China top cmdr. calls for military readiness for war with US

TEHRAN, Mar. 09 (MNA) – A senior Chinese military official has called for an increase in the military budget for a possible war with the United States.

China's top general General Xu Qilian has called for increased military spending to prepare for a war with the United States, Daily Mail reported.

Qilian, who is second in command of the country's armed forces after President Xi, said China needs to ready itself for the 'Thucydides Trap'.

The term refers to the inevitability of war when a new global power displaces an existing one.

Xu said, according to the South China Morning Post, 'In the face of the Thucydides Trap and border problems, the military must speed up increasing its capacity.

"We must make breakthroughs in combat methods and ability, and lay a sound foundation for military modernization", he said.

He believes China will soon overtake the US as an economic power, with its GDP more than 70 percent that of its rival, he said.

Xu made the comments on Friday in a discussion at the annual gathering of China's National People's Congress.

The Thucydides Trap is rarely openly discussed by high-ranking officials in China.

President Xi said in 2015 while on a visit to Seattle: 'There is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides Trap. 

'But should major countries time and again make the mistake of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.'

Xu's comments come amid concern in China about its relationship with the US under President Joe Biden.

Biden has said Beijing is Washington's most serious competitor', and his administration has indicated it will broadly continue the tough approach taken by Donald Trump. 

Defense ministry spokesman Wu Qia said some of the 6.8 percent of the increase to the military budget will be spent on trying to catch up with the US to 'fight and win' on the modern battlefield.

The rest of the money will be spent on training, weapons, and salaries for China's two million soldiers.  

RHM/PR

News Code 170874

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