(Representative photo) | Photo credit: iStock images
New Delhi: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has stepped up efforts to recruit Tibetan soldiers and even asked local monks to bless the initiative.
The PLA’s efforts to recruit Tibetans, first reported on December 5, 2020 by TIMES NOW, had rapidly escalated.
• The PLA has set up the STAU or Special Units of the Tibetan Army, and is trying to recruit in the Western Tibet region. They even asked Tibetan monks to bless the units in order to gain more support.
• There are also Yuma units of Tibetan soldiers to guard the Indo-Tibetan borders. This was thought of over a decade ago and includes retired PLA staff.
• The Chinese are also trying to set up the Yalmuk, which are the Tibetan ethnic militias, and deploy them in high altitude areas.
• There is also the Mimang Cheton Militia, which has basic training and is deployed in the Chumbi Valley because it knows the terrain.
One big reason is the altitude. Recruiting Tibetans used to high altitude and freezing cold means having fewer PLA soldiers from eastern China, close to the sea and low-lying areas. During the confrontation in Ladakh, large numbers of Chinese soldiers, stationed in areas above 15,000 feet, fell ill with high altitude sickness.
The only no-no is to recruit Tibetans who have ties to the Dalai Lama and the government-in-exile.