China’s President Xi stresses security, calls its military ‘Great Wall of Steel’

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China needs security to develop and must modernize its military to make it a “Great Wall of Steel,” President Xi Jinping said on Monday, amid mounting tensions with the United States.

Speaking for the first time in his precedent-breaking third term as head of state, Xi called for China to step up its ability to safeguard national security and manage public security.

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“Security is the foundation for development, stability is the prerequisite for prosperity,” he said at the closing of the annual parliament session.

The ruling Communist Party is expected to tighten party oversight over security matters, a move that comes after Xi replaced top security officials with his trusted allies.

Xi on Monday also said China must achieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology, a call that comes as the United States blocks China’s access to chip making equipment and other cutting-edge technologies.

On Taiwan, the self-ruled island which China claims its own and a major producer of semiconductors, Xi said China must oppose pro-independence and secessionist activities and the interference of external forces.

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