Beijing: Chinese leader Xi Jinping signed new rules governing "non-war" military operations which will allow the Chinese military to undertake "special military operations" abroad.
The latest move from Xi comes weeks after Beijing signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, prompting concerns that Beijing may be gearing up to invade the democratic island of Taiwan under the guise of a "special operation" not classified as war, reported Investigative Journalism Reportika (IJ Reprtika).
Xi signed an order which takes effect June 15, state media reported, without printing the order in full.
"It mainly systematically regulates basic principles, organization and command, types of operations, operational support, and political work, and their implementation by the troops," state news agency Xinhua said in a brief report on Monday.
Among the six-chapter document's stated aims are "maintaining national sovereignty ... regional stability and regulating the organization and implementation of non-war military operations," it said. The report came after Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for a diplomatic solution to the threat of military action in the Taiwan Strait, reported IJ Reportika.
Speaking via video link at the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore, Zelenskyy used Ukraine as an example, calling on the world to "always support any preventive action," and called for diplomatic solutions to prevent war.
Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida warned on Friday that "Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow."
The war in Ukraine featured prominently during sessions at the Shangri-La Dialogue.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told participants that the invasion of Ukraine was "indefensible," and "a preview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil."
China's Defense Minister Wei Fenghe delivered scathing remarks about the US Indo-Pacific strategy in a speech in Singapore on Sunday, calling it an attempt to form a clique to contain China. In his speech on "China's vision for regional order" at the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum, he hit back at Austin's remarks a day earlier, saying China firmly rejects America's accusations and threats.
Wei said the Indo-Pacific strategy was "an attempt to build an exclusive small group to hijack countries in our region" to target one specific country - China.
While Taiwan has never been governed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), nor formed part of the People's Republic of China, and its 23 million people have no wish to give up their sovereignty or democratic way of life, Beijing insists the island is part of its territory. —ANI