China's armed forces have conducted ''live-fire'' exercises in Tibet close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh in India amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Dokalam area of Sikkim sector.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted live-fire exercises in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Friday, without mentioning when and why the 11-hour exercise was held.
The brigade that conducted the drills was from the PLA's Tibet Military Command and is one of China's two plateau mountain brigades, the state-run Global Times reported today.
The PLA Tibet Command mans the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of the India-China border along several sections connecting the mountainous Tibetan region.
According to the CCTV report, the brigade has long been stationed around the middle and lower reaches of the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Zangbo in Chinese) River which flows into India and Bangladesh and is responsible for frontline combat missions.
The live-fire drills included the quick delivery of troops and different military units working together on joint attacks. Video posted online showed soldiers using anti-tank grenades and missiles against bunkers and howitzers for artillery coverage.
The video also showed radar units identifying enemy aircraft and soldiers using anti-aircraft artillery to destroy targets.
The Yarlung Zangbo enters India through Arunachal where it is called Siang before it becomes the Brahmaputra in Assam. China has been building dams over it, causing concern in India that it could affect the flow of the Brahmaputra.
Separately, Tibet's mobile communication agency conducted a drill on July 10 in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, where members of the agency practiced setting up a temporary mobile network to secure communications in an emergency.
Earlier reports said the PLA units exercised with several modern weapon systems including a new light battle tank being manufactured by China.
China and India have been in a standoff in the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector, where Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers on 16 June.
China has been demanding immediate pull-out of the Indian troops from the disputed Dokalam plateau.
Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.