China calls for tougher frontier defenses
Iran Press TV
Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:32AM GMT
Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country must strengthen its land and sea frontier defenses, amid territorial disputes over a series of islands with neighbors.
Xi made the announcements during a "national meeting" on Friday.
The Chinese president said that the country's lack of strength in the past had shaped the current situation and allowed others to bully Beijing.
China and a number of its neighboring countries are in a dispute over a series of islands controlled by Japan under the name Senkakus, but claimed by China as the Diaoyus.
"Xi urged China's frontier defenders to meticulously monitor over and control the frontier and to mount actions to defend the country's maritime right, while implementing an overall national security outlook," a report by Xinhua news agency said.
Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The waters are believed to sit atop vast reserves of oil and gas.
"Foreign aggressors broke China's land and sea defense for hundreds of times, plunging the Chinese nation into the abysm of calamity," Xi said.
Beijing has been in conflict with Japan since Tokyo nationalized some of the islands in 2012.
In November 2013, China declared an air defense zone with military over-flights, covering the islands.
In defiance of Beijing's move, Japan and South Korea flew military aircraft over the zone. The United States also sent two unarmed bombers into the airspace. None of the aircraft informed Beijing.
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