China appoints new Western Theatre commander amid border standoff with India 

DHARAMSALA, 21 Dec: The Chinese Communist Party(CCP) has appointed a new General as the Commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s(PLA) Western Theatre Command.

Gen. Zhang Xudong was appointed the Commander of the Western Theatre Command by the Chinese President Xi Jinping who is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the CCP  at a ceremony held at the PLA’s Bayi headquarters building in Beijing on December 18.

The newly appointed Western Theatre commander’s jurisdiction includes Sichuan, Tibet, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Yunnan, Chongqing while Guizhou is also sometimes listed as part of the command.

The development came amid ongoing border tension between India and China while Gen. Zhang Xudong will now replace Gen. Zhao Zongqi under whose watch the Asian giants entered two major standoffs, Dokhlam in 2017 and the ongoing Ladakh standoff that dragged on from May earlier this year.

Gen. Xudong has previously served many years in the erstwhile sensitive Shenyang MR, responsible for the borders with North Korea and Russia. 

The Western Theater Command, one of the five theatre commands of China’s PLA  was founded in 2016. 

It is reportedly the most expansive of the new theatres with complex internal and external operational requirements. 

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