|Desiree Sison |||May 24, 2016 05:17 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) China's commander-in-chief President Xi Jinping has ordered his troops to step up their combat readiness as Beijing's economic clout in the world rises to greater heights
To address the serious security risks brought about by China's rising economic clout in the world, Commander-in-Chief Xi Jinping has ordered the army to step up its war capabilities and work on overcoming its weaknesses.
In an article that appeared in the communist-backed PLA Daily on Monday, Xi laid down his vision for the People's Liberation Army. He warned that if the military does not shape up, it would not be able to handle the growing national security risks that come with China's rising economic development.
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Defense experts have noted that the article comes amid the move to streamline China's military forces and growing tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Military analysts say Xi wants to focus on the army's actual war capabilities instead of relying solely on the acquisition of high-tech weaponry and conducting cyber warfare.
"There is still a big gap between the modernisation of our army and the demands of national security. The gap between our army and other advanced militaries in the world is still very large," Xi told the PLA Daily.
Xi emphasized that there would be serious political repercussions if the PLA loses a war against its enemies.
Xi, who recently assumed his new position as the overall commander-in-chief of PLA, had ordered the army to integrate its units to improve its combat capabilities and readiness and strengthen the communist leadership.
"Obedience to the party's command is the first priority for building the army, and the lifeline of the army," Xi said.
Military experts claim that the published article seems to target the ongoing China-US rift over the South China Sea issue.
A military observer said the article was mainly a reiteration of Xi's policy of upgrading the military's combat readiness despite the dismissal of high-ranking military officers.
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