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Chinese Army conducts live military exercises in Tibet

October 29, 2010

Expressindia
October 27, 2010

Beijing -- Chinese military has conducted its
first-ever live military exercises involving air
force, artillery and electronic warfare divisions
near the foot of the snow-capped mountains on the
Tibetan plateau, close to the Indian border.

The exercises aimed at testing the endurance of
the soldiers at the altitude of over 4,700 meters
was completed successfully with troops overcoming
the effects of physical and mental health
problems caused by coldness and oxygen deficits,
said a report posted on China Tibet Online,
website attached to the state-run People's Daily.

This is the first time that Tibet Military
Command of the People's Liberation Army conducted
its first air-ground live ammunition drill, it
said, without mentioning the date.

Troops of air force, armour, artillery and
electronic warfare divisions participated in the exercise.

The exercises will have a very significant role
in exploring training patterns in mountainous and
cold areas as well as improving combat capabilities, it said.

The exercises came amid reports of China rapidly
expanding its infrastructure with extensive
railway network connecting all most all parts of
remote Tibet with mainland China, which could
provide logistic ability to PLA to move its
troops easily to the Indian border overcoming the
adverse hilly terrain of Tibet.

China is also poised to open its fifth civil
airport in Tibet next month at Xigaze, located close to the Indian border.

Xigaze Peace Airport, located in Xigaze
Prefecture, 48 km from Xigaze City, is 3,782 meters above sea level.

The sprawling prefecture shares land links with
Nepal, Indian and Bhutan borders.

China has also recently begun work to extend the
world's highest rail link connecting Lhasa to
Xigaze, the home of successive Panchen Lamas, the
second most Tibetan spiritual Buddhist leader.

In the past five years, China has invested
heavily in building transport infrastructure in
Tibet, pouring money into construction of
highways, railways and airports to stimulate Tibet's weak economy and tourism.

The heavy infrastructure development in the
Himalayan region, made India to open an airbase
besides improving the transport infrastructure in
and around Arunachal Pardesh, which China claims as its part.
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