The general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, on Tuesday, oct. 13,  ordered the country’s armed forces to put “all their mind and energy into preparing for war,” according to the Chinese state agency Xinhua News.

During a visit to a base of the People’s Liberation Army marine corps in Guangdong Province, Xi urged the troops to “maintain a state of maximum alert,” calling for them to be “absolutely loyal” and “absolutely reliable.

As reported by Newsweek, Xi ordered a restructuring of the marines in 2017 as part of a reorganization of the national defense and armed forces. For the Chinese leader, the troops are the “elite force” for amphibious operations. 

During his visit to the military base located in the coastal city of Chaozhou, he spoke to senior navy officials as part of his plans to deliver a speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

After conducting the navy briefing, Xi emphasized the role of the Chinese marine corps. Marines should focus their minds and energy on preparing for war while maintaining a “state of high alert” Xi said.

Serious tensions between Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) remain, and in recent months military exercises near the island have increased to the point that Chinese fighter planes have crossed the Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone.

China’s rhetoric threatening conflict with Taiwan appears i statements by the CCP’s newspaper, the Global Times, when the editor-in-chief recently said, “The continued demonstration of military force is the only answer to stability across the strait.”

During the commemoration of National Taiwan Day, on Oct. 10, the CCP carried out a large-scale military invasion exercise preparing for the day Taiwan reunites with the rest of China, even if that happens by force.

As the Daily Caller pointed out, in August the United States and Taiwan reached a 10-year arms deal worth $62 billion, a move that pushed relations between the island and its hostile neighbor to an even more critical point.

The Trump administration, on Tuesday Oct. 12,  again announced the sale of advanced military equipment to Taiwan including MQ-9 drones and a coastal defense missile system. 

The negotiations between the two democratic nations prompted an immediate response from the Chinese Communist Party, which through Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned the deal, threatening Washington with a “legitimate and necessary reaction.”

As more agreements are concluded between the island and the United States, the CCP’s aggressive rhetoric regarding Taiwanese independence has become more persistent.