Special forces of the Chinese military conducted drills in the region of Tibet, the state-run media reported on Friday. The drills included ground training for helicopter pilots in order to test their skills in the high altitude region.
The training simulated a behind-enemy-lines infiltration mission at an elevation of 4,000 metres in Tibet, as reported by the PLA Daily, the official state-run media of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “Pilots and special forces rappelled down to the ground from helicopters and conducted the mission together,” the report said.
This is the second military drill highlighted by the Chinese official media in Tibet over a fortnight. A military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping told state-run Global Times that the latest military exercises prepared participants for a potential military confrontation with India.
Earlier, on June 29, official media had reported that Chinese military units stationed in Tibet carried out a drill testing armament support capabilities as well as military civil integration in the Himalayan region bordering India.
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China covers 3,488 kms which include Arunachal Pradesh, claimed by China as part of southern Tibet.
“It’s normal for any military training to have an imaginary opposing force,” Song said.
“In this case, it’s obvious who the target is, given the fact that training was conducted on the plateau in Tibet. Infiltrating behind enemy lines was “an effective special operation that could be key to winning a battle. It’s valuable for all forces to practice this kind of training,” Song added.
Chinese pilots have been practicing joint operations with the special forces to understand each other need and strengthen battle cooperation, as reported by the PLA daily.
Training along with special forces will also improve pilots’ ability to survive out in the wild, Song added.
Military operations in Tibet are difficult because of its high elevation, low atmospheric pressure, thin air and relatively low temperature, he said.
Earlier, official media also reported about China setting up an unmanned automatic weather observation station in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh border to provide meteorological assistance for its fighter jets and missile launches.
The observation station with its data can assist aircraft with take-off and landings, along with the launch of missiles, Chinese experts said.
After President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, military units of China, in general, stepped exercises simulating a real-time battle environment.
(With PTI inputs)