sacrifice and not asking for rewards.
The Military Officers and Soldiers at One Division in the Lanzhou Military Area Command Air Force Army Trained on Developing the Character of “Loyalty to the Party” 
At the beginning of the theme education activities, the division Party committee found out that some officers and soldiers did not clearly realize the harm of the “non-partisan and apolitical army” and “army nationalization” views although they knew these views were wrong. If the problem was not solved, the division Party committee believed, the officers and soldiers’ sense of the army’s soul would be weakened. Relating to the special situation of this year, the Party committee made great effort to raise the officers and soldiers’ political awareness of being loyal to the Party.
Through expert instruction and group discussions, the officers and soldiers deeply understand that our army is the Party’s army, the people’s army and the socialist country’s army, all of which are inherently consolidated. Loyalty to the Party means loyalty to the country, loyalty to the people and loyalty to socialism.
“After the theme education, I got a clear understanding on the Western hostile forces’ evil intention of westernizing and dividing our army. I now know what I should do in order to be loyal to the Party,” posted by a military pilot on the Air Force Net.
Firmly Grasp the Soul of Loyalty to the Party 
At the onset of establishing our army, Comrade Mao Zedong set up our army’s basic principle of “the Party directing the gun.”
The contemporary revolutionary army personnel’s loyalty to the Party means firmly obeying the Party’s command in action and ensuring the smooth passing of military orders. Especially when the current hostile forces advocate the “non-partisan and apolitical army” and “army nationalization,” it is particularly important to build our military officers and soldiers’ political character of being loyal to the Party.
To be loyal to the Party, the most fundamental thing is to arm our brain with Marxism and China’s latest achievements, constantly strengthening the spirit of being the Party’s loyal defender.
We should organize the officers and soldiers to study the Party’s glorious history and revolutionary tradition, helping them to keep the Party’s great accomplishments in mind so as to imperceptibly develop deeper love toward the Party and become firm believers in the Party.
Loyalty to the Party should be an important criterion for selecting officers. Only those who are loyal to the Party and also have ability as well as political integrity can be chosen as military leaders at different ranks.
We should set up loyal-to-the Party models for all the officers and soldiers to learn from. Guide them to view loyalty to the Party as their ideals, beliefs and moral virtue to pursue and foster. Make them turn their internal firm belief into external conscious action.
 “Military Official Re-affirms PLA Mission to Serve the Party,” Chinascope, September-October 2007 issue
 “Hu Jintao: ‘Be Loyal to the Party, Love the People, Serve the Country, Sacrifice for the Mission, and Appreciate Honors” Must Be Widely Promoted in the Army as Contemporary Military Personnel’s Core Ideological Values,” Xinhua, December 30, 2008, http://www.pengpeng.com.cn/fangwu/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=1453
 “Loyalty to the Party – Second Discussion on developing the Contemporary Military Personnel’s Core Ideological Values,” PLA Daily, January 6, 2009, http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/64093/64099/8628619.html
 “Our Army Was Born with the Nature of Obeying the Party and Expressing Loyalty to the Party,” Huanqiu, January 8, 2009, http://mil.huanqiu.com/china/2009-01/338869_2.html
 “Using Chinese Martial Arts Principles to Suppress the Wrong Ideological Trend of ‘Army Nationalization’” PLA Daily, February 10, 2009,
 “serving the country loyally ” — A four-words phrase from a historical story of Yue Fei (1103-1142), a famous Chinese patriot and military general who fought for the Southern Song Dynasty against the invasion from Jin. Yue Fei has evolved into the standard model of loyalty in Chinese culture after he was wrongly sentenced to death.
 “PLA Daily: The Party’s Absolute Leadership over the Armed Forces is the Soul of Our Army,” Xinhua, February 15, 2009, http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2009-02/15/content_10822212.htm
 “The Character of Loyalty to the Party needs to be Fostered and Constantly Strengthened,” China Military Net, February 25, 2009, http://www.chinamil.com.cn/site1/xwpdxw/2009-02/25/content_1664914.htm
 “Lesson Two – The Profound Meaning of the Present Revolutionary Army Personnel’s Core Ideological Values,” China National Defense Students, March 8, 2009, http://www.guofangsheng.com/n3430c48.aspx [Editor’s Note: National Defense students are college students who are selected by the military as reserve officers. They receive national defense scholarship during their study and will serve the military as an officer after graduating from college. This Lesson is developed by the Political Department of the Jinan Military Area Command.]  “The Military Officers and Soldiers at One Division in the Lan Zhou Military Area Command Air Force Army Trained on Developing the Character of ‘Loyalty to the Party,’” The PLA Air Force, March 23, 2009, http://www.plaaf.net/html/58/n-24058.html
 “Firmly Grasp the Soul of Loyalty to the Party,” PLA Daily, March 26, 2009, http://www.chinamil.com.cn/site1/xwpdxw/2009-03/26/content_1703424.htm