China’s leader Xi Jinping has called for “more quickly elevating the armed forces to world-class standards,” in a speech just days after a top diplomat warned of the growing possibility of conflict with the U.S. unless Washington changes course.
China must maximize its “national strategic capabilities” in a bid to “systematically upgrade the country’s overall strength to cope with strategic risks, safeguard strategic interests and realize strategic objectives,” Xi said Wednesday.
His remarks to delegates in the ceremonial parliament representing the People’s Liberation Army, the military wing of the ruling Communist Party, and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, were carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.
Xi issued a series of calls to accelerate the build-up of self-reliance in science and technology, bolster strategic capabilities in emergency fields, make industrial and supply chains more resilient and make national reserves “more capable of safeguarding national security.”
The program laid out by Xi dovetails with a number of national strategies already underway, including the “Made in China 2025” campaign to make China dominant in 10 key fields from integrated circuits to aerospace, and a decades-old campaign for civilian-military integration in the economy.