China

Chinese Army conducts high-altitude drills amid border tensions with India

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Several thousand soldiers took just a few hours to maneuver from Central China’s Hubei Province to northwestern, high-altitude region amid China-India border tensions.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has organized a large-scale maneuver operation featuring thousands of paratroopers plus armored vehicles to the country’s high-altitude northwestern region over a long distance from Central China’s Hubei Province amid border tensions between China and India.

Chinese Media reported that the entire process was completed in just a few hours, demonstrating China’s capability of quickly reinforcing border defenses when necessary, experts said on Sunday.

Using civilian airlines, logistical transportation channels and railways, several thousand paratroopers under a PLA Air Force airborne brigade recently maneuvered from Hubei to an undisclosed location in the plateaus of northwestern China thousands of kilometers away, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

Hubei is the province hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak in China earlier this year, but it has now fully recovered and troops there are ready to conduct exercises and prepare for combat, CCTV said.

These developments come in the backdrop of the continuing standoff between the militaries of India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Talks at a military level have resulted in an agreement with both looking to resolve the situation peacefully, as per Indian news channel NDTV.

The talks were requested by India and were held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Saturday.

Earlier, Indian army troops were flown to eastern Ladakh to strengthen security along the disputed Line of Actual Control, amid reports that Chinese soldiers have transgressed 3-5 km into territory claimed by India near the Pangong Lake, sources in the security establishment told The Telegraph.

“Troops are being flown to eastern Ladakh and deployed at the three standoff locations,” an Intelligence Bureau official was quoted as saying.

As field-level talks to lower tensions along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh had been inconclusive, the Indian Army had increased its presence in Uttarakhand.

Chinese President Xi Jinping directed China’s armed forces to strengthen training of troops and to be ready for war amid coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic’s visible impact on the world’s most populous country’s national security.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi too held a meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs with a focus on bolstering India’s military preparedness to deal with external security challenges, government sources said.

Satellite images show massive construction activity at a high altitude Chinese air base, located just 200 kilometres away from the Pangong Lake, the site of the skirmish between forces of India and China on May 5 and May 6.

Earlier, reports said that the Chinese Army in a recent stand-off with the Indian forces in the Pangosg Tso lake area in Eastern Ladakh sector used sticks, clubs with barbed wires and stones to target Indian security forces’ soldiers there.

According to sources, quoted by News Agency ANI, “the behaviour of the Chinese has been like the Pakistan-backed stone-pelters who use stones and sticks to target Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley.”

“The Chinese troops came armed with sticks, clubs with barbed wires and stones in an area near the Pangong Tso lake during a face-off with Indian troops there,” sources told ANI.

There are close to 10,000 soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Indian territory, reports have claimed.

The report said that dialogue is frozen, with the Chinese rebuffing Indian calls for flag meetings to resolve the situation.

Earlier, reports claimed that the Chinese troops have reportedly “come about three kilometres inside Indian territory” South East of the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

China and India have been locked in a standoff with each other in eastern Ladakh, where the deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent fist-fight on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to “disengage” following a meeting at the level of local commanders.

In the midst of the escalating tension, Army Chief General MM Naravane paid a quiet visit to the headquarters of 14 Corps in Leh on May 22 and reviewed with the top commanders the overall security scenario in the region including in the disputed areas along the LAC — the de-facto border between India and China.

China has also decided to evacuate its citizens in India.

 

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