After months of intensified and increasingly ambitious drills to project power, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, speaking ahead of Tuesday's 96th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), told China's armed forces to speed up modernization.

In his address, Xi said the military must broaden its combat capability and readiness, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

"We need to push for new equipment and new forces to accelerate forming combat capabilities and integrate into the combat system," Xi told the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force's western theater command during a visit last Wednesday, Xinhua reported Sunday.