China recruits Tibetans in new militia unit near border with India
The militia has been set up with the aim to use their information and skills in border area for collecting and using information of local geography and language
China has recruited local Tibetans in new militia units raised by People's Liberation Army in the Chumbi valley.
Chumbi valley is an area between Sikkim and Bhutan and is a part of the Tibetan plateau. Administratively, it is part of Yadong County in Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
The name of the militia is Mimang Cheton, which means "for the public" in Tibetan. The militia has been set up with the aim to use their information and skills in border area for collecting and using information of local geography, language and other local information.
WION has learnt that 200 locals have completed training and are currently deployed in various locations in the valley such as Yutung, Cheema, Rinchengang, PB Thang and Phari. Another batch is being trained in Phari area in the valley. The training is imparted by PLA and currently, the personnel do not have uniform nor ranks.
Usually, China, as a policy, is not keen on raising units in its forces based on ethnicity. The long-standing policy hold, with few exceptions, starting to emerge, Tibet seems to see other developments as well including new drills.
The new development comes amid Chinese aggressive actions with India at the Line of Actual Control in Western Ladakh. The over-year-long stand-off continues even though Pangong lake saw disengagement under a pact in February. Last year, India lost 20 soldiers in the Galwan incident which was caused by violent actions of the Chinese soldiers.