BEIJING, Aug 1 — President Xi Jinping has sent a stern message to neighbouring countries in the region.
“China loves peace but will never compromise on defending its sovereignty,” he said today. Those words coming as China marks 90 years since the founding of its armed forces.
Xi stopped short of any direct reference to specific territorial disputes, but his point was clear: China will not be told what to do.
“We will never allow any people organisation or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form,” he told his audience.
The world’s largest military flexed its muscles over the weekend, with a massive parade at a remote training base in inner Mongolia. There, Xi told the troops to transform themselves into an elite force, reminding them to always follow the Communist party’s orders.
China has not fought a war in decades and the government insists it has no hostile intent, but simply needs to properly defend the world’s second largest economy. Still, there’s no doubt that Beijing is rattling nerves across Asia.
China is on a mission to revamp and modernise its forces whilst militarising manmade islands, and making increasingly aggressive claims in the South and East China Seas. It also insists that Taiwan is a renegade province, to be taken back by force if needed. — Reuters