Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army take part in a battle drill in a coastal area of Guangdong province on June 1, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] President issues instruction on sticking to principles, remaining on high alert President Xi Jinping ordered the military on Monday to further strengthen its training and exercises this year so as to hone its operational capability and combat preparedness. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, signed the commission's first order for 2021, which listed priorities in the training of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force. The order instructed the armed forces to stick to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as their guiding principle and uphold Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military as well as military strategies in the new era. It said the Party will enhance its guidance over the military's training, urging the armed forces to focus on improving their combat readiness and continuing to reform their training system. The military must train their officers and soldiers in realistic combat scenarios, place more attention on research about war and military operations, increase the intensity of exercises, conduct more emergency-response drills, and remain on high alert to ensure the troops are always ready for any possible military engagement, the order said. Training and exercises for joint operations must be priorities, it said, adding that the military must intensify interservice training to foster integrated joint combat capability. Commanders are required to introduce more scientific and technological factors into training and boost their units' ability to use high-tech hardware and methods. The order also stipulated that military authorities must conduct strict evaluation and supervision of training and also improve their management and planning. All members of the armed forces must strengthen their fighting spirit and hone their skills and capabilities to fulfill the missions given them by the Party and the people and produce new achievements to celebrate the coming 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, according to the order. The year 2021 is the fourth consecutive year that Xi has issued a training order to the military as the year's first directive from the Central Military Commission. The first such order was issued in January 2018, when Xi oversaw and addressed a massive training and commencement ceremony at a shooting range in northern China. Xi has repeatedly stressed the importance of combat readiness training and joint operations to the armed forces since he became commander in chief in late 2012.