China will never compromise on its sovereignty and security, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday. “The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions,” he said while addressing a ceremony marking 90 years since the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“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,” he said at the Great Hall of People in Beijing. “No one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests.”
Though his comments were not directed to anyone in particular, the timing seems to suggest they were indicated at India as troops of both countries have been locked in a tense border standoff in the Doklam area for over a month now.
Xi said that the PLA had successfully “remodelled” its organisational and power structure, as well as its public image, after five years of hard work.
This is the second time in three days that the Chinese president has spoken about the Army’s capability to fight invasions. “I firmly believe that our gallant military has both confidence and ability to defeat all invading enemies,” he said on Sunday at a huge PLA parade.
Last week, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing on Thursday as part of the BRICS NSAs meet. Doval and Jiechi are also Special Representatives of the India-China border mechanism.
While both countries have not spoken of the outcome of the Doval-Yang talks, Lu Kang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told media that “the meeting on security issues is a major platform for BRICS countries to discuss and conduct cooperation in politics and security fields.”
“It bears great significance for these countries to strengthen strategic communication, enhance political mutual trust and elevate their impact on global affairs,” Lu added. He said that discussions will be held on various topics, including global governance, anti-terrorism, internet security and energy security, as well as major international and regional hotspot issues.
The two armies are currently in a standoff as Indian troops had stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. China has claimed that the road construction was well within its territory.