Chinese President Hu Jintao urged the country’s navy on Tuesday to prepare for military combat and advance naval modernisation as part of efforts to safeguard world peace.
The navy should “accelerate its transformation and modernisation in a sturdy way, and make preparations for military combat in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security and world peace,” Hu said in a speech.
According to a statement on the government’s website, Hu was speaking to the nation’s powerful Central Military Commission at a meeting in Beijing focused on military armament and the latest developments in the navy. “Our work must closely encircle the main theme of national defence and military building,” Hu said, according to the statement.
Hu’s comments come after China said last month it would conduct naval exercises in the Pacific Ocean, following a major diplomatic campaign by US President Barack Obama to assert the US as a Pacific power.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last month also warned against interference by “external forces” in regional territorial disputes.