China: "the Army is ready for new challenges"
President Xi Jinping's statements in a context of change
Communist Party Secretary General and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping called on local Armed Forces to be ready for combat and adapt to new challenges. A statement made during a meeting of the Central Military Committee (CMC) on the organization of the People's Liberation Army (PLA): "The Army is experiencing important changes in the mission, in the daily operations, in the structure of the personnel and in its social context. The fight against corruption must reach all levels. Our commanders and soldiers must be brave and the troops must be as powerful as tigers".
Economic investments in China in the Defense sector are steadily increasing with military spending (170 billion dollars in 2019) among the most significant in the world. This year the PLA has significantly increased the number, scope and frequency of its exercises. In 2018 alone, 2 million people took part in over 18,000 trainings. While Beijing develops its military muscle, potential flashpoints continue to exist in the country regarding historical disputes such as the ancient disputes against Japan concerning the Diaoyu Islands (which Tokyo calls the Senkaku Islands) and against India for the definition of border territories. Beijing has also intensified its military pressure in Taiwan by sending warships and aircraft patrols to surround the island. The United States also identifies China as a strategic rival in the Indo-Pacific area.
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