(TibetanReview.net, Jan21’23) – Chinese President Xi Jinping has held a video conversation with his People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers stationed along the simmering occupied Tibet’s southern border across eastern Ladakh and inspected their combat readiness, reported the PTI news agency Jan 20, citing China’s official media.
Citing a video shown in the official media, the report said Xi – who is also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China and the commander-in-chief of the PLA – has in his remarks to the troops, referred to how “in recent years, the area has been constantly changing” and how it had impacted the Army.
The video was stated to report that Xi also “inspected their combat readiness” during the call.
One of the soldiers was stated to have told Xi that they were now carrying out “dynamic” and “24-hour” monitoring of the border.
Xi in turn was stated to have asked about their condition and whether they were able to “receive fresh vegetables” in the inhospitable terrain.
Xi has further asked the border PLA troops “about their border patrol and management work” and “hailed the soldiers as models of border defence and encouraged them to persist in their efforts and make new contributions.”
It was in this eastern Ladakh region where a standoff erupted on May 5, 2020 between India and China following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area, the report noted.
The two sides have held 17 rounds of high-level military talks on the eastern Ladakh border standoff, but there has been no significant forward movement in resolution of the remaining issues.
China insists the border situation is stable and the two sides should normalize ties while continuing the efforts to settle their differences. This is despite the fact that it continues its massive deployment of troops and military assets, building of dual-purpose infrastructure, saber-rattling war drills, and occasional intrusions into areas India considers to be part of its territory. India’s position is that bilateral ties cannot be normal without the restoration of peace and tranquility along the border and that China has kept violating previously agreed accords on this score.