China’s President Xi Jinping has emphasized the need to enhance the country’s military through deepening the integration of the military and civilian sectors as well as technological innovation.
“We must have a greater sense of urgency to push for science and technology innovation and advancement with greater determination and efforts,” Xi told military delegates from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at an ongoing annual meeting of the parliament, the Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.
The president said the country’s scientific and technological advancements should be in the service of the military.
Science and technology provide the “key to military upgrading,” said Xi, who is also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Xi said that the CPC Central Committee had decided to establish a framework for the integration of military and civilian industries. “Civil technologies should better serve military purposes,” he said.
Xi emphasized the need to hire talented people for training in the military.
“Efforts to improve the training system of military personnel should also be strengthened to foster a large number of high-quality military talent,” he said.
The Chinese president is overseeing a historic breakthrough in defense reform and modernization of the country's armed forces — the largest in the world — including through upgrading stealth jets, anti-satellite missiles, and submarines.
Beijing is locked in a number of territorial disputes with neighboring countries. A major source of tension in those disputes has been extra-regional power the United States, which often takes the side of China’s rival claimants.
Chinese officials have reiterated China’s will to do all in its power to defend its territorial rights in disputed waters in the South and East China seas.