Will turn Chinese military into ‘Great Wall of steel’: China President Xi Jinping


BEIJING: President Xi Jinping on Monday vowed to build China’s military into a “Great Wall of steel” to protect the its sovereignty and developmental interests as he sought a bigger role for Beijing in global affairs, days after brokering a Saudi Arabia-Iran detente, regarded as a diplomatic coup.
Speaking for the first time since the rubber-stamp Parliament last week approved his precedent-breaking third term as head of state, Xi called on the nation to uphold the leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) headed by him. “This is my third time assuming the lofty office of president,” Xi, 69, said at the closing ceremony of China’s national legislature, adding that “the trust of the people is the biggest driving force for me to move forward, and it is also a heavy responsibility on my shoulders”.
He pledged that he would “faithfully perform the duties entrusted by the Constitution” and would “never let down the great trust” of all Chinese people. “Security is the bedrock of development, while stability is a prerequisite for prosperity,” Xi said
Xi also called for efforts to advance the modernisation of China’s defence forces and build the people’s armed forces into a “Great Wall of steel” that is capable of effectively safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests.
Xi’s reference to the Great Wall was significant as the mammoth structure, with a total length of more than 20,000 km, was built over centuries by China’s emperors to protect their territory. It also came amid growing tensions between China and the US and some neighbouring countries. Xi is regarded as the ‘core leader’ of the party very much like the party founder Mao Zedong.
In his speech at the NPC closing ceremony attended by about 3,000 legislators, Xi said China will play an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system to advance the implementation of his initiatives — the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which aims to expand Beijing’s diplomatic role in the world.


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