Ahead of Tibetan Uprising Day, China conducted a major military drill near Tibet bordering India.
Authorities in the Shigatse Military Division “conducted a combat readiness exercise under the background of real combat” close to the politically sensitive anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising of March 10, 1959, according to Chinese state media.
State media reported the drill was “an actual combat readiness pulling the drill in the hinterland of the (Tibetan) plateau at an altitude of 4300 meters.”
“This military drill shows that after more than 60 years, China’s occupation of Tibet remains a threat not only to the survival of Tibetan culture but to the safety of India and other countries in the free world,” said the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), an advocacy group that promotes human rights and democratic freedoms for the Tibetan people.
“In the case of Ukraine, the world is seeing what happens when authoritarian governments invade their smaller neighbours, just as China did to Tibet decades ago. The global community must stand up for Tibetans before China’s repressive rule spreads any farther,” added ICT.
The Shigatse Military Division oversees the strategically important Tibetan borders with India. Chinese authorities have been building infrastructure along this region to indicate the existence of continued tension with India.
State media said the most recent exercise in Shigatse will be followed by the next step during which “the regiment will conduct segmented drills and key training on team cooperation, enemy information collection, terrain research and judgment, etc., and continuously improve the level of actual combat training of the troops.”
March 10 will mark the 63rd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising against China’s occupation of Tibet. Chinese forces eventually crushed the uprising and forced the Dalai Lama into exile in India, where he remains to this day.
Under China’s rule, Tibet is now the least-free country on Earth in a tie with South Sudan and Syria, according to recent rankings from the watchdog group Freedom House.