BEIJING, Aug 1, (Agencies): China will fiercely protect its sovereignty against “any people, organisation or political party”, President Xi Jinping warned Tuesday, as the country celebrated the 90th anniversary of its military.
The message comes as the ruling Communist Party (CCP) faces political resistance in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, where many locals fear Beijing is tightening its grip, and in self-ruled Taiwan, which China views as a rebel province awaiting reunification.
The Asian giant is also mired in several bitter border disputes with its neighbours, including an ongoing stand-off with India over territory on China’s border with Bhutan.
“We will never allow any people, organisation or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form,” Xi told an audience of CCP and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officials gathered at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, who broke out into applause.
“No one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests,” he said.
While China formerly followed a strategy of “hide your strength”, it has begun to indulge in more frequent, pointed demonstrations of its power.
On Sunday it held a rare military parade in Inner Mongolia in which Xi stressed the need to build a world-class army loyal to the CCP, and capable of “defeating all invading enemies”.
In Hong Kong in June, Xi helmed the largest military parade there in decades to mark the 20th anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to China.
The country in December also sailed its first aircraft carrier near Taiwan, where the ruling political party has angered Beijing by refusing to acknowledge that both sides are part of “one China”.
BEIJING: China has officially opened its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, state media said Tuesday, a major step for the country’s expansion of its military presence abroad.
Chinese military personnel, officials and guests attended a flag-raising ceremony and military parade to mark the occasion, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The event was timed to coincide with the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, on Aug 1.
Officers and troops paraded for an audience that included Djibouti’s defence minister, Xinhua said.