Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently called on China’s military to devote all of its energy to preparing for war, making combat readiness its singular priority so that Chinese forces can “fight and win” in a potential future conflict.
On Tuesday, Xi carried out an inspection of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). According to China’s official Xinhua news service, he told the CMC that China’s entire military “should devote all its energy to and carry out all its work for combat readiness, enhance its capability to fight and win, and effectively fulfill its missions and tasks in the new era.”
Xi said China’s military should set “combat effectiveness as the sole criterion” in their decision-making as they move forward.
Xi’s emphasis on China’s combat effectiveness above all else comes after he called for China to expand its military with new capabilities and more intense training at the twice-in-a-decade 20th Chinese Communist Party National Congress last month. During that key CCP meeting, Xi also said China would push for “reunification” with Taiwan, and held open the possibility of China “reunifying” with Taiwan by military force.
While Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, the People’s Republic of China considers the island a part of its sovereign territory. Chinese officials have increasingly referenced reunification with Taiwan and China has asserted territorial claims over the neighboring South China Sea in recent years.
Xi, who serves as China’s president as well as the CCP’s leader and the chairman of the CMC, said on Tuesday that Chinese military officials should “take concrete actions to further modernize national defense and the military.”
Xi also likely hinted at China’s ambitions of asserting control over Taiwan and the South China Sea, saying Chinese military officials resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests
Xi further instructed China’s military officials to closely adhere to the principals laid out in last month’s 20th CCP National Congress, especially as it relates to strengthening and modernizing the Chinese military.