China’s president Xi Jinping orders troops near Taiwan to ‘prepare for WAR’ days after massive invasion drill off island

XI Jinping has ordered Chinese troops near Taiwan to "prepare for war" just days after a massive invasion drill off the island.

The Chinese president told his Navy to "focus all [your] minds and energy on preparing for war and maintain a high level of alert", state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported.


Xi made the comments while inspecting the People's Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps base in Chaozhou, Guangdong.

He reportedly told the soldiers to "speed up improving [combat capabilities]" to become a "multi-functional, rapid response, all-weather and region" force.

Xi also told the Navy that they are responsible for "safeguarding the country's sovereignty security and marine interests".

In a later speech, Xi called for more exchanges between Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to "strengthen their sens of belonging with the motherland".

Xi's order comes as tensions continue to increase between China and Taiwan.

On Saturday, Chinese troops staged an invasion drill of Taiwan by simulating an attack in a large-scale military exercise.

Thousands of airborne and amphibious soldiers are seen attacking an unidentified island with rockets and drones in a video released by CCTV.

Tensions rose further after Beijing aired a purported confession from a Taiwanese businessman who is being held captive on spying charges.

Focus all [your] minds and energy on preparing for war and maintain a high level of alert

Beijing also recently doubled down on its assertion of control over the South China Sea as it swarmed warships around a US destroyer.

A Chinese military spokesman said: "We urge the US side to immediately stop such kind of provocative actions, strictly manage and control its maritime and air military operations so as not to cause any eventuality."

The guided-missile destroyer, called the John S. McCain, passed through the South China Sea on Friday. The South China Sea and Taiwan Strait are international waters.

Although Taiwan has been under self-rule for more than seven decades, China considers the island as part of its territory to be absorbed into the mainland, using force if necessary.

The island though has a defence pact with the US, indicating any military action by China could spark a super power conflict in the region.

China has been increasing the pressure on the island since President Tsai Ing-wen, who rejects the view it is part of “one China”, was elected in Taiwan in 2016.




'MULTI-DIMENSIONAL' DRILL

The President said on Saturday she hoped for a reduction in tensions and added Beijing should listen to their concerns, change its approach and restart dialogue.

During her speech at Taiwan’s National Day celebrations, Tsai noted the Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s comments in a video message to the UN General Assembly, saying China would never seek hegemony, expansion or try to establish a sphere of influence.

Tsai said: “As countries in the region and around the world are now concerned about China's expanding hegemony, we hope this is the beginning of genuine change.”

In response though Beijing released the video of the live-fire military exercise.



The footage shows amphibious landing craft, attack helicopters and ground-based missiles as well as thousands of troops as they storm the island.

The video is said to be a “multi-dimensional” drill filmed off China’s south-eastern coasts of Fuijan and Guangdong provinces.

Reports say the exercise was conducted by the PLA’s 73rd group army, thought to be the main force which would be used in any potential attack on Taiwan.

China also aired footage of the Taiwanese businessman currently being held over the weekend.

Lee Meng-chu, 45, has been accused of “endangering national security” and appeared on Chinese TV on Sunday evening admitting to illegally filming military exercises in a city close to Hong Kong during the protests there last year.

'ENDANGERING NATIONAL SECURITY'

The report on state television showed Lee with closely-cropped hair, wearing a blue shirt and an orange vest with his prison number on it.

He said: “I took my phone to record some videos. I am sorry. I have done a lot of bad things.”

The report said he had been detained in August at a Shenzhen border crossing.

An unnamed police officer interviewed for the piece said: “The pictures and videos he shot are enough for professional espionage organisations analysis. It is enough for them to assess our entire troop's numbers and equipment status.”

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said on Monday the accusations were just “political speculation”.

It denounced Lee’s confession as being “totally inconsistent with due process of law”.

Beijing has also claimed that under its Operation Thunder 2020 initiative had foiled “hundreds of espionage attempts” by the island’s agents to sabotage efforts to reunify it with the mainland.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war and while they have extensive business links there are no official relations.



Source: Read Full Article