China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) held a live-fire drill in Tibet amid high cross-border tensions with India. The exercises took place close to India's border in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
Tensions in the India-China frontier parts are high over the ongoing Sikkim border standoff. The situation in the border worsened due to a road construction by Beijing at a crucial tri-junction where the borders of India, China and Bhutan meet. While China defends the construction at the Doklam, also known as Donglang, Bhutan contests the territorial claims, and is backed by India.
In the middle of existing tense environment, the PLA's Tibet Military Command carried out 11-hour drills simulating attacks by enemy aircraft. The China Central Television (CCTV), which reported about the drill on Friday, did not mention when the event took place. PLA's Tibet Military Command is responsible for manning several key portions of the India-China border at the mountainous Tibetan region.
"The video also shows radar units identifying enemy aircraft and soldiers using anti-aircraft artillery to annihilate targets," read a dispatch from the Global Times.
Chinese soldiers were seen employing anti-tank grenades and missiles against bunkers and howitzers during the exercises, images from the event suggested. These drills are seen as a show of force against the Indian government, which is already locked in territorial claims with China.
Beijing claims large portions of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as its own, labelling it as southern Tibet.
In early July, Chinese soldiers carried out a military exercise at about 15,000ft in the Tibetan plateau for the first time at that height. It is still unclear whether the latest drills have any connection to the earlier war drills.