Citing the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the “People’s Daily” of China controlled by the Communist Party of China reported as follows on October 26,2010: “Near the foot of the snowcapped mountains on the Tibetan Plateau at an altitude of over 4,700 meters, the Tibet Military Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted its first air-ground live ammunition drill recently. Troops of air force, armor, artillery and electronic warfare divisions participated in the exercise. They overcame the effects on their physical and mental health caused by coldness and oxygen deficits and finished the first joint training and exercise. It will have a very significant role in exploring training patterns in mountainous and cold areas as well as improving combat capabilities.”
2. The “People’s Daily” has carried some photographs of the drill at http://chinatibet.people.com.
3.According to an undated report disseminated by the Xinhua news agency, “transport authorities in remote China's Tibet Autonomous Region will invest heavily in highway construction for the next five years to provide better access to its rural townships. Almost 50 billionyuan will be earmarked for highway construction during the 2011-2015 period, a spokesman with the Tibet Autonomous Regional Transport Department said. The total length of highways will be extended from the current 58,000 km to 70,000 km by 2015 in the plateau region, the spokesman said. All rural townships will be connected by highway, he said. Currently, about three quarters of townships have highway links. In the past five years, China has invested heavily in building transport infrastructure in Tibet, pouring money into construction of highways, railways and airports. On July 1 this year, Tibet's fourth civil airport opened in its far west Ngari area, shortening a trip to the regional capitalLhasa to one and half hours from three or four days by car.” (27-10-10)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )