Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly signed a legal order that operationalizes a trial of “military operations” beyond Chinese borders that took effect last June 15. Xi signed this order amid heightened tensions with Taiwan as it continues its coercive and aggressive territorial claims in the region. Previously, China claimed that the Taiwanese Strait belonged to China, much to the anger of Taiwan.

According to a report by state-sponsored news outlet the Global Times, Xi and the Central Military Commission had signed an order to have trials on “military operations other than war.” The order claims to provide the legal basis necessary for Chinese troops to enact military-led operations with regard to disaster relief and humanitarian aid. However, the order also provides the legal basis for the Chinese military to carry out an escort, peacekeeping, development interests assistance, and security-related activities to “safeguard China’s national sovereignty.”

During the trials, the Chinese Armed Forces will carry out methods to ensure that their military forces are standardized and prepared to implement military operations unrelated to war. These activities aim to develop regional stability, prevent risks, handle emergencies, and “world peace.”

These legal changes and updates in operational capacity were aimed at preventing the spillover effects of “regional instabilities” from affecting China. One concrete example they stated was that they could secure important transport routes for vital materials like oil and safeguard their investments overseas.