China President Xi Jinping on Monday vowed to build China’s military into a ‘Great Wall of steel’ to protect the its sovereignty and developmental interests as he sought a bigger role for Beijing in global affairs, days after brokering a Saudi Arabia-Iran detente, regarded as a diplomatic coup.
Speaking for the first time since the rubber-stamp Parliament last week approved his precedent-breaking third term as head of state, Xi called on the nation to uphold the leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) headed by him.
“This is my third time assuming the lofty office of president,” Xi, 69, said at the closing ceremony of China’s national legislature, adding that “the trust of the people is the biggest driving force for me to move forward, and it is also a heavy responsibility on my shoulders”.
He pledged that he would ‘faithfully perform the duties entrusted by the Constitution’ and would ‘never let down the great trust’ of all Chinese people.
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