South Asia and Beyond

Implications Of Recent Developments In PLA’s Western Theatre Command

 Implications Of Recent Developments In PLA’s Western Theatre Command

During his visit to Tibet in July this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping met military officers. (Photo: CCTV)

NEW DELHI: The Western Theatre Command (WTC) is the largest of China’s five Theatre Commands and exercises operational jurisdiction over the country’s currently ‘active’ borders with India and Afghanistan. Particularly since the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s military manoeuvre against India in early May 2020, which caught the Indian armed forces by surprise, and consequent onset of military tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Chinese leadership has been paying special attention to the WTC. It has raised its inter-se grading among Theatre Commands and brought the WTC on a par with the Eastern Theatre Command, which is ranked first, in terms of priority for receiving new aircraft and weaponry. Other visible indicators of the leadership’s attention are the high-level visits; postings of new officers to the WTC; the enhanced and qualitatively different exercises by PLA forces deployed in the Xinjiang and Tibet Military Regions subordinate to the WTC; and the new, modern equipment that is now being supplied to them. Since the middle of last year, there have been changes at the higher echelons of the WTC. In addition to the appointment of a new Commander on September 6, 2021, the WTC also witnessed the arrival and appointments of other senior officers....Read More

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