China’s Xi tells military to be ready and ‘Don’t fear death’

In a blunt message to the military, Chinese President Xi Jinping told personnel to be ready for war as tensions rise in Asia.

“Don’t fear death” and be prepared to defend the country, Xi was reported to have said.

The Chinese leader’s comments to the world’s largest military were revealed late last week. They came during what state-run media described as a rare address to the entire military by the president.

During an October Communist Party congress, Xi cemented his status as the country’s most powerful leader in decades — since Mao Zedong, some analysts have said.

Xi said that the military should “neither fear hardship nor death” in a speech to thousands of personnel during an inspection last week as he visited the People’s Liberation Army’s Central Theater Comand in northern Hebei province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

He also urged the entire force to continue its modernization efforts and to engage in more realistic combat training.

“Create an elite and powerful force that is always ready for the fight, capable of combat and sure to win in order to fulfill the tasks bestowed by the Party and the people in the new era,” he was quoted saying.

Media reports said thousands of troops elsewhere in the country assembled at their installations to hear his speech.

Xi has pushed to modernize the Chinese military since taking office in 2012. He has called for a “world-class” army by 2050. [source]

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