Amid the Sikkim standoff, the Chinese military on Thursday said it has conducted trials of a lightweight battle tank in Tibet near the Indian border. The 35-tonne tank has carried out trials in the plains of Tibet, PLA spokesman Col Wu Qian said in a media briefing in Beijing.
He was responding to questions about media reports that the People’s Liberation Army has carried out an exercise involving a new type of 35-tonne lightweight tank in Tibet.
When asked whether it is targeted against India, the PLA spokesman said, “The purpose is to test the parameters of the equipment and is not targeted against any country.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Lodging a protest with India over the alleged “crossing of boundary” by its troops in the Sikkim section, China demanded their immediate withdrawal. Beijing warned that future visits of Indian pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar will depend on the resolution of the standoff.
“Our position to uphold our territorial sovereignty is unwavering. We hope the Indian side can work with China in the same direction and immediately withdraw the personnel who have overstepped and trespassed into Chinese border,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing Beijing.
After the incident, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on Thursday arrived in Sikkim in the backdrop of a standoff between Indian troops and Chinese army along the Sino-India border in the sensitive sector which is threatening to further strain the bilateral ties.