China forms new army units as part of reforms to modernize military, improve fighting capacity

China has created three new military units as part of reforms to modernize its military and improve its fighting capacity.

State television showed Saturday President Xi Jinping giving military flags to the leaders of the three new units — a general command for the People's Liberation Army, a missile force and a strategic support force. Xi and PLA officers and soldiers sang the national anthem.

Xi said the three new units have been created "to realize the Chinese dream of a strong military."

He has promulgated an idea of a "Chinese dream" involving "the great renewal of the Chinese nation" and sees a strong military as key to this.

Other plans including phasing out old equipment, developing new weapons systems and reducing troop numbers.