‘China has realised its troops on LAC need better training’

NEW DELHI: China has realised its soldiers need to be better trained to be deployed in the mountainous terrain along the Line of Actual Control, said Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday, amidst reports the People’s Liberation Army has stepped-up efforts to recruit Tibetans in militias along the frontier.

“Chinese deployments on the border with India have undergone a change, especially after incidents that happened in Galwan and other areas last year. Thereafter, they realised that they need to be better trained and better prepared,” said Gen Rawat.

“Their soldiers mainly come from the civilian street. They are enlisted for a short duration. They don’t have much experience of fighting in these kinds of areas and operating in this kind of terrain,” he told a news agency.

The comments come amidst intelligence reports that the PLA has raised a new set of militias in the Chumbi valley, opposite Sikkim, under the Yatung County in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. “Reports say one of these militias is known as ‘Mimang Cheton’ (MC), which means ‘for the public’ in the Tibetan language, and consists of local Tibetan youths,” said an official.

“The MC is imparted training by the PLA. It is learnt that at least two batches of MC, with around 100 youths in one batch, have already undergone training. Some of them are currently deployed at various locations in Chumbi Valley in areas like Yutung, Cheema, Rinchengang, PB Thang and Phari,” he added.

The MC, whose personnel neither have uniforms or ranks as of now, has been raised with the aim of deploying it in the local bordering areas “to exploit their knowledge of the local terrain, language, demography and weather conditions”, the official said.

Since the military confrontation in eastern Ladakh erupted in April-May last year, the PLA has been conducting special recruitment drives to induct Tibetan youth in militias as well as a Special Tibetan Army Unit (STAU).

“There are also inputs that STAU recruits are being taken to Tibetan monks for blessings after completion of their training,” said another official.


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