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China Calls for Strengthening Unity in Communist Party

Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for strengthening unity in the ruling Communist Party and among China's ethnic groups.

Mr. Hu made the appeal in a speech to thousands of party members Sunday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The speech was part of a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Red Army's Long March that led the Communists to victory against the Nationalists.

President Hu urged the Communist Party to carry on the revolutionary traditions of the Red Army by strengthening party unity and governance.

Mr. Hu also called for boosting efforts to modernize China's national defense and army capabilities.

As Mr. Hu addressed the party, he was joined on the stage by other Chinese leaders, including his predecessor, Jiang Zemin.

Mr. Hu has rarely been seen in public with Mr. Jiang since taking over from the former leader in 2003.

Over the past year, Mr. Hu has repeatedly stressed the importance of fighting corruption within the party.