China held a military drill in Tibet to warn India, not to attack a big trading partner?

Chinese soldiers conducting a military drill in Tibet. (Photo courtesy: SCMP)

(, Sep08’21) – In what has been stated by Chinese military observers as being intended to be a warning to India, the Tibet Military District carried out a high-altitude drill in which fighter jets dropped missiles, troops brought down drones and ground force howitzers made precision strikes, reported the Sep 8. 

The report said footage of the drill posted on the PLA Daily website on Sep 6 showed several units from the People’s Liberation Army’s Tibet Military District occupying an enemy’s key command centre at an altitude of 4,700 metres (15,400 feet).

The video was cited as saying, without mentioning any date, that the drill involved infantry, artillery, army aviation, special operation forces, electronic warfare, engineers and chemical defence units.

The footage was stated to show PLA air defence artillery troops bringing down drones similar to Indian reconnaissance devices, air force fighter jets dropping missiles to paralyse an enemy command centre, and ground force artillery targeting a field with precision strikes.

“It’s very clear that the PLA’s simulated enemy in these multi-unit joint drills is their Indian counterpart in the Himalayas, with the goal of the training aimed at testing the high-altitude air defence and offence of the Tibet Military District,” Song Zhongping, a former PLA instructor, has said.

Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Yuan Wang military science and technology institute in Beijing, has said the Indian military used spy drones for reconnaissance over Chinese territory, so exercises to simulate such incursions were incorporated into regular training in Tibet.

“The PLA has a military advantage when facing the challenges from their Indian counterpart, but the PLA doesn’t want to fight with India,” Zhou has said. “India is a big trading partner of China, and China needs the Indian market. So the drill is just a warning to the Indian side.”

New Chinese weapons shown in the footage were stated to include the Type PHL-03 multiple launch rocket system and PCL-181 vehicle-mounted howitzers. It was also stated to show PLA airborne troops rapidly occupying the enemy’s main command centre under the protection and support from artillery, intelligence, air force and other combat units.

A PLA Daily report in Jan 2021 was stated to have noted that more than 30 new weapon systems had been deployed by the PLA to the area in recent years.


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