China capable of defeating all ‘invading armies’: President Jinping

Beijing: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has the capability to defeat “invading” enemies and protect the country’s sovereignty, President Xi Jinping told China’s armed forces on Sunday amid the Sino-India military standoff at the Donglang area near the Sikkim border.

The Chinese PLA is the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Communist Party of China (CPC). The PLA consists of five professional service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. The PLA is the world’s largest military force, with a strength of approximately 2,285,000 personnel, 0.18% of the country’s population.

For more than a month now, the two countries (China and India) have been involved in a stand-off along a part of their 3,500 kilometres shared border. Since both the countries are populous and have very robust economies, and have fought a war over border disputes in 1962, the stand-off has attracted global media attention.

Both India and China have rushed more troops to the border as the divide between the two neighbouring countries is turning out to be one of the longest since the India-China war of 1962.

Addressing a military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the PLA at the Zhurihe combat training base in Inner Mongolia, Xi in camouflage military fatigue, said, “The PLA has the confidence and capability to defeat all invading enemies and protect China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.”

“The PLA also has the confidence and capability to build a stronger military and make new and greater contribution to realising China’s two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, and safeguarding world peace,” Xi was quoted as having said by the official media.

There was no direct reference to India or any mention of the ongoing military standoff in the Donglang (Doklam) area in the excerpts of Xi’s speech released by the official media but the reference to “invading enemies” seems to be clear indication who the Chinese President was talking about.

China’s officials and media have repeatedly alleged that Indian troops had “invaded” and “illegally trespassed” into Chinese territory in Donglang by crossing an established border in Sikkim.

It was the first time that Xi presided over such a large military parade in the field, official news agency, Xinhua reported.

The Xinhua report added that Xi stood in an open-roof vehicle that drove slowly past troop formations to a backdrop of military music.

China has blamed India for the ongoing impasse, accusing Indian soldiers of trespassing and preventing Chinese soldiers from building a road in the region which is also claimed by Bhutan.

Beijing wants India to withdraw its troops from Donglang before the two sides can open talks.

New Delhi says the road, if built, will have serious security implications for India.

Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi has so far been the highest ranking Chinese politician to have directly blamed India on the military impasse.

The resolution of the problem is very “simple”, he said: “Indian troops have to go out”.

Wang told reporters in Bangkok last week that the “problem was very straightforward” and that “even Indian officials publicly said that Chinese soldiers didn’t enter the Indian territory. In other words, Indian side admitted (crossing) into Chinese territory.”

Xi’s mentioning of “invading enemies” is very significant as he is both general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

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