China’s first defense white paper warns of “thick storms” and “stormy seas”

Your Monday Briefing: China’s Leader Warns of ‘Stormy Seas’ and the ‘Raging Sea’ in a New Era

This week, the United States and China began talks aimed at creating a diplomatic framework for resolving a months-long standoff between their militaries over contested islands in the South China Sea, in the first of two rounds since March.

It’s believed that the talks could produce a framework for greater Chinese naval access to the disputed territory, as well as a number of other related agreements such as an arms control agreement and an overall reduction in tension between Beijing and Washington.

Meanwhile, the leader of China’s new military, General Fang Fenghui, warned of “thick storms” and “stormy seas” in a new era as he presented the nation’s first defense white paper. That white paper, which was released this week, focuses on the country’s vision for how to use the country’s growing defense power to maintain order among those nations and regions in its region.

It comes as a new wave of Chinese military leaders — including Admiral Sun Jianguo, General Fang and General Liu Huaqing — are taking the helm of the People’s Liberation Army — the world’s largest conventional force — the day after another China expert, former Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs Chen Weihua, was sworn in as the top military bureaucrat.

In addition, China’s new military is expected to be bolstered by the creation of an elite corps of around 1,000 elite cadets designed to groom young officers and to increase the country’s military’s operational capabilities, as well as its strategic edge over other countries.

But the white paper also addresses potential military challenges in the region, including the role of its neighbors and the risks the South China Sea’s disputes pose for the rest of the world.

In his first major speech since becoming China’s defense chief, General Fang announced that the Chinese military has “become strong, resolute and proactive in the development and refinement of comprehensive forces that can be flexibly and strategically deployed to respond to any situation.” He went on to say that the military has already taken a number of steps to ensure that its forces

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