BEIJING: The Chinese Air Force recently carried out three different manoeuvres over the Himalayas close to the Indian border. This included an exercise involving fighter jets carrying live ammunition over the mountain ranges, it's reliably learnt.
People's Daily Online, which is controlled by the Communist Party, published a series of photos of the fighters in operation. The portal did not carry any report along with the captioned photographs under the headline, 'PLA heavy fighters cruise with live ammunition over Himalayas'.
China also deployed a set of new generation fighters for the purpose of "emergent training" at night in Yunnan province, which is part of the Himalayan range bordering Myanmar. The purpose was "to improve troops' emergent combat effectiveness", said the official media while publishing the photographs.
The night training on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was carried out by a batch of PLA soldiers under the Chengdu Military Area Command.
The media also reported another air force drill on the use of surface-to-air missiles without indicating where it took place. It involved "live-fire drill under conditions of positive interference". The missiles shot down the target accurately, it said.
"Photographs are enough for a military expert to judge the capabilities of an armed force. China is clearly sending out a signal to neighbouring countries by publishing the photographs of its fighters doing manoeuvres," an observer of the Chinese military scene told TOI.
Observers are wondering why China is opening up multiple fronts instead of dealing with one neighbour at a time on its territorial issues. Some analysts say Chinese leaders feel they are capable of dealing on different fronts because of China's vast economy and size, and the distance and comparative weakness of the United States.
The Times of India