BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing anti-graft campaign in the Chinese army is vital for the nation's drive to build a strong army that is able to defend its people at a time of ominous threat in the region.
China has been stepping up its efforts to fight corruption in its military as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is going to celebrate the 87th anniversary of its founding on Friday.
The campaign has not only honed in on the transgressions of heavyweights like Gu Junshan, a former senior military logistics officer and Xu Caihou, former vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, but also scrutinizes military officers' daily habits like gift giving, vehicles and travel.
In a circular issued on Saturday, the military ordered officers to give back extra properties if they have more than one military-owned apartment or their combined size exceeds the allowance for their rank.
On July 9, the PLA tightened auditing by regulating that all malpractice uncovered by the PLA audit office will be transferred to military law enforcers.
The PLA also looked into overuse of secretaries and office attendants for senior military officers and the living standards of retired senior officers and their families.
All these measures indicate that on the path to build a strong army, all officers, no matter their rank, must follow rules.
Weeding out corruption is significant for the army, because corruption, if it goes unchecked, will destroy the PLA's combat capability. The nation learned a harsh lesson in this regard in conflicts including the First Sino-Japanese War, which began in July 1894 as Japanese warships attacked two Chinese vessels.
Corruption was regarded as a major reason for China's defeat in the war, which ended the following year with China's ceding of Liaodong Peninsula, Taiwan and its annex, including the Diaoyu Islands, to Japan.
The Chinese people love peace and the armed forces are committed to playing a positive role in maintaining world peace.
However, security uncertainties resembling what happened 120 years ago have kept them worried in recent years, as Japan's right-wing politicians have attempted to break the post-WWII international order.
In a recent move, the Japanese government endorsed a reinterpretation of the country's pacifist Constitution for the right to collective self-defense, paving the way for sending soldiers into battle overseas.
Those moves by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration have led to Japan's current leader being compared to Hirobumi Ito, its first prime minister and the mastermind of the First Sino-Japanese War.
A strong army which is free of corruption is a must to prevent a repeat of the tragic episode in 1894 and the 14 years of suffering inflicted upon Chinese people by the invading Japanese army in the 1930s and 1940s.