10:32 pm - Wednesday December 13, 2017

China may have quietly moved tonnes of war gear into northern Tibet, claims report

581 Viewed Pallavi Kumar Comments Off on China may have quietly moved tonnes of war gear into northern Tibet, claims report

may have quietly moved tonnes of military gear while it was conducting military exercises in the remote mountainous Tibet region, the PLA Daily, the official mouthpiece of Chinese military, has claimed.

The PLA had conducted 11-hour long live-fire exercises at an altitude of 5,000 meters on the plateau in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region in a likely warning to India, which locked in a tense standoff in the Doklam area in Sikkim sector.

The haul, according to the PLA Daily, was transported to a region south of the Kunlun Mountains in northern Tibet by the Western Theatre Command. This unit oversees the restive regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, and handles border issues with India.

Though the deployment happened in northern Tibet, it is a cause for concern, considering the fact that it won’t take much time for Chinese troops to move to their side of Nathu La in Sikkim.
The report claimed the hardware was moved simultaneously by rail and road last month.

China has been testing scenarios such as rapid deployment, multi-unit joint strike and anti-aircraft defence in the region. The PLA Daily, however, did not say if the movement of the military equipment was to support the exercise or for other reasons.Shanghai-based military commentator Ni Lexiong, in an interview to the South China Morning Post, suggested it was most likely related to the stand-off and could have been designed to bring India to the negotiating table.

“Diplomatic talks must be backed by military preparation,” he was quoted as saying. According to some experts, the scale of equipment movement underscores China’s capability of rapid deployment in the western borders.

 

What is PLA up to?
The PLA Tibet command guards the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of the India-China border along several sections connecting the mountainous Tibetan region.

Analysts believe that the drill are an apparent attempt by the military to reassure the Chinese public about the combat readiness of its troops.

“Showing an opponent that you are combat ready is more likely to prevent an actual battle,” Wang Dehua, South Asia studies expert at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said. .. Broadcasting the drill on CCTV was also likely designed to keep the public happy, he said.

“It could also reassure the Chinese people that a strong PLA force is there, capable and determined to defend Chinese territory,” Wang told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

Can India take them on?
India has nearly two lakh troops stationed in the areas it disputes with China, outnumbering its neighbour’s forces by as much as 15 or 20 to one. Nonetheless, China has a clear advantage in terms of speed of movement, firepower, and logistics, according to experts.

“[By staging] a small-scale drill, China wants to control the problem and lower the risk of shots being fired,” he said.

The drills included the quick deployment of troops and different military units working together on joint attacks.Video posted online showed soldiers using anti-tank grenades and missiles against bunkers and howitzers for artillery coverage. They also tested radar units identifying enemy aircraft and soldiers using anti-aircraft artillery to destroy targets. Separately, Tibet’s mobile communication agency conducted a drill on July 10 in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, where members of the agency practiced setting up a temporary mobile network to secure communications in an emergency.

Earlier reports said the PLA units exercised in Tibet with several modern weapon systems including a new light battle tank being manufactured by China.

 

 

 

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