China holds first live-fire joint drills in Tibet

China`s military said it held its first live-fire joint ground and air drills on Tibetan plateau.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 18:25 PM IST

Beijing: China`s military on Thursday said it
held its first live-fire joint ground and air drills on the
Tibetan plateau.

The exercises were held at an altitude above 15,420
feet (4,700 meters) and involved fighter aircraft, attack
helicopters, artillery, tanks and electronic warfare units,
the official People`s Liberation Army Daily newspaper said.

No exact locations for the exercises or other details
such as numbers of troops involved were given in keeping with
usual military secrecy. Almost all the vast Tibetan plateau
lies at or above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).

The drills are part of a strategy by Beijing to
upgrade training increasingly involving the firing of real
ammunition and the integration of air, land and sea assets
following a two decade-long process of acquiring sophisticated
new equipment, much of it from Russia.

The PLA Daily report said the exercises included
precision strikes on simulated enemy command posts, artillery
positions and other targets.

It said participants successfully overcame hardships
related to the high altitude, low oxygen, and extreme cold.

"This is extremely significant in regards to exploring
models for training in mountainous terrain and raising the
overall level of systematised warfare," the newspaper said.

Chinese Communist troops occupied Tibet shortly after
the 1949 revolution that established the People`s Republic and
have been steadily upgrading their presence with new bases and
infrastructure such as roads and airports.

PTI