Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked his troops to “prepare for war” state news agency Xinhua reported today. “Troops should “maintain a state of high alert… Put all (your) minds and energy into preparing for war,” Xinhua quoted Xi Jinping as saying.
Troops should be “absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable”, the Chinese President said during his visit to Marine corps of PLA in Chaozhou City.
Sources said President Xi’s remarks were “not specifically directed at India”, even though it came amid the border dispute in Ladakh.
The remark coincides with Chinese claims about the passage of a US Navy warship through the Taiwan Strait — an area China is sensitive about.
Beijing claims sovereignty over certain areas in South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have made counterclaims.
The relation between Beijing and Washington, traditionally prickly, has escalated following the coronavirus outbreak and the open US support to Taiwan, which is trying to increase its influence in the Indo-Pacific area.
US President Donald Trump has made numerous references to the “virus from Wuhan” and blamed China for the outbreak.
A the recent meeting of the Quad — the four major Indo-Pacific democracies of India, the US, Japan and Australia — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the crisis over the “virus from Wuhan” was “made worse by Chinese Communist Party cover-up”.
“We also resolve precious freedoms and sovereignty of the diverse nations of the region,” Mr Pompeo had said, to “protect” them from the Chinese Communist Party’s “coercion, exploitation, corruption”.
“We have seen it in south and east China seas, Hong Kong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan Strait… these are just a few examples,” he had added.