New Delhi: Chinese frontline troops at the China-India border are getting prepared in logistics for the upcoming winter, with several new measures and facilities revealed for the first time to improve the living and working condition of officers and soldiers, which have further boosted their morale as well as the capability to patrol and execute tasks in the high-altitude region during harsh weather, Global Times reported.
Observers noted that although large-scale clashes are unlikely to occur in winter, small frictions may happen from time to time. This means that logistics is a key factor for border troops to overcome the winter, and in this area China has big advantages over India, the report said.
“Indian media reported recently that Indian troops are facing challenges in confronting the harsh winter, and the cost to maintain its deployment could be huge, as the government is urged to either build or improve facilities and infrastructure,” the report added.
“Experts said that some of India’s seemingly grandiose moves ahead of winter are more of a bluff, considering inadequate supplies and logistics have long been a problem for their frontline troops,” it added.
The Global Times learned from several border troop commanders in Southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region that even when mountain roads are cut off by snow and ice, the logistics service of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ensures troops can carry out training and tasks at the border frontline.
New technologies and innovations have been put into practice for border defence. A border regiment commander said that modern detection devices allow Chinese soldiers to observe situations inside military posts. Frontline troops can also collect and manage information with modern command systems.
In order to solve the oxygen deficiency problem, portable oxygenators, oxygen chambers and individual oxygen supply devices are in widespread use for frontline troops.
Barracks on the high-altitude plateau are operated and heated with multiple energy sources such as coal, electricity and solar power.
A border regiment commander told the Global Times on Monday that all outposts are connected to the State Grid and have communication base stations. Ropeways have been set up to transport supplies.
Before winter comes, the regiment took advantage of a “golden period” for infrastructure construction and has “fundamentally” solved the practical problems of living in such an extreme environment. They have even built greenhouses to plant fresh greens, the report said.
A new type of kitchen vehicle with high automation allows troops to enjoy hot food in a region as high as 4,500 metres above sea level with temperature lowering to minus 40 C. Each vehicle can serve a hundred people with four dishes, two staple foods, and a soup.
Soldiers of another regiment garrisoned in a region at an altitude of 4,500 metres have been equipped with new winter clothing such as rechargeable vests, knee protectors and Xingkong (Starry sky)-camouflage coats, the report said.
“With this cold-proof clothing covering from head to toe, I stay warm when I’m on guard duty even on really cold nights,” a border soldier told the Global Times on Monday. He was given a set of new winter clothing including lightweight boots and a down jacket.