Get ready ‘for real combat’ President Xi tells Chinese forces

Presidents comments come after Chinese navy went ahead with “actual combat training” around Taiwan

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Friday 14 April 2023 19:24 BST
China conducts military drills close to Taiwan after US House speaker meeting

China’s President Xi Jinping has urged his military to strengthen its readiness for “real combat” following the country’s recent display of force around Taiwan.

Inspecting his country’s Southern Theatre Command navy he stressed the need to deepen military training and preparation, state media reported.

During his visit, Xi said it was necessary to speed up the transformation and construction of the armed forces and comprehensively raise their level of modernization, CCTV news reported.

China has recently participated in another display of military force around Taiwan

“You must strengthen real-combat military training,” Xi said, according to the official news service of Xinhua, adding that China must be “innovative in its concepts and methods of combat”.

Xi also said there was a need to improve the ability to respond to complex situations in a timely and appropriate manner, state media added.

The remarks come as the Chinese navy went ahead with “actual combat training” around Taiwan on Tuesday, state media reported a day after Beijing announced the end of drills amid heightened tensions between the country and the island.

China blamed the show of military force as a result of a meeting between President Tsai of Taiwa, and Kevin McCarthy, speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen

“Tsai Ing-wen brought danger to Taiwan. [She] almost completely sided [with] the United States, pushing Taiwan into stormy seas,” Zhu Fenglian, spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said.

She added the drills around Taiwan are “a serious warning against the collusion and provocation of Taiwan independence separatist forces and external forces”.

Meanwhile, Xi said that China will resolutely defend its territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests, and strive to maintain stability in neighboring areas, state media said.

China’s Xi has urged his military to be ready for ‘real combat’

In August, after then US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, China conducted missile strikes on targets in the seas around Taiwan and sent warships and warplanes over the median line of the Taiwan Strait. It also fired missiles over the island that landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone in a significant escalation.

Recently, China quarrelled with the United States, claiming several times that a U.S. destroyer has operated in its territorial waters around the South China Sea.

The United States and Philippines are also currently holding their largest joint military drills over shared concerns about China’s assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.

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