Chinese President Xi Jinping told his military to "devote all its energy to and carry out all its work for combat readiness," a state-owned media outlet reported.
Xi, who recently secured a third term as Chinese Communist Party leader, appeared in his army uniform while inspecting the joint operations command center of the Central Military Commission, the People's Daily reported Wednesday.
Xi instructed the armed forces to thoroughly study, publicize, and implement the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CCP) and take concrete actions to further modernize national defense and the military.
"Noting that the world is undergoing more profound changes unseen in a century, Xi stressed that China's national security is facing increased instability and uncertainty, and its military tasks remain arduous," the outlet reported.
"He demanded that the entire armed forces implement the Party's thinking on strengthening the military for the new era, follow the military strategy for the new era and adhere to combat effectiveness as the sole criterion."
The Guardian reported Xi told his forces to "focus all [your] energy on fighting, work hard on fighting and improve [your] capability to win."
He also said the Chinese army must also "resolutely defend national sovereignty and national security" as the country was in an "unstable and uncertain" security situation.
Xi, who last month awarded himself a third five-year term as CCP leader, recently said Beijing will "work faster" to modernize the party's military wing, the People's Liberation Army, and "enhance the military’s strategic capabilities."
China has the world's second highest military spending after the U.S. and is trying to extend its reach by developing ballistic missiles, submarines and other technology.
Xi has refused to renounce the use of force to unite Taiwan with the mainland.
"He is sending a message to the United States and Taiwan," Willy Lam, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation, told The Guardian.
President Joe Biden has said U.S. forces will defend Taiwan if China tries to invade the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing as part of its territory.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited Taiwan in August, the Chinese military moved several warships and planes near the median line, an unofficial border between China and Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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