China is preparing for a massive infiltration into Eastern Ladakh amid nearly a month-long standoff between Chinese and Indian troops at the Himalaya heights where both sides claim that it is their territory.
Media reports emanating from China have indicated that the PLA troops have been holding night-time high-altitude exercises in Tibetan Plateau to “infiltrate behind the enemy lines”.
This is an unmistakable hint towards the Indian positions along the LAC in eastern Ladakh that lie adjacent to Tibetan plateau. It is for the first time that China has served such a warning of infiltration to India.
The Global Times that reflects Chinese official viewpoint and policy wrote in Wednesday’s edition that these exercises were held recently and broadcast by CCTV on Monday. The report’s opening paragraph summed up the plans of the People’s Liberation Army.
It read: “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command recently sent troops to a high-altitude region at an elevation of 4,700 metres at night for infiltration exercises behind enemy lines and tested their combat capability under a harsh environment.”
“At 1 am at an undisclosed date, a PLA scout unit began to mobilise towards its target in the Tanggula Mountains.” The Tanggula mountain range is adjacent to the Changthang region of Ladakh rich with lakes.
“During the march, vehicles turned off their lights and used night vision devices to avoid hostile drone reconnaissance, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday, the Global Times reported.
The newspaper gave the graphic details of the exercises and the techniques it used. The PLA also used drones.
They engaged in combat when approaching the target, for which they sent a sniper unit to crack enemy spotlights and a fire strike team to destroy enemy light-armoured vehicles with anti-tank rockets.
After neutralising the defences, the scout unit successfully launched the final assault on the enemy headquarters, in which commanders used a vehicle-mounted infrared reconnaissance system and guided the troops to lock in on targets and deliver fire strikes.
More than 2,000 munitions, including mortar shells, rifle grenades and rockets, were fired during the mock battle, Ma Qian, commander of the scout battalion involved in the drills, told CCTV, according to the newspaper.
It could be a subtle message to India and also to the world that China is better trained and in control of the situation or it is looking for a similar response from Delhi to its preparations in the high altitudes.