New undated footage released by the PLA shows dramatic, large-scale integrated military drills involving special forces, tanks, rocket launchers, drones and strike aircraft.
PLA is training attacking tanks in Tibet region. Yes, it targets China-India border situation. China hopes the five-point consensus reached between the two foreign ministers can be implemented, but is ready to strike a heavy blow to Indian troops if they refuse to implement it. pic.twitter.com/azlPwVPJt6— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) September 14, 2020
“PLA is training attacking tanks in Tibet region,” Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times newspaper, said in a Monday tweet accompanying the video. “Yes, it targets China-India border situation. China hopes the five-point consensus reached between the two foreign ministers can be implemented, but is ready to strike a heavy blow to Indian troops if they refuse to implement it.”
According to the South China Morning Post, a Saturday report by Chinese state media revealed the Tibet drills were the first time joint air-ground exercises had been conducted “at an average altitude of 5,000 meters (16,400 feet).”
In the footage, special forces can be seen scaling rocky precipices, man-launched drones being used for targeting and reconnaissance and J-16 strike aircraft firing rocket barrages at target zones, as well as tanks, rocket artillery and self-propelled artillery firing en masse at armored targets.
The footage was notably released after Beijing and New Delhi agreed to resume negotiations aimed at reducing tensions near Pangong Lake, a territory high in the Himalayan mountains where India and China have disputed the location of the proper border for decades, thanks to imprecise maps created by the British Empire when it ruled India. Clashes there since May have seen dozens of soldiers on both sides injured or killed and increasingly intense posturing.
On September 10, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi met in Moscow and released a joint statement promising to abide by existing agreements and "maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas." The agreement was followed by Chinese forces releasing five captured Indian men who they had claimed were spies.