China reports multiple counter-military drills across occupied Tibet border areas with India

An artilleryman assigned to a combined-arms regiment under the PLA Xinjiang Military Command uses an optical device to take sight and be ready for shelling the targets during a live-fire training exercise in mid September, 2021. (Photo courtesy: China Military)

(, Nov09’21) – China says it had held what it suggested were multiple counter military drills in the western Tibetan Plateau areas over the past week, including in Zangnan (Chinese for southern Tibet, used to refer to occupied Tibetan area across the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh). “This comes after the Indian military launched a major exercise along the border with China at the start of the month”, said China’s official Nov 8.

The report cited Chinese experts as saying Nov 8 that the response displayed the capabilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in safeguarding national sovereignty and security “as it faced India’s provocations.”

Deep in the heart of Zangnan in the southern part of Southwest of Tibet Autonomous Region, at an elevation of more than 4,000 metres, a combined arms brigade affiliated with the PLA Xizang Military Command recently conducted an assault training in mountainous areas, the report said, citing a China Central Television (CCTV) report Nov 2.

The report said advanced PLA main battle equipment, including the Type 15 light tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers and auxiliary vehicles, took part in the drill, which tested the troops’ physical fitness, skills and comprehensive combat capabilities in complicated terrains and under oxygen-lacking, freezing environment.

Citing a CCTV report Nov 6, the report also said an artillery regiment affiliated with the PLA Xinjiang Military Command recently conducted a comprehensive, cross-day-and-night exercise in a high-altitude region, involving live-fire shooting of PCL-181, 155mm self-propelled howitzers and PHL-11 122mm multiple rocket launchers, as the drill tested the troops’ fire strike efficiency and combat capabilities under the harsh cold in plateau regions.

The report said yet another military drill was held recently deep in a plateau region at an elevation of 5,100 meters. The PLA Xinjiang Military Command organized a joint fire strike confrontation drill, as PHL-03 300mm multiple rocket launchers and China’s latest type of multiple rocket launchers capable of firing 370mm rockets teamed up with reconnaissance drones and artillery radars to launch precision strikes on the enemy, the CCTV was stated to have reported Nov 3.

The report added that JH-7 fighter bombers affiliated with the PLA Western Theater Command Air Force also joined the exercise, which trained joint aerial combat, electronic countermeasures and land-based air defence. The drill was stated to have practiced the weapons and equipment performances and the coordination between the Army and the Air Force.

The report said, citing a Times of India report Nov 2, that the PLA drills came after the Indian Army and Air Force on Nov 1 kicked off a three-day, major “airborne insertion and combat” exercise along the western border section with China, which was meant to convey a “clear message” to China.

The report said China and India had failed to reach an agreement during the latest round of corps commander-level talks over the western section of China-India border issues in early October, due what it said was unreasonable and unrealistic demand from the latter.


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