Ladakh: China has mobilised thousands of paratroopers, armoured vehicles and equipment in a military drill, saying they could be deployed “within hours” to the border with India in the Himalayas, where tensions have again flared, reported SCMP.
As per the SCMP newspapaer, The Chinese soldiers and armoured vehicles were transported from the central province of Hubei to an unspecified location in China’s northwest plateau, thousands of kilometres away, in “just a few hours”, according to state media reports over the weekend.
Footage of troops boarding civilian planes and trains in the “manoeuvre operation” was aired on China’s state broadcaster CCTV on Saturday, the same day top generals from China and India held talks in Moldo.
Major Colonel Mao Lei, head of a PLA Air Force brigade training department that led the operation in the northwest, was quoted as saying by SCMP that it had made “significant breakthroughs” in terms of the scale of mobilised troops and how they were transported.
“[Using civilian transport] substantially expanded our means of transporting forces and increased efficiency in manoeuvring an entire organisation of troops,” Mao told CCTV.
The report did not give their location, but an article published in state tabloid Global Times on Sunday directly linked the People’s Liberation Army drill with the border tensions.
The latest flare-up in the long-running dispute has seen Chinese state media accuse India of “illegally constructing defence facilities across the border into the Galwan Valley region”.
On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the situation was “stable, under control and mutual in terms of solving problems”. “We have reached one consensus – that both sides have to carry out the previous consensus made by the top leadership so as to avoid escalating a disagreement into a dispute,” Hua said. “We have to make efforts to maintain stability and peace in our border regions and create a healthy atmosphere for our bilateral relations to develop.”
Border tensions between China and India have simmered for years, duo have fought a frontier war in 1962, with regular flare-ups since then – though no shot has been fired since the 1970s.