(TibetanReview.net, Jul31’20) – Although restrained in its media and official comments on the ongoing Ladakh border faceoff with India, China has been conducting a series of military exercises in Tibet in recent times as its troops continue to stay put on the Indian side of the border in some areas while withdrawing a bit from others after bilateral talks.
The latest was artillery exercises in high-altitude areas Tibet military command “recently” conducted to test the army’s long-range precision strikes and fire-assault capabilities in plateau environments, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jul 31.
“Recently, the Tibet Military Region has organised multiple types of artillery, day and night fire strike drills and artillery fire assault drills in high altitude areas, mainly to test the troops’ long-range precision strikes and fire assault capabilities in a plateau environment,” Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, was quoted as saying at a regular press conference Jul 30.
Such exercises are part of the annual training plan and target no particular country, Ren has said.
The report also cited Ren as saying the PLA’s naval aviation unit of the Southern Theatre Command conducted “high-intensity exercises” in the South China Sea with new bombers to improve pilots’ combat techniques and overall all-weather fighting capability of the units.
China is laying claim to almost the whole of the energy-rich South China Sea, including by building artificial islands and asserting sovereignty over disputed islands to expand its claims, ignoring the maritime rights of the other South China Sea countries by military intimidations. President Dutarte of the Philippines recently expressed helplessness to resist China’s might.
The US conducts occasional Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea in attempts to check the Chinese expansionist design.