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President Xi rides in a military vehicle in June 2017. Photo: Anthony Kwan / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping convened a military mobilization meeting on Wednesday — the first ever for the entire Chinese armed forces. PRC media reports showed Xi in battle dress addressing the troops, looking at a tank, and peering through the sights of an automatic weapon.

Quick take: Xi has undertaken the most ambitious reform of the military in decades, and in spite of resistance at the start, he looks to have largely won the political battles over those reforms.

Buildup continues: According to the South China Morning Post, China has started construction on its third aircraft carrier, and per Xinhua the military is outfitting a new 10,000 ton destroyer.

"The Chinese military should modernize its buildup and management and focus on becoming an elite fighting force that uses digital technologies, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday" per China Daily.

Threat level: In what may have been a warning to the U.S., the China Daily says that after the mobilization meeting Xi inspected a division that fought the U.S. in the Korean War. The paper reports:

  • Xi viewed pictures of the division's intense battle near the Kaechon region in the Korean Peninsula during the "War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea," aka the Korean War, from 1950 to 1953. He praised the soldiers who fought in it for their valor.
  • "Our military has always fought with great spirit, Xi said. In the past, we had more spirit than steel. Now we have plenty of equipment, so we need an even tougher and stronger spirit to wield it, he said."

Go deeper

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.

3 hours ago - World

Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

Nicolas Sarkozy, 2011. Photo: XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A court in Paris on Monday sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate, AP reports.

Driving the news: Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first president in France’s modern history to have gone on trial for corruption, per AP. He was charged with corruption and influence-peddling.