China’s military has actively started recruiting local, unemployed youth in Tibet to form a “volunteer militia” in areas across the border from Sikkim, intelligence reports have suggested. Military and intel experts say India should not be too worried about the development but must keep watch on it all the same.
The bulk of India’s 3,488-km border with China runs along Tibet, from Ladakh at one end to Arunachal Pradesh (claimed by China as southern Tibet) on the other. The drive to recruit the volunteer militia comes as the stand-off between India and China in Ladakh continues over a year since it began.
According to the intel inputs, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and police authorities are recruiting unemployed youth from the Yadong county, located opposite Sikkim, and other neighbouring areas in the region.
The inputs suggest these cadres would be sent to police and PLA centres for training and subsequent employment.
Sources said those at police centres would be trained for duties at vehicle check posts, those related to immigration, and law and order at model “xiaokang (well-off)” villages, which have reportedly been built all along the border in keeping with President Xi Jinping’s vision for frontier governance.
“To govern the country well we must first govern the frontiers well, and to govern the frontiers well we must first ensure stability in Tibet,” he was quoted as saying in 2013.