Sun, Jan 06, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Xi Jinping calls on Chinese army to be battle-ready

Reuters, SHANGHAI

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, listens to a speech during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.

Photo: AP

China’s armed forces must boost their sense of urgency and do everything they can to prepare for battle, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) told a meeting of top brass on Friday.

China is keen to bolster its armed forces amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea and escalating tensions with the US over issues ranging from trade to the status of Taiwan.

Xinhua news agency said Xi told a meeting of the top military authority that China faced increasing risks and challenges, and the armed forces must work to secure its security and development needs.

Xi, who is also chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, said the armed forces must devise strategies for the new era and take on responsibilities for preparing for and waging war.

“The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development,” he was quoted as saying.

The armed forces needed to be able to respond quickly to emergencies, needed to upgrade their joint operations capabilities and nurture new types of forces, Xi said.

Xi’s comments followed his remarks on Wednesday that China still reserved the right to use force to achieve unification with Taiwan and prevent the nation’s independence.

Xi’s Taiwan speech came just days after US President Donald Trump signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act into law, reaffirming the US’ commitment to Taiwan’s security.

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