Amid tensions with India, the Chinese PLA Army & Air Force have for the first time set up a combined air defense system somewhere close to the Indian border, according to reports.
Hindustan Times reported quoting PLA Daily, the Chinese military’s mouthpiece, that the combined air defense system has been set up in the Western Theater Command, which is currently discussing the Ladakh border dispute with the Indian military.
In February, the two militaries had agreed to disengage from the Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh and continue their discussion to ease tensions at other frictions as well.
Despite such assurances, the Chinese side continues to deploy advanced weaponry near the Line of Actual Control, the de facto Himalayan border that divides the two countries.
Earlier this month, The EurAsian Times reported on China’s deployment of advanced long-range precision-strike rockets close to LAC.
According to HT, this is for the first time that PLA has inducted the army’s air defense units in its air force command chain in the Western Theatre Command.
Quoting the PLA Daily, it said, “The integration of air defense across services and arms is a solid step to deepen joint operations.”
The move is in sync with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s idea of having combined military training for the PLA troops.
The 10th round of core commander-level talks between India and China took place on February 20 after the two sides completely withdrew their frontline troops from the banks of Pangong Tso Lake.
However, the 11th round of talks held on April 9 failed to yield any positive results and largely remained inconclusive.
Since last year when the standoff between China and India began in the Pangong Tso in Ladakh, China had started the deployment of advanced weapons like the Type PHL-03 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), which have a firing range of 70 to 130km, and PCL-181 vehicle-mounted howitzers to secure its border near the Indian Territory, high-altitude desert in the northwest, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the southwest.