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.
In announcing the news, President Xi Jinping described it as a major step in building strong armed forces for the country.
Speaking with military officers, he said the reshuffle would be crucial to guarding China's sovereignty and development interests and should ensure "combat readiness”, according to state news agency Xinhua.
News of the reshuffle comes amid escalating tensions over North Korea's missile testing. In the past week, Pyongyang has defied calls to abandon further tests and held a major military parade as well as had a failed missile launch.
Meanwhile the US has refused to back down but was exposed in a blunder after the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson was supposedly sent to the region but was actually pictured about 5000km away in the Indian Ocean over the weekend.
On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the situation was extremely sensitive and aggravation should be avoided after US Vice President Mike Pence boasted in Japan that "the sword stands ready” to deal with the North Korean problem.
Mr Lu said if war started it would soon be 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,” he said.
He also criticised North Korea for its threats to continue nuclear missile tests every week.
"China is very concerned about this new development.”
Meanwhile, video footage played during a military celebration in Pyongyang over the weekend has emerged, showing North Korean missiles destroying an American city.
The video depicts rockets streaming across the ocean before exploding when they reach land. It also shows a US flag in flames and rows of white crosses in a cemetery, said the state mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency.