China’s top Communist Party and military officials have held a meeting to review security and development strategies in western China, including regions bordering India.
Xu Qiliang, a senior PLA General and Vice Chairman of the Party’s powerful Central Military Commission, which is the top military body and is headed by President Xi Jinping, told the meeting the military should take on a more prominent role in developing western regions.
At the meeting, which took place in Beijing on Thursday, General Xu “ordered the military to make utmost efforts to maintain border security”, according to a brief report by the official Xinhua news agency.
General Xu described the “development and stability” of western regions as being “of strategic importance to national security and development”.
He also called on the PLA “to be fully aware that helping develop the west boosts the military’s capacity to carry out diversified tasks”.
The meeting takes place amid on-going tensions with India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western section of the border.
General Xu also stressed the need to “enhance solidarity between the military, local governments and the public” and “to uphold ethnic solidarity”, in an apparent reference to recent unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang.