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China’s Xi Urges Military to Reach Global Standards Quickly

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping has urged the country’s huge armed forces to quickly bring them up to “global standards”.

In a speech just days after he warned that the country was threatened by a US-led campaign of “containment, encirclement and suppression of China”.

Xi said on Wednesday that China should maximize its “national strategic capabilities” in a bid to “systematically improve the country’s overall strength to deal with strategic risks, protect strategic interests and achieve strategic goals.”

The official Xinhua News Agency quoted his remarks to delegates in the ceremonial parliament representing the People’s Liberation Army, the military wing of the ruling Communist Party and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police.

Xi made a series of calls for accelerating the construction of self-reliance in science and technology, strengthening strategic capabilities in emergency areas, making industrial and supply chains more flexible, and making national reserves “more able to safeguard national security.”

The program laid out by Xi aligns with a number of national strategies already underway, including a “Made in China 2025” campaign to make China dominant in 10 major areas from integrated circuits to space, and a decades-long drive for civil-military integration into the economy.

Xi also mentioned the need to “achieve the goals of the PLA centenary in 2027,” the date by which China, according to some US observers, intends to have the ability to invade self-ruled Taiwan, a US ally, by the military. means.

China outlined its centenary goals in mostly vague terms, such as increasing “informatization” and raising the People’s Liberation Army to “global standards”.

According to a speech Xi delivered last year, China needs to build “a strong system of strategic deterrent forces, increase the presence of combat forces in new areas and new characteristics, and strengthen combat-oriented military training.”

China’s defense budget has nearly doubled over the past decade, allowing it to maintain the world’s largest standing army, with two million members, the world’s largest navy by number of ships, and the largest missile and aviation forces in the Indo-Pacific.

His latest comment came after a speech he gave on Monday to delegates attending the annual session of the National People’s Congress, in which he cited China’s frustration with US restrictions on access to technology and its support for Taiwan and regional military blocs in unusually blunt terms.

“Western countries led by the United States have carried out comprehensive containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented serious challenges to our nation’s development,” Xi was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

State Department spokesman Ned Price responded by saying that Washington wants to “coexist responsibly” within the global trade and political system and has no intention of suppressing China.

“This is not about containing China. This is not about suppressing China. This is not about containing China,” Price said in Washington. “We want to have that constructive competition that is fair” and “doesn’t veer into conflict.”

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