He also ordered creation of a joint military command to prepare the forces for future wars, driven by information technology as well as risks posed in the conflict over islands in the South China Sea.
"The current situation requires battle command to be highly strategic, coordinated, timely, professional and accurate," Xi told military officers at the joint battle command center of the Central Military Commission.
The president asked officers to change their mindset in order to innovate and tackle difficulties. They should strive to make a success of a joint battle command system that was "absolutely loyal, resourceful in fighting, efficient in commanding and courageous and capable of winning wars," he said.
As general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi already commands the highest power status in the country. The addition of a military title would make little difference to his position but send out signals about the importance of the military in the eyes of the present government.
Military analysts said coordination among different segments of the military has been regarded as a weak point in the Chinese war machine, and Xi has now set out to change the situation by taking over the joint command himself.