Chinese President Xi Jinping told troops to focus their “minds and energy on preparing for war” during a visit to a military base, according to a report on Wednesday.
Xi inspected a People Liberation Army Marine Corps base in Chaozhou on Tuesday and called on the forces to “maintain a state of high alert” and urged them to be “absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable,” CNN reported, citing state-run news agency Xinhua.
The Chinese leader’s visit to the military base comes amid sharp tension between Washington and Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic, trade issues & China’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
On Monday, the White House informed Congress that it would move ahead with a deal to sell three advanced weapons systems to Taiwan, CNN reported.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the US to “immediately cancel any arms sales plans to Taiwan” and cut military ties.
China insists self-governing Taiwan is part of its territory, and Xi hasn’t ruled out using force against the US-ally.
The Trump administration has improved relations with Taiwan, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Secretary of Health and Human Services chief Alex Azar became the highest-level US official to visit in decades when he visited the island in August to discuss the virus.