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China conducts live fire drills amid Sikkim standoff

Beijing: China’s military has conducted live-fire exercises in Tibet amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted live-fire exercises in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Friday, without mentioning 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, Global Times reported on 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.

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. 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.

PTI