Upgradation Of Tibet Military Command & PLA Military Reforms Not India Centric: Chinese Diplomat
A top Chinese diplomat contradicted the report that says status of Tibet Military Command is elevated keeping in mind the possible conflict with India. The diplomat said, “It is but natural that a strong country should have a strong navy, strong air force, strong land force. And we all need structural reforms of our militaries. Chinese military modernisation program is not started now. We already had the plan but in last two years this program is speeded up under the new leadership of Xi Jinping”.
“It is our internal matter. It’s main framework is our internal issue. It is not based against any country. It is just to make our military more easy to audit, be managed, more responsive towards different kind of emergencies. And they should more obey party’s central guard”, the diplomat added when asked about the development.
On 13 May 2016, China’s Global Times reported: The Tibet Military Command’s political rank will be elevated to one level higher than its counterpart provincial-level military commands, and will come under the leadership of the PLA Army. Zhao Zhong, deputy director of the Political Work Department was quoted saying “The elevation of the authority level is not only an improvement for the troops’ designation, but also an expansion of their function and mission”.
“After the military reform, most of the provincial military commands are now under the control of the newly established National Defense Mobilization Department of the Central Military Commission, and their priority is to the region’s militia reserves and conscription”. “The Tibet Military Command, on the other hand, is under the leadership of the Chinese ground forces, which suggests that the command may undertake some kind of military combat mission in the future”, Global Times quoted a source close to the matter.
When confronted that these combat mission could be India centric, the diplomat said, “this area is serious… but for all means… this area is so important, we need to take care, we need to be more careful.. and in another meaning.. if there is more senior commander, he will have more authority to discipline soldiers. He will have more resource to deal with local developments, or local exchange with India and other countries”. “Moreover this region does not has only defence obligation for india side. It is a very huge responsibility for the domestic stability. The military has this kind of capability and the military has disaster responsibility”, the diplomat explained.
“After the military reform, the Tibet Military Command’s priority is the management of military resources, as well as the region’s national defense mobilization”, Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert was quoted by the Global Times.
“The Tibet Military Command bears great responsibility to prepare for possible conflicts between China and India, and currently it is difficult to secure all the military resources they need”, Song said.
“So Chinese intension is not to face India as an enemy and we will not use our facility to invade you. We are not going to do that. We want our military to keep the border stable”, the diplomat tried to convince refuting the reports published in Chinese media.
Global Times, the subsidiery of People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of ruling Chinese Communist Party quoted the leading Beijing based Defence Expert, “Military action in the Tibet Military Command requires specialist mountain skills and long-range capabilities, which need the deployment of special military resources. The elevation will secure better and more effective combat preparedness when needed”.
When confronted with the published facts, the top Chinese diplomat turned offensive, “We also see that on Indian side, you have lot of activities. You are not mentioning that. Like what your military do near the border. Like the structure of your border ITBP, like the infrastructure in the disputed area… new MoU with the American, future use of Indian facilities near the border. And the US has also some kind of agreement with you for the map, data map”.
However, various reports confirm that China has illegally grabbed hundreds of kilometers of Indian land by slowly and gradually transgressing towards India “inch by inch”. India and America recently signed ‘Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement’ (LEMOA) only to have maritime co-operation in humanitarian assistance to use each other’s facilities for rest, refueling, repair and recreation purpose.Both countries yet not have agreed on the issue of signing Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), or the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). So the concern of Chinese diplomat is exaggerated.
“How do you use technology and some of MoUs, some of the treaties with other countries; We know India may not have intension of going against China but some of the Tibetan country.. some of thewestern countries they have different view… they want to use India so be some sort of the frontier country to waylay the china; may be not use ‘contain’ China but that has the meaning .. they do not like China, sometime they dislike China.. even Tibet than India. Sometime they blame us for everything. We are on the list of freedom of navigation, we are on the list of so called piracy of the copyrights, we are on the list of abuse of freedom of religions”, explained the Chinese diplomat on condition of anonymity.
“So it is all India against China. They treat India just as a Chessboard. But should not India be a big player in this continent. India should never be a chess board of any superpowers. India’s Independent policy should be sacred. So that of China. So, independent policy will be the pillar of our future relationship”.
“Don’t worry about China. Don’t be suspicious because their strategy is try to divide us. We need to believe in you and all neighbors. We can change our friends overnight but we can’t change our neighbor forever. Neighbors always first, as your Prime Minister said. And American Japanese, they are not your neighbors. They made use of you this time. They always make use. They can quit”, the diplomat explained to convince.
So, it is clear that if China is so particular about its security, why should India ever lower its guard from any possible aggression from China. In fact, India should proactively check the security of its border and capability of force mobilization in this region. Friendship can not and must not replace the defence prerogatives.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.