Amid the Sikkim standoff, the Chinese Army is carrying out exercises simulating real battle scenarios at high-altitude areas in Tibet, testing new equipment, including a light battle tank. The exercises were being carried at an altitude of 5,100 metres, the Chinese language service of the state-run Xinhua news agency reported from the Tibetan capital Lhasa. Besides testing the new equipment, the exercises involve conducting live firing exercises. The exercises also involve combat operations command, combat synergies, live fire shooting training, and comprehensive inspection of arms integration, the report said. The simulation also involves offensive and defensive training. Last week, Chinese Defence spokesman Colonel Wu Qin told the media here that the trials of the tank, reportedly weighing about 35 tonnes, were taking place during military exercises.
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Xinhua has also released photos of the exercises on its website. The exercises were being held in the backdrop of heightened India-China tensions at Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector. China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a construction party of the Chinese Army attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.