China's President Xi Jinping claps after his speech as he and other new Politburo Standing Committee members meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 25, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo)
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President Xi Jinping has issued a blunt call for China's military to be ready for war and unafraid to die defending the country, as geopolitical tensions mount in Asia.Xi's exhortation to the world's largest fighting force, parts of which were revealed only late Thursday, came during what state media characterised as a rare address by the Chinese leader to the country's entire military.As head of the Communist Party's Central Military Commission, Xi is commander-in-chief of China's more than 2-million-strong armed forces.Since taking office in 2012, Xi has pushed for a muscular China, including calls in October to develop a "world-class" Chinese army by 2050 .
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