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World

Web Desk
June 5, 2020

China displays military prowess in Ladakh skirmish with India

World

Web Desk
Fri, Jun 05, 2020
Photo: Indian Tribune/file

The latest military skirmish in the eastern Ladakh near Tibet has heightened tensions between both China and India, with the former flexing its military prowess with latest weapons and improved training of its Peoples Liberation Army (PLA).

According to a Business Insider report, there might not exist an official number of the troops deployed by each side, although according to a military expert, Liang Guoling, around 40,000 Chinese soldiers are at the border, with standby reinforcements from Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang and Sichuan.

The Hong Kong-based military expert said that China has deployed nine combined arms brigades, with requisite expertise in artillery, air defence, mountain infantry, chemical, nuclear and electronic warfare, said the publication.

Since the first escalation of conflict in 2017 in Doklam, a tri-junction border which is disputed between China and India-backed Bhutan, China has ramped up its military arsenal considerably.

The PLA has weapons such as the Type 15 tank, Z-20 helicopter, GJ-2 attack drone and PCL-181 advanced vehicle-mounted howitzer, said the report quoting Global Times.

A military expert Zhou Chenming from Beijing said that the video from 2017 showed that China is flexing its muscles.

“China has kept deploying upgraded and new weapons, including aircraft like the Z-20 helicopter, J-10C and J-11, to altitudes of up to 5,000 metres above sea level on the Tibetan plateau for training and testing," he said.

Zhou added that the PLA has maintained troop numbers at 70,000 along the 3,488 km border between China and India, while Indian troops were around 400,000.

"It should be noted that a lot of those Indian forces are not facing China, and a significant number of them are for counter-insurgency purposes. The Indian troops are not actually on the border, and India faces significant difficulties in getting forces to the border because of the mountainous terrain,” said another military expert Rajeswari Rajagopalan.

Another report said that on Monday, China sent a scout unit ‘towards a target in the Tanggula Mountains’ using night vision on vehicles to conceal from drone surveillance.

There have been long-running border tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, with a bitter war fought over India´s northeastern-most state of Arunachal Pradesh in 1962.

On May 6, the troops from both sides clashed and hurled stones at each other, which also injured several other people.