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China signs new rules on supervision of military equipment purchase contracts

President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission overseeing the armed forces, has continually pushed for new rules and regulations to assess, procure and test weaponry and equipment.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks by video with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Situation Room of the White House in Washington
President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Situation Room at the White House in Washington, March 18, 2022.
The White House / Handout via REUTERS
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BEIJING - China signed new rules on the supervision of military equipment purchase contracts on Saturday, the official Xinhua news agency said, part of long-term efforts by the country to modernize its military.

China aims to complete the modernisation of its armed forces by 2035 and turn the People's Liberation Army (PLA) into a world-class military by the middle of the century.

President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission overseeing the armed forces, has continually pushed for new rules and regulations to assess, procure and test weaponry and equipment.

The latest rules aim to improve efficiency in the supervision of military equipment purchase contracts and make sure good quality equipment is delivered to the army, Xinhua said, without giving specific details.

The rules will come into effect on March 20.

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The announcement came one day after Xi had a video call with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden during which they discussed the Ukraine war.

During the call, Biden warned China against supporting Russia's attack on Ukraine. Biden also said China, which has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine, makes its own decisions.

For decades, Russia has aided China in modernizing its military, supplying its neighbor with weapons and equipment from naval guns to transport aircraft. No weapons transfers have been made in the other direction, according to independent arms transfer data.

In October last year, Xi called for efforts to "break new ground" in military equipment and weapons development for the PLA.

China routinely carries out miliary exercises in the South China Sea, a large part of which it claims. It also sometimes deploys military aircraft into the air defense zone of self-governed Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.

On Friday, China sailed its aircraft carrier Shandong through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, a source previously told Reuters.

China also has a long-term border dispute with India.

China, which says it pursues a national defense policy, plans to spend 7.1% more on defense this year, outpacing last year's hike.

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(Reporting by Ryan Woo in Beijing and Zoey Zhang and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Christina Fincher)

Related Topics: CHINAJOE BIDEN
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