Beijing: China is facing more complex and difficult security concerns, President Xi Jinping has said, as he warned citizens to prepare for “worst-case and extreme scenarios,” amid deepening tensions with the United States and the European Union.

Xi, who presided over a meeting of the National Security Commission on Tuesday, said the complexity and severity of national security problems faced by the country increased dramatically, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“The national security front must build up strategic self-confidence, have enough confidence to secure victory, and be keenly aware of its own strengths and advantages,” he said.

The report said that it was stressed at the meeting that “we must be prepared for worst-case and extreme scenarios, and be ready to withstand the major test of high winds, choppy waters, and even dangerous storms”.

“More efforts must be made to modernise our national security system and capacity, and be prepared for actual combat and in dealing with practical problems,” it said.

Documents including “guidelines on speeding up the building of risk monitoring and early warning system for national security” and “guidelines on strengthening extensive public education about national security” were deliberated and adopted at the meeting.

Xi, 69, has been placing more emphasis on ramping up security and increasing the combat levels of the troops ever since he was re-elected as head of the ruling Communist Party of China for an unprecedented third time last year.

He is the only leader after the party found Mao Zedong to continue in power for more than two five-year terms.

This is not the first time that Xi highlighted the security situation faced by China.

In March, he accused Washington of leading Western suppression against China.

In recent times, Xi has ramped up the security rhetoric as China is increasingly pitted against the US on numerous fronts, including in Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Washington has also sanctioned numerous Chinese tech firms on security concerns, which Beijing said was aimed at stifling its growth.

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The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said earlier this month that China-EU relations would be “critically affected” if Beijing did not press Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.

President Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have a close relationship.

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