Xi Jinping Calls on Chinese Military to Prepare For Increased Tensions With Taiwan and United States

On July 6, 2023, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strongman Xi Jinping urged the regime’s military to broaden war and combat planning, as Chinese-United States relations continue deteriorating and the tensions in the Taiwan Strait escalate.

On that day, Xi inspected the Eastern Theater Command and held meetings with representatives of officers and soldiers when he made the remarks, per the Chinese state media outlet Xinhua.

Xi asserted that the world has entered a new period of geopolitical instability and change, which has made China’s security position become more unstable and uncertain. He called on the military to “deepen war and combat planning to increase the chances of victory in actual combat.”

Alex Wu of the Epoch Times noted that Eastern Theater Command was set up in February 2016 following the CCP’s military reform. This military command structure governs the armed forces in East China (Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Anhui provinces). The Eastern Theater Command is headquartered in Nanjing of Jiangsu Province, and it’s tasked with maintaining the security of eastern China, which includes the East China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and the Pacific Ocean. Over the last 7 years, the Eastern Theater has carried out multiple military exercises and cruises aiming at Taiwan.

Xi said to military officers in the Eastern Theater Command during his tour that they must “adhere to the direction and enhance the awareness of urgency,” “dare to fight and be good at fighting.”

Tensions are clearly rising as the US consummates its pivot to Asia, which is principally centered on containing China. As a result, the Chinese will be taking proactive steps to ensure that their homeland is safe from potential subversion both domestically and abroad.

With the US showcasing its willingness to arm Ukraine to the hilt over Russia’s invasion of it, the Chinese are clearly taking notes. China is not Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. It’s a nuclear power that is willing to protect its interests no matter the cost. 

This has to enter US military strategists’ calculations lest they want to stare down the barrel of a massive geopolitical crisis. In the meantime, the US should restrict immigration from China and decouple trade with it. These are sensible measures to limit Chinese influence without having to get into a direct conflict with a nuclear-armed great power — a doomsday prospect if there ever was one. 

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