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China`s Hu urges Navy to prepare for combat

The defence ministry said the exercises did not target any particular country.

Beijing: Chinese President Hu Jintao urged the
country`s Navy on Tuesday to prepare for military combat and
advance naval modernisation as part of efforts to safeguard
world peace.

The Navy should "accelerate its transformation and
modernisation in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations
for military combat in order to make greater contributions to
safeguard national security and world peace," Hu said in a

According to a statement on the government`s website, Hu
was speaking to the nation`s powerful Central Military
Commission at a meeting in Beijing focused on military
armament and the latest developments in the Navy.

"Our work must closely encircle the main theme of national
defence and military building," Hu said, according to the

In a translation of Hu`s comments, the official Xinhua
news agency quoted the president as saying China`s Navy should
"make extended preparations for warfare," strengthening the
term "junshi douzheng" that can be also translated as
"military combat" or "military struggle."

Hu`s comments come after China said late last month it
would conduct naval exercises in the Pacific Ocean, following
a major diplomatic campaign by President Barack Obama to
assert the United States as a Pacific power.

The defence ministry said the exercises did not target any
particular country, but the announcement comes against a
background of growing tensions over maritime disputes in the
Asia-Pacific region.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last month also warned against
interference by "external forces" in regional territorial
disputes including in the South China Sea, a strategic and
resource-rich area where several nations have overlapping

China claims all of the maritime area, as does Taiwan,
while four Southeast Asian countries declare ownership of
parts of it, with Vietnam and the Philippines accusing Chinese
forces of increasing aggression there.


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