(TibetanReview.net, Apr01’22) – Some 120 Tibetan children, aged as young as six, from Demchok, Tashigang, Langjiu, Chiakang, Rudok and other places in Ngari (Chinese: Ali) Prefecture of remote western Tibet Autonomous Region had been taken to a boarding school in Beijing for training and eventual induction into the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), reported timesnownews.com Apr 1, citing India intelligence.
Also, A large number of other children, aged 10-18, had been moved to Shiqanhe Military Camp in the Prefecture itself for language training which included Mandarin as well as Hindi.
Besides, other Tibetan children, from Classes 11 and 12 or equivalent, were being conscripted into the PLA for three to five years. Those who would choose to stay on in the PLA after that period will automatically have access to higher education, the report added.
The Chinese move is seen as a counter to India’s deployment at its Tibet border of its Special Frontier Force whose recruits are mainly Tibetans. Apart from that, Tibetans are better suited for deployment in the cold and high-altitude Himalayas where Chinese recruits suffer from altitude sickness and other kinds of adaptation problems.
Already trained Tibetan PLA troops numbering 1,000 were stated to be deployed near the Drepung Monastery, in the outskirts of Lhasa. Monks from this monastery had been involved in numerous protests against Chinese rule since 1987. Another 216 were stated to be deployed near the city proper. These troops were stated to have undergone training in guerrilla warfare, para jumping, survival techniques and the use of sophisticated weapons.