TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) told Chinese marines to "prepare for war" on Tuesday (Oct. 13) as the communist regime continues to ramp up military posturing in the Taiwan Strait.
On Tuesday, during an inspection of the People's Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps (PLANMC) base in Chaozhou, Xi told the troops that "[You] must focus your minds and energy on preparing for war and maintain a high state of alert," according to the People's Liberation Army Daily. Xi, who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), said that the marines must shoulder the "important duty" of safeguarding China's "sovereignty security, territorial integrity, maritime interests, and overseas interests," undisguised references to Taiwan and the South China Sea.
During the speech, Xi said it is necessary to strengthen research on major theoretical and practical issues and explore ways to build "the Marine Corps with Chinese characteristics." Indicating a continued military buildup, Xi said that the preparations of the "14th Five-Year Plan" for the building of the army are "intensifying."
He then stressed that the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) "absolute leadership over the armed forces" must be upheld and that close attention should be paid to the "strict management of the party and the army in an all-around way, and ensure that the troops are absolutely loyal, pure, and reliable."
Xi spoke about carrying forward the "fine tradition" and "imparting the red gene" to create a military culture in the Marine Corps. He then called for the cultivation of a fighting spirit of "fearing neither hardship nor death" with the "vigor and vitality of the tiger."
China's state-run mouthpiece the Global Times cited "Chinese military analysts" as saying that Xi's visit to the Chaozhou Marine Corp base is a sign the communist country will "speed up its preparation for any potential military conflict in the water areas and islands in regions like the Taiwan Strait and the South and East China Seas." It also mentioned "regions of significant overseas interests" and claimed that "strategic pressure from foreign hostile forces" is increasing, without naming any countries.
Xi's speech comes at a time when China has stepped up its aggressive military pressure on Taiwan with nearly daily incursions by People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) since Sept. 16. In addition, China announced that it will be carrying out live-fire drills off the coast of Zhejiang Province in the East China Sea and off the coast of Liaoning Province in the Bohai Sea on Wednesday (Oct. 14).