The Chinese president's thinking on strengthening the military answers the fundamental questions of what kind of armed forces China is pursuing and how China should go about building them.
In December 2012, barely a month after he assumed the top post in the Party, Xi spoke of the need to build a strong military.
"To realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, we must adhere to combining the building of a prosperous country with that of a strong military," Xi said.
The PLA has reshaped its leadership and management system, optimized its structure and reformed its military policies and institutions since 2015.
A road map to fully transform the PLA into a world-class military force by the mid-21st century was unveiled at the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017.
In December 2018, Xi described it as a strategic task in socialist modernization to build a fortified national defense and a strong military commensurate with China's international standing and its security and development interests.
According to Xi, the envisioned world-class armed forces must provide a strong backing to the protection of China's sovereignty, security and development interests, the safeguarding of world peace and stability, and the realization of the national rejuvenation.