(CNN) — Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his first speech as his third president, vowed on Monday to strengthen national security and transform the military into a “great steel wall”.
Concluding the annual meeting of the Chinese Parliament, Xi stressed the need to thoroughly modernize national security and the military.
“We must transform the People’s Liberation Army into a great iron wall that effectively protects national sovereignty, security and development interests,” Xi told nearly 3,000 National People’s Congress (NPC) delegates.
Xi, 69, Unanimously approved by APN China’s longest-serving head of state since its founding in 1949 was elected president in a dance and ceremonial vote on Friday for another five years.
At the start of his speech on Monday, Xi thanked delegates for his re-election.
“I am taking office for the third time as the president. People’s faith is the biggest force that propels me forward and I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders,” he said.
As in many of his previous speeches, Xi struck a nationalist tone, citing the hardships China has endured in the modern era at the hands of “bullying foreign powers” and noting how the Communist Party had led the country to “eradicate national shame.”
“The Chinese people have become the masters of their own destiny,” he said. “The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered an irreversible historical process.”
According to Xi, the “essence” of that rejuvenation is “national unification,” meaning the “reunification” of Taiwan with mainland China.
The Chinese Communist Party claims Taiwan’s autonomous democracy as part of its territory and, while never controlling it, refuses to rule out the use of force.
Under Xi, Beijing has increased economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, which Beijing has not condemned, has also raised fears that Xi may try something similar in the coming years.
“We must vigorously promote the development of peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait, resolutely oppose interference by outside powers and Taiwan’s separatist activities, and resolutely advance the process of national reunification,” Ji Jin told the news agency. Great hall of people.
Xi also urged China to better integrate development and security.
“Security is the foundation of development, stability is a prerequisite for prosperity,” he said.
During his first decade in power, he undertook rapid reforms to transform China’s military into a modern fighting force and made its navy the largest in the world.
China’s annual military budget This year will increase by 7.2%About 1.55 trillion yuan ($224 billion), amid rising geopolitical tensions and competition Territorial Arms and universal.
He has consolidated his control over the government’s military and civilian arms to become China’s most assertive and dominant leader in a generation.
With China’s relations with the United States stuck at their lowest point in decades, the emphasis is on strengthening defense and the military as tensions rise in areas ranging from trade and technology to geopolitics, particularly over the future of Taiwan.
Last week, in unusually blunt comments, Xi accused the US of leading Western countries to “contain and suppress” China and pose “unprecedentedly tough challenges”.
Xi’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang, warned that the two superpowers would inevitably descend into “conflict and conflict” unless the US “pushed on the brakes”.