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Chinese President Xi Jinping tells troops to focus on 'preparing for war'

October 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on troops to "put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war" in a visit to a military base in the southern province of Guangdong on Tuesday, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Hong Kong (CNN)Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on troops to "put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war" in a visit to a military base in the southern province of Guangdong on Tuesday, according to state news agency Xinhua.

But the military visit comes as tensions between China and the United States remain at their highest point in decades, with disagreements over Taiwan and the coronavirus pandemic creating sharp divisions between Washington and Beijing.

In a stern response from Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on Washington to "immediately cancel any arms sales plans to Taiwan" and cut all "US-Taiwan military ties. "

Even though Taiwan has never been controlled by China's ruling Communist Party, authorities in Beijing insist the democratic, self-governing island is an integral part of their territory, with Xi himself refusing to rule out military force to capture it if necessary.

In response, Beijing increased military drills around Taiwan.

Almost 40 Chinese warplanes crossed the median line between the mainland and Taiwan on September 18-19 -- one of several sorties the island's President Tsai Ing-wen called a "threat of force. "

In a speech to the RAND Corporation on September 16, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said China "cannot match the United States" in terms of naval power and labeled Beijing a "malign influence. "

"(China and Russia) are using predatory economics, political subversion, and military force in an attempt to shift the balance of power in their favor, and often at the expense of others," he told the audience.

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