DHARAMSHALA, February 7: In growing war overtures, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has called for "expanding and deepening" the Chinese military's combat preparedness.
This comes days after Japan lodged a protest against China after a Chinese vessel pointed a type of radar normally used to help guide missiles at a Japanese navy ship near disputed East China Sea islets.
Xi made the remarks while on an inspection tour of an air force base, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and the Lanzhou Military Area Command earlier this week.
According to China’s state news agency Xinhua
, Xi, stressed on national defense efforts and “urged the military to enhance its combat preparedness and constantly improve its ability to fulfill missions and tasks.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s general secretary and chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission is due to take over as the country’s president next month.
Similiar calls were made recently by Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, who urged military officers to adopt "real combat criteria" in military training so as to meet "future wartime needs in the information age."
According to Xinhua
, he told the military to "innovate training by helping officers and soldiers to master information technology, as well as to use IT-based weaponry, in order to modernise the People's Liberation Army."
Last month, in new military directives issued by the Chinese government for the year 2013, the largest army in the world was told to prepare for war and bolster its ability to win a battle based on rigorous training on an actual combat basis.
The directive, which referred to a training blueprint issued by the PLA's Department of the General Staff for the entire force came amid heightened tensions between China and Japan over territorial disputes in the East China Sea.
"In 2013, the goal set for the entire army and the People's Armed Police force is to bolster their capabilities to fight and their ability to win a war … to be well-prepared for a war by subjecting the army to hard and rigorous training on an actual combat basis," the training blueprint read.
The statement further “stresses the urgency of real combat abilities in all military training by repeating the phrase "fighting wars", or dazhang, as many as 10 times in the article … the phrase did not appear in last year's directive.”