Beijing, May 26: Chinese premier Xi Jinping, during the second day of country's plenary parliamentary session, sounded hawkish as he clearly called for battle preparedness in his address to the armed forces. The President said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) must scale up for war-like preparations and make themselves ready for "worst-case scenario" amid the COVID-19 pandemic. PM Modi Meets NSA Ajit Doval, CDS Bipin Rawat, Three Service Chiefs Amid India-China Face-Off Along LAC in Ladakh.

Xi's remarks comes in the aftermath of escalating tensions with the United States and a border row which has erupted with neighbouring India. The country is also facing the global heat as a 62-nation coalition is seeking an independent probe into the origin of coronavirus in China.

The President called upon the armed forces to "promptly and effectively deal" with all sorts of complex situations and resolutely safeguard "national sovereignty, security" and development interests, news agency Xinhua reported.

Notably, the PLA since the onset of May is involved in a face-off with the Indian Army in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control -- the 3,488-km boundary line between India and China. Troopers of either sides were involved in fist fights and other forms of non-combat physical altercations on a couple of occasions.

The Indian side has resorted to field-level talks but the tensions are yet to de-escalate. Additional troopers have been deployed along the strategic areas of LAC by both the sides as they keep a close watch on each other's military movement.

China is also facing heat from the US for its mistreatment of minority Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province and its alleged plans to takeover and reunite Taiwan using "force". The Hong Kong criminal extradition bill has also drawn flak from the US and allies, which have called it a death knell for the region's autonomy.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 26, 2020 10:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website