Sputnik News – July 17, 2017
Some 4,000 to 7,000 troops armed with shoulder-launched assault weapons and light arms were filmed striking an “enemy position,” the South China Morning Post reported on Monday. Soldiers practiced mobilizing around a battlefield, coordinating digital attacks and engaging hypothetical enemies on a 5,000 meter plateau, the Post added.
The drills “covering a dozen elements was testimony to the PLA’s combined strike capability,” a narrator said on CCTV in China.
Beijing and New Dehli have both accused each other of intrusion in Sikkim, which is roughly where Bhutan, India and Tibet meet. Troops have confronted each other in the area several times since June 16. Bhutan claims that China intruded on Bhutanese soil when it began construction on a new road, a claim India supports, while Beijing argues that it was building on its own territory.
In China’s view the contested area is part of its Donglang region. India calls the land Doka La; Bhutan recognizes and claims the area as Dokalam.
Beijing hoped to show “it could easily overpower its Indian counterparts,” analyst Zhou Chenming told the SCMP. The point of projecting power in such a fashion, Zhou says, is to reduce the chances that a larger conflict erupts.