BEIJING: China reinforced its troops near the Indian border with mountain climbers and martial arts fighters shortly before a deadly clash this month, state media reported.
Five new militia divisions, including former members of a Mount Everest Olympic torch relay team and fighters from a mixed martial arts club, presented themselves for inspection at Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, on June 15, official military newspaper China National Defense News reported.
State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of hundreds of new troops lining up in the Tibetan capital.
Tibet commander Wang Haijiang said the Enbo Fight Club recruits would “greatly raise the organisation and mobilisation strength” of troops and their “rapid response and support ability,” China National Defence News reported, although he did not explicitly confirm their deployment was linked to ongoing border tensions.
Later that day, Indian and Chinese troops brawled for several hours in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, using stones and nail-studded clubs to beat each other, killing 20 Indian soldiers and injuring at least 76 more. China has not said whether it suffered any casualties, reports said.