BEIJING — China's massive military is pledging its loyalty to new Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.
A story Friday in the People's Liberation Army's official newspaper says the 2.3 million-member armed forces will follow Xi's orders and uphold the party's "absolute leadership."
Xi became chairman of the party commission that oversees the military on Thursday, the same day he took over as party leader from President Hu Jintao. Xi will assume the presidency from Hu in the spring.
Hu surprised many by leaving the military commission rather than holding on to the chairmanship for two years as his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, did.
That won plaudits from the military, which had in the past expressed concerns about divided leadership.
The PLA owes its ultimate loyalty to the ruling party, rather than the state.
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