China has made it compulsory for every Tibetan family to send one family member to the People’s Liberation Army, an attempt to strengthen its deployment along the Line of Actual Control with India and as a mark of ‘loyalty’ test for the Tibetan youths, a report published by India Today said.
China is doing all it can to strengthen its presence along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), particularly in extreme weather circumstances in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
According to the government sources cited by India Today, one member each from the loan families of Tibetans will be deployed permanently at the LAC with India. They further added that China has already started recruiting Tibetan youths in its territory and training them for operations along the LAC with India.
Before they are officially inducted into the Chinese forces, they are made to go through rigorous loyalty tests, which includes learning the mainland Chinese language and swearing allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the sources said.
The recruitment of Tibetans within the Chinese armed forces began in earnest in January-February this year after China saw how Tibetans-in-exile have performed while serving in the Indian Armed Forces.
With the recruitment of Tibetan youth within the army, China eyes not only using their natural skill of acclimatising to harsh weather conditions but also seeks greater acceptance of Chinese authority among the local population in the Tibet Autonomous Region(TAR). By inducting Tibetans, China also aims to ease the pressure off the mainland Chinese soldiers deployed along the LAC.
The mandate of sending one family member of Tibetans to the Chinese forces comes in the midst of a standoff between the PLA and the Indian Armed Forces along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Since April-May last year, India and China have been embroiled in a tense military impasse along the LAC and tensions have prevailed in friction points since then, including Hot Springs-Gogra Heights.
The two sides have had multiple rounds of talks to defuse tensions but without much success as the situation along the LAC remains precarious. The talks have so far yielded limited mutual withdrawal of soldiers by the two sides on both northern and southern banks of the Pangong Tso.