Chinese President Xi Jinping instructed the Chinese military to advance war planning and combat preparedness in a tour of the Eastern Theater Command’s headquarters Thursday as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen touched down in Beijing, state media reported.

Xi “stressed efforts to break new ground for theater command development and war preparedness” after inspecting headquarters for the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) division responsible for potential operations in Taiwan and the East China Sea, according to state-run Xinhua.

China’s security situation has become more uncertain as the world enters a new era of instability, he said, requiring the Chinese military to double down on training for war even as U.S. officials in recent weeks have made repeated attempts to repair ties and minimize what Beijing sees as its largest geopolitical threat.

“As the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation, China’s security situation is facing rising instability and uncertainty,” according to the publication.

The president, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for “vigilance against potential dangers” and “all-out efforts” to fulfill the duties associated with the Eastern Theater Command’s area of responsibility.


Xi also called for “enhancing the planning of war and combat,” strengthening command and control and increasing training under simulated combat conditions “to raise the forces’ capabilities to fight and win,” according to Xinhua.

In April, Xi visited the Southern Theater Command headquarters, which oversees operations in the South China Sea where many disputed territories lie and U.S. Navy ships perform regular transits.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have burned hotter in recent years over China’s unfair trade practices and claim to sovereignty over democratically-governed Taiwan.

Yellen, who plans to meet with China’s Premier Li Qiang during her four-day tour of China, will stress U.S. opposition to complete economic separation from China while pushing back on China’s overreaching espionage law, according to Reuters.

“We seek a healthy economic competition that benefits American workers and firms and to collaborate on global challenges,” Yellen wrote on Twitter.

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