KEY POINTS

  • The Chinese president inspected the PLA Navy Marine Corps in Chaozhou 
  • Called on troops to be "vigilant" and "ready for battle"
  • Indirect response to increased U.S. presence in Taiwan 

Chinese President Xi Jinping  asked soldiers to "put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war" during a visit to a marine corps base by the South China Sea, as the Asian giant raised objections to the U.S. position on Taiwan.

During a trip to the PLA Navy Marine Corps base in Chaozhou in the Guangdong province on Tuesday, Xi called on troops to "maintain a state of high alert" and to be "absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable," state news agency Xinhua reported.  

Xi's statements assume significance in the backdrop of Beijing's anger over U.S. overtures to Taiwan, the island-nation considered by China as a breakaway province. The Trump administration informed Congress of its plan to sell three advanced weapons to Taiwan, CNN reported Monday. 

Beijing has demanded that the U.S. cancel any arms sale and cut any relation with Taiwan. China backed up the demand with increased sorties over the South China Sea. 

A Beijing-based think tank said at least 60 American warplanes conducted close-up reconnaissance flights near China in September and the U.S. may be preparing for future long-distance missions in the South China Sea, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.

While indirectly referring to Beijing’s claims on Taiwan and the South China Sea, Xi told the marines to protest Chinese territory, the country’s maritime interests and its interests overseas.

"Marines have many different missions and the demands on you will vary. As such (you) should base your training on (the need to) go into battle … and raise (your) training standards and combat ability," he added.

In Shenzhen, he is expected to meet officials from cities in the Greater Bay Area development zone. He will also meet Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her Macau counterpart Ho Iat-seng. 

Xi_Jinping President of People's Republic of China Xi Jinping said that they support an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus but not when there's a pandemic crisis. Photo: Creative Commons