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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Eye on India, China raises Tibet military command rank to expand its combat role

China has raised the rank and status of its western Tibet Military Command to widen its scope for missions and combat preparedness, in a move analysts in Beijing said was aimed in part at fortifying the border with India.
The move to raise the Tibet Military Command’s authority level would put it directly under the command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ground forces, the Party-run Global Times reported on Friday, and allow it “to shoulder more combat assignments”.
For possible conflict with India

A military expert in Beijing told the newspaper that the command “bears great responsibility to prepare for possible conflicts between China and India”, but currently faced difficulties “to secure all the military resources they need”.
The move would raise its authority, including the designation of troops, but also “expand their function and mission”, the deputy director of the Political Work Department of the Tibet Military Command, Zhao Zhong, was quoted as saying. This would also boost their combat readiness, a military expert told the Global Times.
Following the reform, provincial military commands were placed under the control of a newly set up National Defence Mobilization Department under the Central Military Commission, which is headed by President Xi Jinping.
The Tibet Military Command, however, will be directly under under the PLA Ground Force, headed by General Li Zuocheng, who sits on the CMC.

Brought under the PLA

“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,” the newspaper quoted a report in the China Youth Daily as saying.
This suggested that “the command may undertake some kind of military combat mission in the future,” the Global Times quoted an unnamed source as saying.

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