Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned in a speech described as “fiercely nationalistic” that China is ready for conflict against the United States.
He made his remarks in response to President Trump’s promise to maintain the government’s hardline position against China to protect American businesses during his recent presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
President Xi made his comments at an event held at the Great Hall of the People commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War, in which China supported its North Korean allies against South Korea and the United Nations.
The Chinese president has in recent years centralised his grip over China’s centralised regime by dissolving term limits and promoting himself as the country’s most powerful figure since Mao Zedong.
"Seventy years ago, the imperialist invaders fired upon the doorstep of a new China," Xi said, The South China Morning Post reported. "The Chinese people understood that you must use the language that invaders can understand—to fight war with war and to stop an invasion with force, earning peace and respect through victory."
“The Chinese people will not create trouble but nor are we afraid of them, and no matter the difficulties or challenges we face, our legs will not shake and our backs will not bend,” he said.
Xi warned that “any country and any army, no matter how powerful they used to be” would see their efforts “battered” if they stood against China, which he says has the backing of the international community.
He went on to state that China is in the process of modernising its military, adding that the Communist Party had to maintain “absolute leadership” over its military apparatus.
“In today’s world, any unilateralism, protectionism, and ideology of extreme self-interest are totally unworkable, and any blackmailing, blockades and extreme pressure are totally unworkable,” he said. “Any actions that focus only on oneself and any efforts to engage in hegemony and bullying will simply not work – not only will it not work, but it will be a dead end.”
Xi said he wanted to “let the world know that the people of China are now united, and are not to be trifled with,” and promised that any efforts to “divide China,” – veiled reference to its efforts to “unify” with Taiwan – would be dealt with.
“We would never allow anyone or any force to invade and divide the sacred territory of our motherland,” he said.