Chinese leader Xi Jinping has instructed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be prepared for war, and they may need to act “at any second.”

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Tuesday, Jan. 5, that Xi has told the troops to maintain “full combat readiness.”

In September, Xi planned to purge leaders in the military, after the poor performance against Indian troops on the border. They suffered a humiliating defeat after Indian troops inflicted twice as much damage to Chinese soldiers as they themselves incurred.

State news agency Xinhua reported the orders are a part of an effort to tighten the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control of the nation’s military in preparation for future conflicts, as reported by Breitbart:

Upholding the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces and focusing on combat capabilities, the regulations stipulated the guiding principles, leadership, responsibilities, and structures of the committees in detail. At the same time, it sets requirements for its members.

The regulations will enhance Party organizations’ role in the armed forces and help with the Party’s goal of strengthening the military in the new era and building world-class armed forces.

These orders come as China attempts to upgrade its military capabilities, especially after the recent spats with other countries over territorial claims.

The humiliating loss to India, and increasing tension with China’s other neighbors, including Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan, is undoubtedly a factor in Xi’s new push.

The fighting on the Indian border highlighted just how unprepared China is for armed combat; something Xi is trying to improve.

In December, Xi replaced Gen. Zhao Zongqi as head of the PLA Western Theater Command, blaming him for the defeat on the Indian border.

Gen. Zhang Xudong, an army officer with no experience on China’s western border, is his replacement as the new head of Western Theater Command.

Military commentator Song Zhongping told the SCMP that “China is indeed facing a great risk of war, which has been seriously implied in this order.”