(TibetanReview.net, Dec29’21) – China is deploying machinegun-carrying robots to the western desert regions of occupied Tibet amid its ongoing standoff with India because its troops were struggling with the high-altitude conditions there, reported the dailymail.co.uk and other reports Dec 29. China is one of the world’s most aggressive countries in manufacturing automation, with its robot density being already on a par with that of the US, reported the scmp.com Dec 29, citing a recent international report.
Citing Indian media reports, the report said dozens of unmanned robotic vehicles capable of carrying both weapons and supplies were being sent to Tibet, with the majority being deployed in border regions where Chinese troops were locked in a standoff with Indian soldiers.
The vehicles were stated to include the Sharp Claw, which was mounted with a light machinegun and could be operated wirelessly, and the Mule-200, which was designed as an unmanned supply vehicle but could also be fitted with weapons.
Beijing was stated to have has sent 88 Sharp Claws to Tibet, with 38 of them deployed to the India-border region, India’s Times News Now has said. It has added that some 120 Mule-200s had also been sent to Tibet, with a majority of them deployed to the border area.
China is aiming to become an innovation hub for the global robotics industry by 2025, as it works to achieve breakthroughs in robotics components and widen the application of smart machines in more sectors, said China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Dec 29.
The report cited experts as saying the move was part of China’s broader push to cope with a graying population and leverage cutting-edge technologies to advance industrial upgrades.
The report noted that China had been the world’s largest market for industrial robots for eight consecutive years.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has said in a five-year plan released on Dec 28 that the operating income of China’s robotics industry was expected to grow at an average annual rate of 20% from 2021 to 2025.
Meanwhile, in a continuing bolstering of military assets to the India-border region, China was also stated to have deployed 70 VP-22 armoured troop transports – 47 of them in the India-border zones. Another 150 Lynx all-terrain vehicles were stated to have been also been sent to the same border zones.
The Lynx is stated to be hugely versatile, capable of being used to transport small numbers of troops or mounted with various weapon systems including howitzers, heavy machine guns, mortars or missile launchers.
Also, Chinese troops manning the border were stated to have been equipped with carbon-fibre exoskeleton suits to help them cope with carrying supplies at punishing altitudes. They were reported to have been struggling because a lack of oxygen at 16,000ft above sea level made loads feel heavier while they also tired more easily.