China holds military drill near Indian border, says 'enemy aircraft' the target
17 July, 2017, 21:59 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
Though the exact timings of the exercises were not revealed, the Global Times on Monday said that the brigade that conducted the drills belong to PLA's Tibet Military Command and is one of China's two plateau mountain brigades.
Firing a fresh salvo against India over the ongoing standoff at the Sikkim border, China on Saturday said there is "no room" for negotiations and the only solution is the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Donglang or Doklam region.
China and India have been engaged in the standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction since last month after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road.
The 11-hour live-fire exercises in a remote part of Tibet were reported by state-run China Central Television (CCTV) without revealing when exactly they took place.
"India has repeatedly ignored China's call for pulling its border-crossing troops from Doklam area back to its own territory".
India has almost two lakh troops stationed in the areas it disputes with China, outnumbering its neighbour's forces by as much as 15 or 20 to one, it said.
Ashok Malik, an analyst at Delhi's Observer Research Foundation, told The Guardian that China is continuing its attempts to hem India's influence in South Asia. The drills today were dubbed as a clear warning to India. Brahmaputra flows into India from Arunachal Pradesh border. The Chinese state media said that the drill was held to practice quick movement of troops and destroy enemy aircraft. An online video showed the People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers using anti-tank grenades and missiles against bunkers and howitzers for artillery coverage.
Reports also said that PLA units carried out drills using several modern weapon systems including a new light battle tank being manufacturd by China. India has conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it.
And on the occasion of the Indian troops trespassing across the Sikkim section of the China-India border, some senior Indian officials have made provocative remarks, which have further fueled such nationalist fervour.
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