Chinese children speaking to Al Jazeera said their dream job was to become soldiers and defend their country. In an eerie interview, the young students said that they had been taught at school and at home “to protect my family and country”. This comes as President Xi Jinping strengthened his grip on the country, as a closed-door meeting yesterday paved the way for him to claim a third five-year term.
Senior party officials at a secretive meeting in Beijing elevated Mr Xi to a status equal to Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Ms Wang, a headteacher at the Yue Fei material arts school, said that “patriotism is a compulsory subject in our school”.
She added: “Everyone should love their own country, right? How can we not be patriotic?
“Most of our students are to become soldiers to defend their country when they grow up.
“Their dream is to defend their country.”
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One young student at the school said: “Just like Yue Fei, I will defend my family and my country.
“Because you need a country to have a home and you must defend your country to have your home.”
Another young child said: “My father told me since I was little to protect my family and country
“Yue Fei defended his family and his country.”
In recent months, China has increased acts of aggression towards Taiwan, including near-daily incursions of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.
The US, which has strong ties to Taiwan, has increased its military presence in the region in response.
On Thursday, in a video message to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, President Xi urged fellow Asian nations to resist forming “small circles on geopolitical grounds”.
This was seen as a clear warning against efforts by President Biden to shore up alliances of countries to counter China.
He said: “The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the antagonism and division of the Cold War era.”
Earlier this week, stunning satellite images revealed that China appears to have built full-scale mock-ups of US warships in a desert in the country’s north-western Xinjiang region.
USNI News, a site specialising in the US Navy, said the structures appeared to be targets built by the military.