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China's party congress

Xi promotes 'aerospace clique' to counter U.S. as a defense power

More than 10 figures from military-industrial complex appointed to key roles

A Beijing exhibit seen Oct. 12 showcases China's achievements under President Xi Jinping. Advancements in military technology feature prominently. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

BEIJING -- As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to secure an unprecedented third term in power, he has placed more than 10 former officials from state-owned companies linked to defense into key party and state positions as part of a national effort to challenge the U.S. in the military and aerospace arenas.

In his report at the start of the Communist Party's national congress Sunday, Xi pledged to "boost the overall performance" of China's high-tech "innovation system," eyeing Beijing's policy of military-civil fusion combining technical advances from the private sector with defense technology.

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