As China raised the rank and status of its western Tibet Military Command bordering India, the Pentagon said it has noticed “an increase in capability and force posture by the Chinese military” in areas close to the Indian border.
“We have noticed an increase in capability and force posture by the Chinese military in areas close to the border with India,” Abraham. M. Denmark, deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia said on Friday after the Pentagon issued its report, ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China’.
Without providing any further details on Beijing’s military move, Denmark said: “It’s difficult to say how much of this is driven by internal considerations to maintain internal stability, and how much of it is an external consideration.”
Denmark also hailed Defence Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit to India in April.
“Secretary Carter recently visited India…a very positive and productive visit,” he said.
“We’re going to continue to enhance our bilateral engagement because India is an increasingly important player. And we are going to engage India because of its value,” he added.
Beijing earlier this week raised the rank of Tibet Military Command’s authority level, which would help to widen its scope for missions and combat preparedness, and beef its border with India.
The move to raise the Tibet Military Command’s authority 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”.
The move suggests “the command may undertake some kind of military combat mission in future”, the newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying.