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China's defence must be upgraded: PLA Daily |
The Straits Times
Publication Date : 03-08-2010
China's military mouthpiece has called for national defence to be upgraded, amid heightened military tensions between Beijing and Washington in strategic waters.
In an editorial to mark the 83rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Sunday (August 1), the PLA Daily said: "Currently, the international trend is experiencing deep and complicated changes, and competition has become fiercer in the international order, national strengths and geopolitics."
"Modernisation is the core of the construction of the PLA, and it should be guided by national core interests. The PLA should strengthen preparation for warfare and focus on boosting its core capacity of fighting regional battles."
The call comes amid rising tensions in several strategic waters, especially the South China Sea, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported Monday (August 2).
The PLA had conducted a series of military drills over the past months in what is perceived as a show of military power, including military exercises in the Yellow Sea and South China Sea last month.
Mr Anthony Wong, president of the International Military Association in Macau, referring to the editorial, told the Post: "Terms such as 'national security' and 'integrity of sovereignty' are undoubtedly a response... to the emergence of American forces in these two regions, virtually telling the United States that China's core interests have been offended."
At the recent Asean Regional Forum in Hanoi, China was ambushed by a US-led drive in which 12 countries expressed concern about its assertion of naval power in the South China Sea, the Post reported.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said then that the US has a "national interest" in resolving the claims on the islands in the South China Sea, and opposes the use or threat of force by any claimant.
Beijing had said earlier that it now considered its claim over the South China Sea a part of its "core interests", putting it on a par with that of Taiwan and Tibet.
According to the online version of the PLA Daily, up to 71 missiles of 16 different models had been fired during the unprecedented multifunction military drill jointly held by three PLA naval fleets in the South China Sea last Monday.
Praising the exercise, the report noted that it boasted the largest amount of live ammunition, the highest degree of digitisation and was conducted in the most complicated environment of electronic interference in the navy's 61-year history.