Power Play

Amid growing uncertainty, PLA to step up pace of revamp

The term ‘bei zhan’, or prepare for war, has found its way into China’s five-year development blueprints as the Chinese leadership responds to an increasingly hostile external environment.

Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army march outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept 8, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

China's Fifth Plenum meeting of its communist elite ended as expected last month - after four days of secret meetings in the Chinese capital, out came a communique packed with socialist jargon devoted mainly to the outlines of the country's future development priorities.

But buried also in the 6,000-plus character read-out were the two Chinese characters "bei zhan", or prepare for war.

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