Amid the on-going standoff between India and China at Doklam on the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction, the Chinese army has conducted live-fire exercises in Tibet.
The state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Friday that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted live-fire exercises in Tibet. It did not mention the exact timing of the drills.
The brigade that conducted the drills was from the PLA’s Tibet Military Command and is one of China’s two plateau mountain brigades, the Global Times reported Monday. The PLA Tibet command guards the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of the India-China border along several sections connecting the mountainous Tibetan region.
According to the CCTV report, the brigade has long been stationed around the middle and lower reaches of the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Zangbo in Chinese) River which flows into India and Bangladesh and is responsible for frontline combat missions.
The live-fire drills included the quick delivery of troops and different military units working together on joint attacks. Reports said the video posted online showed soldiers using anti-tank grenades and missiles against bunkers and howitzers for artillery coverage.
The video also showed radar units identifying enemy aircraft and soldiers using anti-aircraft artillery to destroy targets. During the exercise, the Chinese soldiers tested new equipment including tanks, the official Xinhua news agency had said.
The drills lasted 11 hours.
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 with several modern weapon systems including a new light battle tank manufactured by China.
China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalm area in the Sikkim sector, where Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers on June 16. China has been demanding an immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Doklam plateau.
Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.