China holds high-altitude drill in Tibet to test ‘capabilities’; first time since Doklam standoff

Beijing: Chinese military stationed in Tibet has carried out a drill to test their logistics, armament support capabilities and military-civilian integration in the remote Himalayan region, official media reported on Friday.

The drill carried out by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) units on Tuesday was the first such reported exercise in Tibet since the Doklam standoff. State-run ‘Global Times’ which reported the drill also cited the PLA’s 13-hour long exercise conducted at an elevation of 4,600 metres in August 2017.

“To solve the difficulties in personnel survival, delivery, material supply, rescue, emergency maintenance and road safety, the military has adopted a military-civilian integration strategy and constantly advanced logistics support capabilities. We aimed to explore a mode of military-civilian integration in the plateau command following the reshuffle of the military system,” Zhang Wenlong, head of the command logistics support department said.

To counter China, Australia awards $26-billion warship contract to BAE

Australia awarded a $26 billion contract to build a new generation of warships to British defence giant BAE Systems on Friday, as the Pacific nation undertakes an ambitious naval programme in part to counter China. BAE’s Global Combat Ship, to be known as the ‘Hunter Class’, beat off competition from Italian company Fincantieri and Spain’s Navantia SA.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, ‘The frigates will be the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world and underpin the country’s security for decades to come. The Hunter class will provide the Australian Defence Force with the highest levels of lethality and deterrence during global uncertainty.’

Foreign meddling laws passed

  • New laws to curb meddling by foreign governments in Australia have been passed by Parliament ahead of a raft of by-elections, amid heightened fears of Chinese interference in domestic politics.
  • The changes include strengthening existing spying offences and new offences that target covert, deceptive or threatening actions by foreign actors trying to influence or harm domestic politics.
  • Attorney-General Christian Porter had pushed for the Bills to be passed before several by-elections in late July.