China seeking loyal Tibetans to man Ladakh border defence during harsh winter?

Representational image, Chinese army. (Photo courtesy: DAP)

(, Dec06’20) – Unable to cope with the -40°C temperature on occupied Tibet’s border with India’s Union Territory of Ladakh, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers are being taken away in large numbers due to health reasons, prompting China to seek Tibetan troops to man the border, reported Dec 6, citing unnamed sources.

However, while the PLA wants Tibetan soldiers, the latter’s antecedents have to be right: they have to be young men whose parents or at least, relatives, have been part of the Chinese Communist Party, the report said.

Besides, they must not have links with the Dalai Lama. Nor should they have links to overseas organisations.

Indian troops on their side of the border are said to be slightly better off since many have served in the Siachen Glacier area on the Pakistan border area, where the conditions are equally difficult, since the mid-Eighties.

Units of other Indian soldiers have been in high altitude posts in other parts of the country. Besides regular troops, the Indian units include the Special Frontier Force, made up main of exile Tibetan paratroopers, and the Ladakh Scouts, a local outfit which plays a major role in the area’s defence.

Indian and Chinese border troops have been in a faceoff in the area over the past seven months or so, with both the sides still preparing for the eventuality of a war they wish to avoid.


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