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President Xi praises PLA's model border battalion in Tibet

By K J M Varma
September 13, 2021 23:06 IST
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Chinese President Xi Jinping has praised a border-guard battalion in Tibet, which shares boundary with the India’s Arunachal Pradesh, saying its troops have done a "great job" in the past five years, official media here reported.

IMAGE: Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist party of China, arrives at the Nyingchi Mainling airport, near Arunachal Pradesh.

Xi visited Nyingchi, the Tibetan border town close to Arunachal Pradesh in July, becoming the first Chinese President to visit the remote border areas in Tibet.

 

"President Xi writes back to a plateau-stationed border-guard model battalion, saying they have done a great job in the past five years and encouraging them to make new contributions to the Party and the people," the state-run Global Times reported on Monday.

The model battalion is under the Xizang (Chinese name for Tibet) Military Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), it said.

Xi commended the battalion members for their remarkable efforts in guarding China's border region, noting that they have dedicated their youth to securing the country's territorial integrity and have accomplished their missions well, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Border troops are on the frontline of strengthening China's national defence and shoulder massive responsibilities, said Xi in the letter.

He called on them to continue to strengthen their sense of responsibility, carry forward fine traditions, and enhance their combat readiness in order to perform their duties well.

The battalion is stationed in a region with an average altitude of over 4,800 meters. The lowest temperature in the region reaches minus 40 degrees Celsius, and strong wind blows for over 200 days a year, the Xinhua report said.

In 2016, Xi bestowed special honours on a PLA military battalion posted in Tibet for its "outstanding performance in safeguarding borders".

Xi, who heads the Central Military Commission (CMC) -- the overall command authority of the PLA, signed orders to give honorary titles for the battalion in 2016.

"Troop 77656 is now titled as a 'model plateau battalion' for its outstanding performance in safeguarding borders, ensuring stability and helping disaster relief," the state-run Xinhua news agency had said in a report in August 2016.

The model plateau battalion is reportedly one of the six battalions functioning under the Tibet Military Area Command.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet, which is firmly rejected by India. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC).

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K J M Varma
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