Odds of military conflict between China, Japan increase as Xi calls for 'actual combat' training

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By Willy Lam,

The likelihood of an at least small-scale military conflict between China and Japan over the Diaoyu-Senkaku islands has increased dramatically.

The PLA plans exercises this year to prepare for actual war situations, according to the latest annual training directive. / AFP

Latest reports from Beijing say that General Secretary Xi Jinping, who is also commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has given orders to deploy more short- to medium-range missiles to coastal areas facing Japan.

Xi, who took over the chairmanship of the policy-setting Central Military Commission just two months ago from President Hu Jintao, has also reiterated the imperative of raising the PLA’s combat-readiness.

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