China moves ammunition into Tibet region, close to border with India

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Beijing [China], July 19 (ANI): As Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a standoff in Doklam, PLA troops in June has moved "tens of thousands of tonnes" of military equipment, including army vehicles, and troops to a region south of the Kunlun Mountains in northern Tibet for military exercise using live ammunition. The hardware was moved simultaneously by road and rail by the western theatre command, which oversees the restive regions of Xinjiang and Tibet,and handles, among others, border issues with India, the reports said. "The vast haul was transported to a region south of the Kunlun mountains in northern Tibet by the western theatre command, which oversees the restive regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, and handles border issues with India," the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. "The PLA wanted to demonstrate it could easily overpower its Indian counterparts," said Beijing-based military commentator Zhou Chenming. The Chinese force that took part in the drill is stationed in the Linzhi region of eastern Tibet, close to the stand-off. It is one of only two Chinese plateau mountain brigades in Tibet, the report said. The show of strength was likely intended as a warning to India as China has been threatening India, saying that New Delhi is compelling Beijing to opt for a 'military way' to end the standoff in the Sikkim sector. China and India fought a border war in 1962, partly because India's then leader Jawaharlal Nehru took China's dovish stance as a green light for him to advance without retaliation, said Wang Dehua, South Asia studies experts at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. Criticising the continued standoff at the Doklam area for the third week, China reiterated that the crossing of Indian troops into Chinese territory along the border in Sikkim violated its promise to China. "By staging a small-scale drill, China wants to control the problem and lower the risk of shots being fired," he said. In comparison, India has nearly 200,000 troops stationed in the areas it disputes with China, outnumbering its neighbour's forces by as much as 15 or 20 to one, it said. Nonetheless, China has a clear advantage in terms of speed of movement, firepower, and logistics, Zhou said. "Showing an opponent that you are combat ready is more likely to prevent an actual battle," he said, adding that broadcasting the drill on CCTV was also likely designed to keep the public happy. "It could also reassure the Chinese people that a strong PLA force is there, capable and determined to defend Chinese territory," Wang said. (ANI)