China Focus: Loyalty, grit shape 70 years of Chinese submarine force-Xinhua

China Focus: Loyalty, grit shape 70 years of Chinese submarine force

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-19 21:27:30

BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- At the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Naval Submarine Academy earlier this month, two nonagenarians joined the stage ahead of a ceremony marking the conclusion of enlistment training for new recruits.

They are 92-year-old Mu Ensheng and 91-year-old Liu Zuogen, both among the first soldiers of the Chinese Navy submarine force.

A torpedo man and an electrician, respectively, in their time, Mu and Liu shared their experiences and insights with new recruits, spoke about responsibilities, and encouraged them to cherish their youth and hone their skills.

"A submarine soldier should always follow the Party's lead!" Mu said.

Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the PLA Navy's submarine force.


Over the past seven decades, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the submarine force has evolved from its inception to possessing both nuclear and conventional weapons, playing significant roles in both coastal waters and the high seas.

In 1951, nearly 300 PLA officers and soldiers from various service branches gathered at a base in the northeast coastal city of Dalian to learn about submarines and relevant technologies, forming a submarine force three years later.

The selection process for the first batch of submarine soldiers was incredibly rigorous, with almost all of them ultimately being members of the CPC or the Communist Youth League, Mu recalled.

Absolute loyalty, purity and reliability have always been the cornerstone of the submarine force's success in underwater operations.

Yan Xuepeng, currently a cadre at a PLA Navy submarine base, believes that the unique nature of submarine weapons, equipment and missions necessitates even higher standards and stricter requirements for their forces to maintain loyalty, purity and reliability.

Part of the first crew of the PLA Navy's nuclear submarine force, Yan and his comrades-in-arms, along with their seniors, have consistently met the standards and requirements set before them.

During a previous mission in the high seas, for instance, the crew encountered urgent and extremely difficult circumstances before receiving a concise order from their higher command consisting of only 12 Chinese words.

Eventually, the temporarily formed Party committee of the crew stuck to the brief instructions and successfully completed the tasks, earning commendation from the Central Military Commission (CMC).

"Submarines form a significant strategic force of the country, and every move they make impacts the country's overall political and diplomatic situation," Yan said, vowing to resolutely obey the command of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC.


Such instances have illuminated the history of the submarine force, where their grit, coupled with loyalty, empowered them to overcome the odds and achieve numerous accomplishments.

In 2014, during a combat readiness voyage, the PLA Navy submarine 372 experienced a sudden plunge at an "underwater cliff," resulting in the flooding of its main cabin. The temporary Party committee led the entire crew to stay calm and fearless, and they worked together to resolve the situation within three minutes.

During another mission in the high seas, a steam leakage occurred inside a reactor room of a nuclear submarine. Then chief electrical engineer Meng Zhaoxu went straight into the room without hesitation, exposed himself to the radiation, and resolved the issue, which caused permanent damage to his body. He died at the age of 45, with his last notes saying, "I have no regret choosing to serve on nuclear submarines and even dying for it."

Last July, Song Runpeng, newly enlisted into the submarine force, experienced firsthand the resilience of the crew. A senior instructed him to organize his belongings and leave notes for his family before embarking on his first long voyage.

"At first, I didn't understand what was happening but then I was told it's a routine before going out to the sea. That was when it dawned on me as to what truly is sacrifice," he said.

With such resilience, the submarine force has also managed to demonstrate the PLA Navy's unwavering commitment to safeguarding world peace and development.

In recent years, they have actively participated in bilateral and multilateral maritime exercises with countries such as Russia, Pakistan and Thailand, engaging in various international military activities to strengthen ties with the navies of other countries.

With their loyalty and grit, the valiant submarine force of the PLA Navy has been and will continue to forge ahead toward deeper and more distant seas.