Chinese border patrol troops shared mooncakes near the disputed border with India and told citizens not to worry in a military propaganda video released on Thursday, as a months-long stand-off in the Himalayas continues.
Both India and China have stepped up their sabre-rattling, even as de-escalation talks between the two sides are scheduled to continue, and as the harsh winter sets in.
Holding a Chinese flag on a mountainside, troops shout, “I am here to protect the border! To the country, and to the people, please do not worry!” in the video posted on the People’s Liberation Army’s official Weibo account on Thursday.
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The troops in the footage are in Ngari prefecture, in the westernmost part of China’s Tibet autonomous region, where violent clashes have erupted with neighbour India in several disputed border zones since May.
According to the video, the small team had completed a patrol of more than 100km (62 miles) at an elevation of over 5.4km (17,700ft) above sea level.
Sarang, where the troops are stationed, lies on the border with India, and along one of several pockets of disputed territory between the two countries.
After the patrol, the soldiers are seen sharing mooncakes, the traditional pastries eaten during Mid-Autumn Festival, which this year coincided with China’s National Day on Thursday.
It is the latest in a stream of propaganda films released by PLA border troops since the “golden week” holiday for National Day – marking the founding of the People’s Republic of China – began. The PLA’s Tibet military region has posted several videos of high-altitude training involving the mobilisation of armoured troop carriers, tanks and personnel on its official Weibo account.
India, meanwhile, has also been flexing its muscle in the border region, as the two sides continue their massive military build-up.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the country’s infrastructure-building at the opening of a mountain tunnel in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, only around 150km (93 miles) from where Chinese troops are stationed in the Tibetan border township of Sarang.
“Nothing more important for us than protecting the country,” Modi said, adding that India’s push to build roads, tunnels and bridges in its border regions benefited common people as well as the armed forces, according to a report from Reuters partner ANI.
India also test-fired a nuclear-capable Shaurya missile on Saturday, following a separate test of supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles last week.
Military commanders from both sides are expected to meet again on Monday next week, according to Indian media reports. That will be their sixth round of talks since mid-June, when 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops died in a violent brawl in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, the worst military clash between the two sides in decades.
More from South China Morning Post:
- India-China border dispute: is Beijing’s latest stance pushing both sides to the brink of conflict?
- China and India renew calls to cool tense border stand-off
- China accuses India of ‘illegal’ move to change Ladakh’s status as border stand-off continues
This article PLA troops eat mooncakes and tell Chinese not to worry in message from Indian border first appeared on South China Morning Post