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Friday, 7 July 2017

Amid Sikkim stand-off, Chinese army demonstrates battle-readiness with armoured drill in Tibet

Amid Sikkim stand-off, Chinese army demonstrates battle-readiness with armoured drill in Tibet


  • The exercises were being carried at an altitude of 5,100 metres.
  • Besides testing the new equipment, the exercises involve conducting live firing exercises.
  • The simulation also involves offensive and defensive training.



BEIJING: Amid border standoff with India, China's People's Liberation Army has started showing off its battle-readiness by holding an armored brigade drill at an altitude of 5,100 meters in the border region of Tibet.

The country's official Xinhua news agency said that the drill would test "full combat readiness" of Type 96B which is China's most advanced battle tank.Displaying photographs of the tank, Xinhua said that the drills were aimed at "carrying out battlefield environment analysis, combat operations command, combat coordination and other real combat and live-fire shooting training".

Military experts had earlier said that Chinese forces have difficulties in ensuring perfect coordination and battle integration. This is one reason why PLA commands and divisions have been thoroughly revamped in the recent years. The government insists of conducting regular military exercises with forces of other countries. There have been joint exercises with the Indian military as well.

Experts are also asking if China is holding the drill to instill confidence in its forces to fight in high altitude. This may be the first time it is holding a drill in the "complex high altitude environment of the Tibetan plateau," as Xinhua described it.

"Militarily, given the geography, logistics, possible weapon deployments and a vigilant Indian Army, China cannot give India a bloody nose over Doklam standoff," Brahma Chellaney, author and professor of stratetic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi told TOI. "If anything, 

if it attacks
+
it might suffer a military reverse".Canvassing the opposite point of view, a retired PLA general, Zhu Heping, said Indian troops would not be able to stop China's road construction in Doklam. India has resisted attempts by Chinese troops to build the road in Doklam, which is claimed both by China and Bhutan.

"India's trespass shows its stance to China. Actually, it is a very small and narrow area where troops of a large scale cannot be fully deployed," Major General Zhu (retired) said.

"Do you think a few military vehicles and soldiers on the border will stop China's development and its border construction?" he asked.

"The Chinese military is becoming stronger and stronger and leaving the Indian military farther behind. India's provocation won't affect the general situation or take any effect."

Chinese attempt to construct the road in Doklam area, which is claimed by both China and Bhutan
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, is what triggered the stand-off since June 16. India has resisted attempts by Chinese troops to build the road, which leads to a military area of Bhutan and does not serve any economic purpose.

The Xinhua report said that the drill also aimed at "paying close attention to officers command skills training, command and control systems, combat unit synthesis and combat readiness". It did not explain when the drills began and where in Tibet.Chinese military experts are trying to analyze and find weak spots in Indian military capabilities.

"India's military has more experience in mountain combat, but it has at least three key weaknesses," Song Zhongping, a retired official of the PLA Rocket Force, said.

"First, its weapons are mostly imported, so how could it maintain supply after if it engages in total war with China? Second, its logistics are poor, because its plan to build 73 highways for military logistics by 2020 is only a third complete. And third, its weapons (from different countries) aren't compatible in one comprehensive combat system and its long-range missiles are not accurate at all," he said.

Chelleney said India must be ready for a long psychological battle with China. "It is unfortunate that some Indian journalists and analysts, by disseminating Chinese disinformation without seeking to verify facts or uphold basic standards of objectivity, are unwillingly becoming handmaidens of China's psychological war against India and Bhutan," he said.

Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/amid-sikkim-stand-off-chinese-army-demonstrates-battle-readiness-with-armored-drill-in-tibet/articleshow/59477053.cms
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