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Chinese Troops conduct maneuvers in high-altitude NW China amid border tensions with India

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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, Global Times, an organ of the Chinese Community Party reported Sunday (June7).

The Global Times report came a day after the Chinese and Indian high-level military talks failed to de-escalate the standoff in Ladakh where thousands of Chinese troops were encamped since early last month.

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. Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, led the Indian delegation to the meeting while Chinese side was represented by Major General Liu Lin, Commander of the South Xinjiang military region. While the outcome was not known, the talks were not believed to lead to any major breakthrough but only set the stage for further talks, The Hindu reported.

Large-scale maneuver

The large-scale maneuver operation was completed in just a few hours, demonstrating China's capability of quickly reinforcing border defenses when necessary, the Global Times quoted Chinese experts as saying.

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 pointed out.

Several hundred pieces of military equipment including armored vehicles and huge batches of supplies were also involved in the operation, which ended successfully in just a few hours.

"This maneuver mission saw significant breakthroughs not only in the scale of mobilized troops but also means of transportation. [Using civilian transportation] substantially expanded our means of transporting forces and increased efficiency in maneuvering an entire organization of troops," Major Colonel Mao Lei, head of the training department at the airborne brigade, said on CCTV.

A PLA veteran with experience in maneuvering from inland to high-altitude regions of China for missions told the Global Times Sunday that the scale and short time it took to finish the mobilization showed the PLA has the capability to project its power anywhere in China very quickly and send reinforcements to remote locations with harsh environments, including high elevation.

This applies not only to paratroopers, who tend to be highly mobile, but also ground forces and warplanes, the veteran said, noting that they can form a multidimensional force in an integrated combat system.

China extends border dispute from Ladakh to Uttarakhand

As China-India standoff continued in Ladakh, China has extended the dispute to Uttarakhand, the Central Sector of 3488 km long Line of Actual Control which is divided into three sectors viz Eastern, Central and Western sector.

According to Eurasia Times, the Indian Army has raised its presence in Uttarakhand following reports that Chinese additional soldiers were stationed in the Guldong sector. The enhanced Chinese presence was reported to have taken place over the last few days, following which the Indian Army strengthened a brigade located in the area with additional units.

The Chinese military has raised objections on a structure near the borders in Lipulekh area. Nepal had earlier objected to the new road to Lipulekh Pass, Indian Express said adding:

On the contrary the Chinese side has built roads coming as near as about two hundred meters to the Lipulekh Pass where they have placed their communication and surveillance equipment.

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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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