China has pledged to build an "indestructible combat force" in a major military reshuffle of 84 units at a time of huge global tension over North Korea.

President Xi Jinping announced the news on Tuesday which he said was a major step in building strong armed forces for the country, according to

Speaking with military officers, he said the reshuffle will be crucial to guarding China's sovereignty and development interests and should ensure "combat readiness," according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

News of the reshuffle comes amid escalating tensions over North Korea's missile testing.


In the last week, the rogue state has defied calls to abandon further tests and held a major militar parade, including a failed missile launch.

Meanwhile the US has refused to back down but was exposed in a blunder after the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which was supposedly sent to the region, was actually pictured in the Indian Ocean - around 5000km away over the weekend.

On Wednesday, China stopped short of criticising the US but said such actions compromised peace in the region.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the situation was extremely sensitive and aggravation should be avoided. he also wanted that if a war did start it would quickly get out of control.

"We have said again and again all parties need to work together to de-escalate the tension instead of being provocative because provocation cannot achieve the goals."

"China is very concerned about this new development."

Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea that the "sword stands ready" and the US response should not be tested. He said the Trump administration would "work diligently" with allies but "as you all know, readiness is the key".

"The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready."


China is regarded as a major influence on North Korea and the US has sought its support in influencing the rogue state.

However President Trump has also repeatedly warned he would "solve" North Korea if China decided not to help.

China has asked for a return to negotiations on the Korean peninsula to bring about a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also said the country is "seriously concerned" about recent nuclear testing.

"China is committed to denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability there, and resolving problems through dialogue and consultation. China's stance on this is unswerving," Lu said.