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Amid Ladakh Standoff: China deploys robot army on Indian border

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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China is deploying machinegun-carrying robots to its western desert regions amid a standoff with India because troops are struggling with the high-altitude conditions, Indian media has reported.

Dozens of unmanned vehicles capable of carrying both weapons and supplies are being sent to Tibet, Indian media reports, with the majority deployed in border regions where Chinese troops are locked into a standoff with Indian soldiers.

Vehicles include the Sharp Claw, which is mounted with a light machinegun and can be operated wirelessly, and the Mule-200, which is designed as an unmanned supply vehicle but can also be fitted with weapons.

Thousands of PLA soldiers are unable to cope with Aksai Chin's freezing cold and low oxygen. Many Chinese soldiers have died in this icy environment and China has also had to change its commander three times in this area. When Chinese soldiers are failing, China deploys its killer robot army to counter Indian soldiers. These robots are equipped with machine guns and are patrolling in the high-altitude areas of Tibet, according to Hindustan News.

According to media reports, Beijing has sent 88 Sharp Claws to Tibet, which borders India high in the Himalayas, of which 38 are deployed to the border region, Times News Now has claimed.

In addition to the unmanned vehicles, China has also bolstered its forces with 70 VP-22 armored troop transports, 47 of which are in border zones.

Another 150 Lynx all-terrain vehicles have also been sent to the border.

The Lynx is hugely versatile, and can be used to transport small numbers of troops or mounted with various weapon systems including howitzers, heavy machine guns, mortars or missile launchers.

Daily Mail

Beijing deployed the vehicles after state media previously reported that soldiers had been fitted with exoskeleton suits to help them cope with carrying supplies at punishing altitudes, according to the Daily Mail.

Soldiers were given carbon-fibre exoskeletons to relieve the pressure on their legs and ankles while carrying heavy equipment and supplies 16,000 ft above sea level.

Troops had been struggling because a lack of oxygen at that altitude makes loads feel heavier while soldiers also tire more easily.

'This kind of suit is particularly helpful at high altitudes,' a military expert told the Global Times, in December last year.

The region, which is exceedingly arid, remote, and mainly inhospitable, has little practical use beyond a few commerce routes that crisscross its deserts, but it carries symbolic significance for both parties eager to demonstrate supremacy.

Tensions rose in 2020 as Chinese and Indian troops engaged in hand-to-hand combat, with many dead in clashes fought with melee weapons such as nail-studded clubs.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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