Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country will do everything possible to keep its territory from being taken by outside forces.
Xi’s comments came during a speech Tuesday marking the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army, or PLA. He spoke to government officials and military leaders inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
“We absolutely will not permit any person, any organization, any political party - at any time, in any form - to separate any piece of Chinese territory from China," Xi said.
He added: “No one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit of damage to our sovereignty, security and development interests.”
Xi said the Chinese people are peaceful and the country does not seek to invade or expand. “However, we have the confidence to conquer all forms of invasion," he added.
The Chinese leader did not name any conflicts or disputes during the speech.
China is currently involved in several territorial disputes. These include conflicting claims to areas of the South China Sea. China has ignored competing claims to the sea by five of its neighbors. In some areas, China has created man-made islands and built military bases on them. This has led to other governments in the area setting up their own bases.
In addition, China has a territorial dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.
China has threatened to use force to retake Taiwan if necessary. China considers self-governing Taiwan a part of its territory and wants to eventually reunite the island with the mainland.
Also, China is currently in a dispute with India over a Chinese road-building project in the eastern Himalayas. The dispute is in an area claimed by both China and Bhutan, a close ally of India.
Xi serves as commander of the PLA. In his speech, he said the military's highest loyalty is to the ruling Communist Party.
The PLA has greatly increased its spending and modernization in recent years. China has sought to develop new high-technology fighter airplanes and navy ships, including aircraft carriers.
Xi said China was now “closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than any other time in history.” For this reason, he said now is the most important time to continue building a strong military.
Xi’s speech came after he oversaw a large military parade Sunday held at a military training base in China's Inner Mongolia region.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for Learning English based on reports from VOA News, the Associated Press, Reuters and Xinhua news agency. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story
bitter – adj. having a strong, sour or unpleasant taste
sovereignty – n. a country’s power to govern itself
confidence – n. feeling or belief that something is true or will happen
conquer – v. take control of or defeat in war
rejuvenation – n. giving new strength or energy
region - n. a part of a country, of the world, etc., that is different or separate from other parts in some way