Chinese President Xi Jinping calls troops for ‘preparing war’
Published: 12:23 PM, 15 October 2020 Updated: 02:41 PM, 15 October 2020
China’s President Xi Jinping has called on troops to focus on “preparing for war” in a visit to a military base in the southern province of Guangdong on Tuesday.
According to state news agency Xinhua, Xi Jinping told the soldiers to “maintain a state of high alert” and called on them to be “absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable” during an inspection of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Marine Corps in Chaozhou City.
The purpose of Xi’s visit to Guangdong was to deliver a speech commemorating the Wednesday 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, which was established in 1980 to attract foreign capital and played an important role in helping China’s economy.
However, his military visit comes as tensions between China and the United States with disagreements over Taiwan and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The White House notified US Congress on Monday that it was planning to sell three advanced weapon systems to Taiwan, according to a congressional aide, including the advanced High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
In a stern response from Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on Washington to immediately cancel any arms sales plans to Taiwan and cut all “US-Taiwan military ties”.
Despite the Chinese government's disapproval, relations between Washington and Taipei have grown closer under the Trump administration. In response, Beijing increased military drills around Taiwan.
In a speech to the RAND Corporation on September 16, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said China “cannot match the United States” in terms of naval power.
Esper, in early October, announced his “Battle Force 2045” plan which calls for an expanded and modernized US Navy by 2045.