Xi Says China Must Strengthen Training for 'Actual Combat': State Media

China’s President Xi Jinping attends a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) in Beijing on April 6, 2023. Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

Beijing, China -- China's President Xi Jinping called on the country's armed forces to "strengthen military training oriented towards actual combat", state broadcaster CCTV reported Wednesday.

Xi's comments, made on a naval inspection trip on Tuesday, come shortly after three days of military drills by China's People's Liberation Army intended to intimidate Taiwan.

Tensions are high in the region after the show of force by Beijing, which sees self-ruled Taiwan as its territory.

China launched the military drills in response to a visit last week by Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen to the United States, where she met a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Xi on Tuesday told the PLA's Southern Theatre Command Navy that the military must "resolutely defend China's territorial sovereignty and maritime interests, and strive to protect overall peripheral stability", CCTV reported.

© Agence France-Presse

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