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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

China holds first live-fire joint drills in Tibet

October 29, 2010

October 27, 2010

BEIJING -- China's military on Wednesday said it
held its first live-fire joint ground and air
drills on the Tibetan plateau, likely setting off
alarm bells in nervous neighbor India.

The exercises were held at an altitude above
15,420 feet (4,700 meters) and involved fighter
aircraft, attack helicopters, artillery, tanks
and electronic warfare units, the official
People's Liberation Army Daily newspaper said.

No exact locations for the exercises or other
details such as numbers of troops involved were
given in keeping with usual military secrecy.
Almost all the vast Tibetan plateau lies at or
above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).

The exercises stand to add to concerns in India
over a Chinese military buildup in Tibet. The
countries fought a brief but bloody border war in
1962 and continue to argue over territorial
claims. More recently, New Delhi has complained
that Chinese troops along the frontier have grown
more aggressive and expressed concern over
China's increasingly close ties to the military of India's archrival, Pakistan.

The drills are part of a strategy by Beijing to
upgrade training -- increasingly involving the
firing of real ammunition — and the integration
of air, land and sea assets following a two
decade-long process of acquiring sophisticated
new equipment, much of it from Russia.

The PLA Daily report said the exercises included
precision strikes on simulated enemy command
posts, artillery positions and other targets.

It said participants successfully overcame
hardships related to the high altitude, low oxygen, and extreme cold.

"This is extremely significant in regards to
exploring models for training in mountainous
terrain and raising the overall level of
systematized warfare," the newspaper said.

Chinese Communist troops occupied Tibet shortly
after the 1949 revolution that established the
People's Republic and have been steadily
upgrading their presence with new bases and
infrastructure such as roads and airports.
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