Scale-Up Battle Preparedness: Xi To China’s Military Amid Tensions

Amid continuing tensions between the Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, 26 May, ordered the military to scale-up battle preparedness, visualising the worst-case scenarios, and asked them to effectively deal with complex situations and resolutely defend the country's sovereignty, PTI reported, citing state-run media.

He, however, did not mention any specific issues that posed a threat to the country.

The comments by the 66-year-old Chinese President were made during a meeting of the delegation of the People's Liberation (PLA) and People's Armed Police Forces (PAPF), while the annual session of the China's legislature – the National People's Congress – is underway.

Along with tensions with India, China’s relationship with the US has also been frayed with the two countries squabbling over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had reportedly criticised the attempts of some US politicians to blame China for the pandemic, saying the US was pushing ties with China to "the brink of a new Cold War".

Meanwhile, protests have also erupted in Hong Kong against China's planned national security law for the city.

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As for the India-China border tensions, troops from both sides have remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several areas in eastern Ladakh, with India said to have further increased its strength in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley, while China is said to have gathered as many as 5,000 soldiers on its side.

Multiple meetings have been held between the local commanders of both sides to defuse the tensions, but have not been able to resolve the stalemate.

The tensions had flared up when there were two instances of clashes between troops in eastern Ladakh and in the Nakula sector in Sikkim, wherein personnel from both sides were left injured.

(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times.)

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