Photo: China Central Television
China’s National Defense Ministry said Thursday the recent combat trainings conducted by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command were part of the annual regular training program, and not targeted at any particular country.
The PLA Tibet Military Command recently held live ammunition exercises day and night to test its adaptability and firepower of the troops in ultra-high altitudes, a ministry spokesperson said.
In a video on China Central Television’s (CCTV) military program on Wednesday, a combined arms brigade attached to the PLA 77th Group Army practiced firing in a 4,500 meter-high snow-covered plateau.
In the morning, under the cover of darkness and bad weather, the artillery and fire commandos maneuvered toward an unknown combat area dozens of kilometers away. After three rounds of firing, 47 targets were destroyed, the video showed. The live-fire drill tested the capability of firing with different ammunition.
On Monday, another CCTV military program showed the PLA Tibet Military Command conducting joint land and air exercises at night in a 4,500 meter-high plateau. Each reconnaissance unit carried out multi-dimensional reconnaissance on the target area using electromagnetic reconnaissance, close-in reconnaissance and others, which allowed the commander to adjust combat plans and allocated firepower at the target.
In the video, infantry squads used 120mm anti-tank rockets, individual rockets, and flamethrowers to destroy armored targets and fortified bunkers. The PLA Tibet Military Command also conducted battlefield clearance, medical aid and logistical support exercises.
Last week, at a training site at an altitude of 4,500 meters, the command mobilized air defense and long-range artillery fire for nighttime integrated strike drills.
The drills took place amid ongoing China-India border tensions. The two sides have been working to deescalate the conflicts but occasional provocations by Indian frontline troops and growing nationalism among some in India calling for tough actions against China have complicated the situation.
On Tuesday, China and India agreed to stop sending more troops to the border frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any action that may complicate the situation, at the latest round of the Military Commander-Level Meeting, Chinese National Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said.
Chinese observers said they remained cautiously optimistic about the latest development on border issues between China and India, as they believe the latest military talks have sent a positive signal. But the two sides remain divided on many concrete issues, and continue to prepare for possible military conflicts with logistical and troop build-ups.