December 5, 2023

Be combat-ready, president tells military

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Chinese President, Xi Jinping has called for the country’s military to be constantly ready in the face of instabilities and uncertainties, state media reported on Wednesday.

The entire armed forces must always be ready to respond to all kinds of complex and difficult situations,“ Xi was cited as saying at a Tuesday meeting with the military delegation to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s annual parliamentary session.

The development of the military must focus on combat readiness, Xi said, as reported by state news agency Xinhua.

Xi said that the new five-year plan from 2021 to 2025 provides a good starting point for strengthening national defence and the military.

At the end of its one-week meeting on Thursday, the NPC will approve a draft laying out the course being set as well as a hefty 6.8 per-cent increase in military spending for this year.

Xi said the plan was to step up building high-calibre strategic deterrence and that the People’s Liberation Army must resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

The Chinese leader, who is also the chief of the Communist Party and chairman of the military commission, said military developments must be driven by innovation and there must be further efforts to make science and technology independent.

He also said defence-related innovation needs a significant boost.

The modernisation and expansion of the Chinese military comes against the backdrop of growing tensions with the United States and Taiwan, incidents on its border with India and disputes over islands in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. (dpa/NAN)

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