President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday China would step up its preparedness for armed combat and improve its ability to carry out military tasks as the coronavirus pandemic is having a profound impact on national security, state television reported.
China's performance in fighting the new coronavirus has shown the success of military reform, Xi was quoted as saying, adding that the armed forces should explore new ways of training amid the pandemic.
Xi, who chairs China's Central Military Commission, made the comments when attending a plenary meeting of the delegation of the People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police Force on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament.
Standoff between militaries of India & China at the LAC
His comments came in the backdrop of the continuing standoff between the militaries of India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Several areas along the LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have witnessed major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies recently, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of respective positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs. The nearly 3,500-km-long LAC is the de-facto border between the two countries.
The US-China military frictions were also on the rise with the US navy stepping its patrols in the disputed South China Sea as well as the Taiwan Straits. Washington and Beijing are also engaged in a war of words over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticised the attempts of some US politicians to blame China for the pandemic. The US, he said, was pushing ties with China to "the brink of a new Cold War".'