Chinese president Xi Jinping told marines they need to be prepared for war during a tour of a military base in Guangdong earlier this week.
The comments come as tensions rise between China and Taiwan and just one week after China warned the US for sailing two Navy destroyers through the Taiwan Strait.
“Focus your minds and energy on preparing to go to war, and stay highly vigilant,” Xi told the troops according to the South China Morning Post.
“Marines have many different missions and the demands on you will vary,” he said. “As such [you] should base your training on [the need to] go into battle … and raise [your] training standards and combat ability.”
Last week the US destroyer John McCain sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands which are currently administered and militarized by China, prompting China to issue a warning to the United States to “halt its provocations”.
China has also been doing some provocations of its own, conducting frequent military exercises and air force missions which have Taiwan on constant alert.
Will China use the distraction and potential chaos following the US election to strike Taiwan while America is occupied with issues at home?
For more details, read the full story here at the South China Morning Post.