'Use Tech To Strengthen The Army, Win Wars': Xi Jinping, Dressed As Commander Tells PLA Amid Tensions With US, India

Ujjwal ShrotryiaThursday, March 9, 2023 1:31 pm IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Illustration: Swarajya Magazine)
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Illustration: Swarajya Magazine)

Chinese President Xi-Jinping has called for more Defence spending on cutting-edge technology, research, and a resilient supply chain to win modern wars, reported The Hindu.

This announcement came on the back of China increasing its Defence Budget for the eighth consecutive year by about 7.2 percent to $225 billion.

Xi was speaking in an annual session of Parliament. He told the representative of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that “consolidating and improving ‘Integrated Strategic Capabilities’ is a new requirement set by the ruling Communist Party”.

Xi is the Commander-in-Chief of the PLA and is due to be formally re-elected as President for an unprecedented third time. Xi also told the military that “it must be led by the party”.

He also pointed out that "China needs to better use Defence-Science, Technology, and Industry to strengthen its army and win wars".

Xi urged national laboratories to expedite their research in Defense Technology, with the aim of reducing China's dependence on foreign countries in this field.

He further added that the supply chain needs to be more resilient and called for more infrastructure building and the setting up of national reserves for defense purposes.

However, he did not specify the "strategic risks" that the military needed to address, The Hindu report says.

This call to spend more on defence technology, research, and development and on more resilient supply chains is coming against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war and economic sanctions imposed by the west on Russia.

The Chinese PLA has been locked in a standoff with the Indian Army along the entire LAC since May 2020.

Since then various clashes have happened between Indian and Chinese soldiers, the last of which happened last December in the Yangtse locality of the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh.

Moreover, tensions between China and the United States have been on the rise, with both countries engaged in a range of disputes, including trade, technology, and territorial claims in the South China Sea.

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