Xu Qiling, who heads the Western Theater Command, will now lead Chinese troops along the border with India after being promoted to the rank of general.
Indo-China border dispute.
Chinese President Xi Jinping promoted and made Xu Qiling, who headed the Western Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) guarding the border with India, and made him a general. In this way, Killing has become the third commander to lead the force after the standoff that began near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh in May last year. Observers say General Qing’s promotion has also fueled speculation about the future of his predecessor, General Zhang Shudong.
The promotion of Zoo Killing took place at a time when there is constant tension on the LAC. Xi Jinping is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC). He is also the overall high command of the PLA. Jinping promoted 58-year-old Shu Qiling to the rank of general, the highest rank for military officers in China. Apart from Xu Killing, three other officers have also been promoted. These include Wang Xiubin, Commander of the Southern Command, Liu Zhenli, Commander of the PLA Army, and Ju Qiansheng, Commander of the PLA Strategic Assistance (Missile) Force.
Doklam dispute led by Zhao Jongqi
Giving information about Xu Killing’s promotion, the Xinhua News Agency reported that Xu was the commander of the PLA’s Western Theater Command, indicating that he had replaced General Zhang. Xu Killing was made the head of the Western Theater Command Ground Force on June 5 last year. At the same time, amid tensions with India in Ladakh, General Zhang was made the head of command on 19 December, replacing General Zhao Jongqi, who had retired. General Zhao led the Western Theater Command during the 2017 Doklam standoff, where the Indian Army stood against the PLA’s plan to build a road close to the Indian border in an area claimed by Bhutan.
60 thousand soldiers are stationed on the border
India and China have been facing a military standoff over several disputed points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. The two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of Pangong Lake in February after a series of military and diplomatic talks. Both sides are now engaged in talks about the process of removing troops and weapons from the remaining tense areas. According to military officials, both sides have now deployed 50 thousand to 60 thousand soldiers on the border. So far, several rounds of talks have been held between India and China to resolve the border dispute.
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