Xi orders military to be prepared for battle amid Yellen’s arrival in Beijing
According to state-run media Xinhua, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the military to “be good at fighting” on Thursday.
While on an inspection tour of the Eastern Theatre Command, Xi reportedly explained that the world has entered a new era of turmoil and change, causing China’s security situation to become more erratic.
The Eastern Theatre Command is headquartered in Jiangsu province and is responsible for maintaining security throughout eastern China, including the Taiwan Strait and the East China Sea.
Earlier this year, Xi, who was elected to an unprecedented third term as president, called for strengthening China’s defense capabilities and building a “Great Wall of Steel” through the military.
As a result, China must oppose pro-independence and secessionist activities as well as outside interference on Taiwan, the democratically run island it claims as its own.
The Chinese government has repeatedly urged US officials not to interact with Taiwanese leaders since it considers such contact as supporting Taiwan’s desire to be seen as separate from China.
In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last year, bilateral relations between Taiwan and the US have deteriorated. China responded by staging war games on the island, conducting drills, and conducting live fire.
To control Taiwan, China has never renounced the use of force. A 2005 law gave Beijing the legal basis to intervene militarily against Taiwan if it secedes.
In a bid to ease tensions between the two countries, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in Beijing for talks with Xi.
Xi told the Eastern Theatre Command that he must continue to think and handle military issues from a political perspective, dare to fight, be good at fighting, and resolutely defend national sovereignty, security, and development interests.
Xi inspected the Southern Theater Command, headquartered in Guangdong and responsible for the South China Sea, much of which Beijing claims.
To counter the growing US maritime presence in the region, he also emphasized the need for deepening military training and preparation.