Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked the military to build a strong and solid border defence network to protect territorial land and water frontiers to deter “bullying” by foreign powers.
“One cannot help thinking of China’s modern history when the country was so weak and destitute that it was for everyone to bully,” he said at a meeting yesterday apparently referring to the Japanese invasion of China during the second world war.
Foreign aggressors broke China’s land and sea defence hundreds of times, plunging the Chinese nation into the abyss of calamity, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.
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He called on the people not to forget the history of humiliation and to build a strong frontier.
Xi told China’s frontier defenders to meticulously monitor control the borders and to mount actions to defend the country’s maritime rights, while implementing an overall national security outlook.
China is currently locked in maritime disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei in the South China Sea.
According to Chinese officials, China has settled border disputes with 12 of its 14 neighbours except India and Bhutan.
Xi called for efforts from both the military and civilian communities to strike a balance between frontier defence and economic development, while staunchly safeguarding frontier security, stability and prosperity.
Premier Li Keqiang also attended the meeting.