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China raising new frontier defence unit of Tibetan troops?

(TibetanReview.net, Jul10’21) – Apart from raising a Tibetan militia unit to carry out security and stability work along border with India, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is said to have been recruiting Tibetan youths to train them for operations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India.

“We have been receiving intelligence inputs that the Chinese Army is recruiting Tibetan youth for carrying out special operations along the LAC with India and they have been holding regular exercises to prepare them for such operations,” reported the indiatoday.in Jul 9, citing “top government sources.”

The report said the Tibetan youth were being inducted into the Chinese forces after going through a number of loyalty tests, which include learning the mainland Chinese language and accepting the supremacy of the Chinese communist party over any other beliefs such as following the Dalai Lama and other religious gurus.

The induction was reported to have begun earlier this year after the Chinese saw how Tibetans-in-exile performed while serving in the Special Frontier Force (SFF) of the Indian Army.

India raised the previously secretive SFF in the post-1962 war period with joint training by Indian forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US. Tibetan exiles make up a sizeable portion of this force.

The SFF, which falls under the authority of the Cabinet Secretariat rather than Defence Ministry, surprised the Chinese PLA on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh last year when they captured the Mokhpari, Black Top and other heights to pre-empt Chinese moves there.

India and China have been in a military stand-off over the Ladakh border since April-May last year, with the latter being seen to be reluctant to retreat from areas they captured by intrusion in violation of a series of border agreements between the two sides.

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