China's President Xi stresses need to increase military training, preparation
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's President Xi Jinping inspected his country's Southern Theatre Command navy on Tuesday and stressed the need to deepen military training and preparation, state media reported.
During his visit, Xi said it was necessary to speed up the transformation and construction of the armed forces and comprehensively raise their level of modernization, CCTV news reported on Wednesday.
Xi also said there was a need to improve the ability to respond to complex situations in a timely and appropriate manner, state media added.
The remarks come as the Chinese navy went ahead with "actual combat training" around Taiwan on Tuesday, state media reported a day after Beijing announced the end of drills amid heightened tensions between the country and the island.
Xi also said that China will resolutrely defend its territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interets, and strive to maintain stability in neighboring areas, state media said.
Recently, China has quarrelled with the United States, claiming several times that a U.S. destroyer has operated in its territorial waters around the South China Sea.
The United States and Philippines are also currently holding their largest joint military drills over shared concerns about China's assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.
(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Editing by William Maclean)