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Xi urges preparedness for military combat amid coronavirus epidemic

Reuters and published by

Beijing (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping said today (26.5.2020) 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.

Meanwhile the commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong said in an interview posted today that forces stationed there would “resolutely” protect the country’s national security interests, a pointed reminder of Beijing’s ultimate power to enforce its rule over the semiautonomous territory, The New York Times reported.

The commander’s remarks came as Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, defended the central government’s plan to draft new national security laws to punish acts of dissent or subversion, even though the process sidestepped the territory’s own legislative process.

“Rights and freedoms are not absolute,” Mrs. Lam said at her regular weekly news conference in Hong Kong.

“If a minority of people, indeed a very small minority of people, are going to breach the law to organize and participate in terrorist activities to subvert the state power, then of course they have to be bounded by the needed legislation,” she said.

She added that the new legislation plan, submitted to the National People’s Congress in Beijing last week, had a “positive response” in Hong Kong and would have “the opposite effects of what overseas politicians have said,” bringing greater stability and confidence, not greater repression.


FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping walks past officials wearing face masks following the coronavirus disease outbreak as he arrives for the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins and published by

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