By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, June 30: China has claimed to have tested a new battle tank in Tibet amidst stand-off with India at Nathula pass which connects the Indian state of Sikkim with Tibet.
“China on Thursday said it had tested a new lightweight 35-tonne battle tank in Tibet, specifically designed for high-altitude conditions near the border, which had undertaken trials,” reports indiatoday.in.
Though the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acknowledged the test, it quickly chided away from further aggravating the already tense situation and proclaimed that the tank was not aimed at any country.
“The purpose is to test the parameters of the equipment and is not targeted against any country,” PLA spokesperson Colonel Wu Qian was quoted as saying in the report.
Though China maintained that the tank named Xinqingtan was not aimed at any country, Chinese media reports have drawn comparison with India’s T-90s and claimed that the Chinese tank was more advanced.
While few details were disclosed about the Xinqingtan, it was described as a light-weight tank that would have 105-millimeter gun and 35-millimeter grenade launcher as well as an engine designed for high-altitude environments, Chinese media reports stated.