China holds military drill near Arunachal, says enemy aircraft the target

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

The military exercise was held in the southern part of Tibet Autonomous Region, close to the middle and lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo river.

China and India have been engaged in the standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction since last month after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road.

The brigade that conducted the drills was from the PLA's Tibet Military Command.

The video of military drill was released by PLA.

Broadcasting the drill on CCTV was also likely created to keep the public happy, he said.

According to the CCTV report, the brigade has always been stationed around the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River and is responsible for frontline combat missions. Brahmaputra flows into India from Arunachal Pradesh border. "The PLA wanted to demonstrate it could easily overpower its Indian counterparts", it quoted Beijing-based military commentator Zhou Chenming as saying.

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"India should not regard the existing situation as the same as or even similar to the previous two stand-offs in 2013 and 2014 near Ladakh, a disputed area between China, Pakistan and India in southeastern Kashmir". Another drill involved the use of anti-tank grenades and missiles. The Chinese state media said that the drill was held to practice quick movement of troops and destroy enemy aircraft.

Separately, Tibet's mobile communication agency conducted a drill on July 10 in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, where members practiced setting up a temporary mobile network to secure communications in an emergency, the Global Times reported. It began on June 18, after Beijing said New Delhi had violated border agreements after Indian troops allegedly entered Doklam and stopped the Chinese Army from constructing a road.

Xiao Ning, editor-in-chief of Weapon magazine, said the new light tank features strong firepower, advanced armour and good mobility, so it is suitable for deployment on plateaus.

This could be believed as an indirect message to the Indian government and its military as China has been blaming India for the standoff and has asked India to withdraw its troops from Sikkim border for peaceful diplomatic talks between two countries.

China has time and again reiterated its demand for "unconditional" withdrawal of Indian troops from Dokalam to resolve the weeks-long face-off.

The current stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops is considered the longest in nearly three decades.

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