Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his country needed to strengthen its military resources to “win wars,” days after one of his top foreign officials warned that the U.S. and China were on course for “confrontation and conflict.”
Xi called for China’s defense industry to better use science and technology to improve its military to “world-class standards,” delivering a speech to the country’s parliament ahead of a vote to secure him a record-breaking third term as the leader of the ruling Communist Party.
“China needs to better use defense science, technology and industry to strengthen its army and win wars,” Xi said. It was needed to “cope with strategic risks, safeguard strategic interests and realize strategic objectives.”
The call from Xi for China to accelerate the proliferation of its defense capabilities comes as the country has taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward the U.S. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said at a press conference earlier this week that the two countries were on a collision course.
“If the United States does not hit the brake, but continues to speed down the wrong path… there will surely be conflict and confrontation and who will bear the catastrophic consequences?” Qin said at his first press conference as foreign minister on Monday.
Tensions between the U.S. and China have continued to flare, as the Biden administration has warned China sharply against providing lethal aid to Russia in its war against Ukraine, after reports that Chinese officials were weighing the move.
American military officials have continuously warned of the military ambitions of China. Lawmakers in Congress, Republicans in particular, have sounded the alarm on the ambitions of the Chinese government, slamming the Biden administration on its handling of the relationship between the countries.