China escalates belligerence; holds 'live fire' drill along the border

China on Monday continued to showcase its belligerent route by holding live-fire exercises in Tibet, in an area facing Arunachal Pradesh - the State which it calls South Tibet.

While uncertainty looms over the exact timing of the drills, the state-run tabloid Global Times, citing the China Central Television (CCTV) said that the exercise was conducted by a brigade, which was part of the Tibet Military Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The local media had earlier reported the Tibet exercise, the specific mention of howitzers comes after the Indian military began testing its M-777 A-2 ultra-light howitzers, expected to be mostly deployed along the border with China.

Analysts say that China was sending several messages to India by conducting the exercise. The drill is focusing on boosting its "quick delivery of troops", official media said. The Tibet Military Command of the People's Liberation Army has two brigades and one of them carried out the drills. China, according to experts is appearing to be willing to broaden a possible area of conflict beyond the current focus of the standoff, by including Arunachal Pradesh in the ambit.

The reports come amid a still ongoing month long standoff at Doklam.


 

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