Watch: Xi Jinping tells troops to prepare for war
“The Marine Corps should focus on preparing for war and combat capabilities, and maintain a high level of readiness,” Xi said at the base in Guangdong Province, according to the state broadcaster CCTV.
President Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, told the marines they shoulder the “important duties” of safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and its “overseas interests”.
He also called for enhanced efforts to advance the force's transformation and improve its combat capabilities to forge a powerful elite troop.
President Xi’s three-day tour of southern China comes amid a backdrop of rising tensions over the strengthening of ties between the US and the self-ruled island of Taiwan, and the wide-ranging new security law for Hong Kong which makes it easier for China to punish protesters and pursue national security cases on the island.
He also took part in an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Shenzhen special economic zone on Wednesday, during which he promised to take steps to back development in the region.
In a 50-minute speech, the president said he planned for Shenzhen to become a “model city” for Chinese development, saying his administration will ease regulations to encourage new industries and transform it into a powerhouse to rival troubled Hong Kong.