Chinese soldiers fire a rocket launcher system. Photo/Chinese Ministry of National Defense
Chinese President Xi Jinping made this point in a speech at a seminar on national defense and armed forces reform.
Xi did not specify whether he expects the country to engage in armed conflict in the near future.
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Beijing, however, has repeatedly warned the United States against “provocations” in the Taiwan Strait as Washington continues to send warships to the region.
The president delivered new instructions to the military as part of his message dedicated to the PLA’s ongoing reforms.
Military reforms were launched in 2015 and include a number of restructuring and modernization efforts, as well as a feedback mechanism through which Chinese service personnel can submit optimization proposals for military forces.
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This reform policy is expected to reduce troop numbers while increasing the PLA’s overall military capability.
The overhaul also involves the creation of entirely new troop types, such as cyber warfare troops and the splitting of strategic weaponry into separate branches for better control.