BEIJING: In a surprise move, China has elevated the rank of Tibet’s Military Command which looks after the security along its border with India by putting it under the jurisdiction of PLA ground forces, suggesting it may “undertake some kind of military combat mission in future.”
“China raises Tibet Military Command’s (TMC) power rank,” media reported.
“The TMC’s political rank will be elevated to one level higher than its counterpart provincial-level military commands and will come under the leadership of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” it reported citing another official newspaper the ‘China Youth Daily.’
“The promotion marks a new journey for the TMC command’s construction,” it said.
The sudden “elevation” surprised many observers as the PLA in this year’s reform brought most of the provincial military commands under the control of Central Military Commission’s (CMC) new National Defence Mobilisation Department.
CMC, the overall high command of the PLA, is directly headed by President Xi Jinping, who is also the head of the ruling Communist Party.
“The TMC on the other hand, is under the leadership of the Chinese ground forces, which suggests that the command may undertake some kind of military combat mission in the future,” the report quoted a “source close to the matter” as saying.
There was no elaboration of what the “military combat mission” will be.
Seasoned military observers termed the report confusing.
Until last year, China had seven military area commands in Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Jinan, Shenyang, Lanzhou and Guangzhou. Of this Chengdu looked after security of India’s Eastern sector in the Tibet region including Arunachal Pradesh while Lanzhou in Xinjiang looked after partly the western sector, including Kashmir region and Pakistan.