China’s nighttime high-altitude drills seen as preparation for Ladakh conflict with India

China sent its troops to an altitude of 4,700 meters in late night and tested its capability in difficult conditions. (Photo courtesy: global times)

(, Jun03’20) – China said Jun 2 that its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command recently sent troops to a high-altitude region at an elevation of 4,700 meters at night on an undisclosed date for infiltration exercises behind enemy lines and tested their combat capability under a harsh environment. Participating in it were main battle tanks (MBTs) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) attached to an armored brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army, reported China’s official Jun 2.

At 1:00 am at an undisclosed date, a PLA scout unit began to mobilize toward its target in the Tanggula Mountains, the report said. The Tanggula (Tibetan: Dangla) Mountains is locate in Tibet between Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province.

Infiltrating behind enemy lines and launching an attack at a hostile command center at night can effectively win a small-scale conflict with only one battle, the report cited a retired PLA officer who had previously been deployed in high altitude regions of Tibet Autonomous Region as saying. Surprise factor would play a significant role, he was reported to have added.

Ma Qian, a commander of the scout battalion, was cited as saying more than 2,000 munitions, including rifle grenades and rockets, were fired during the drill. He has said the drills tested troops’ ability to operate in extreme, complicated situations and to use new equipment.

The media in India reported the exercises as preparation for a massive infiltration into Eastern Ladakh amid nearly a month-long standoff between troops from the two sides at the Himalaya heights.

This is an unmistakable hint towards the Indian positions along the LAC in eastern Ladakh that lie adjacent to Tibetan plateau. It is for the first time that China has served such a warning of infiltration to India, reported Jun 3.

Indeed, the report said, “China and India share borders at the high altitude area, and incidents have recently occurred between the two countries’ troops, and both sides reportedly reinforced deployments.”

It also cited China’s Foreign Ministry as stressing Jun1 that the situation on the China-India border was stable and controllable, and that diplomatic and military channels of communication between the two sides were unimpeded.


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