The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) intensified military exercises including high altitude tank drills and nighttime parachute infiltration in Tibet bordering India’s Ladakh region, following the fatal clash between Chinese and India soldiers in the Galwan Valley.
These PLA drills show that its forces stationed in border regions have high combat capability, and that the PLA can crush any aggression with land-air integrated joint operations, the Semi-official Global Times said today quoting ‘military experts.’
Multiple types of new weapons and equipment including Type 15 lightweight tanks and HJ-10 anti-tank missile systems attached to the PLA Tibet Military Command recently joined a comprehensive live-fire drill in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at an elevation of more than 4,700 meters, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Wednesday.
The main threat China faces on its border with India comes from Indian tanks and armored vehicles, but the Type 15 tanks and HJ-10 anti-tank missiles are very strong counters, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.
While discounting the possibility of the Galwan Valley clash escalating into a large-scale military conflict, the PLA (exercises) showed they are prepared, the report said.
On the Indian side, TV Networks reported increased movement of military vehicles and equipment on roads near the Galwan valley since the fatal encounter.
Reacting to China claiming sovereignty over the Galwan Valley, the Indian government in a statement said that Beijing’s “exaggerated and untenable claims are contrary to the understanding reached on the issue between the two sides.”
Earlier, during a phone call with his Chinese counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Beijing had taken “pre-meditated and planned action” that was “directly responsible” for the violence and casualties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India wants peace but “will give a befitting reply” if provoked.