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China's Xi urges preparedness for military combat amid coronavirus epidemic - state TV

FILE PHOTO: A giant screen displays news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping attending the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC), in Beijing, China May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) - 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.

Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Gareth Jones