This is truly remarkable. The International Campaign for Tibet points out a piece by an Asian military analysis publication that describes how an elite Chinese military unit deployed in Lhasa to stop protests and masked their presence by covering up markings on their tanks and personnel carriers.
A defence analysis publication reported that some of the ground forces deployed in Lhasa during the crackdown of the last few days were elite squads from the People’s Liberation Army in addition to People’s Armed Police troops. Writing in Kanwa Defence Review, an on-line magazine on East Asian security, defense, diplomacy and weapons technology development, the analyst reported: “[Images] show that the new T90 APCs and T92 wheeled armoured vehicles belonging to the elite ground force units appeared on the streets of Lhasa in the same day of the crackdown. These equipments have never been deployed in China’s armed police before.” (www.kanwa.com).
The analysis concluded: “To cover up the involvement of regular armed forces in the crackdown, all of the above armoured vehicles are seen using a piece of white cloth to cover the traditional red star mark of the PLA Army, and the red stars painted on the steel helmets of the troops were also erased. The fact that the trump rapid reaction combat units of Chengdu Military Region entered Lhasa at such a fast pace deserves high attention. Moreover, the troops entered Lhasa with heavy equipment.
This author’s analysis is that the newly built Tibet railroad has given China the capability to transport troops very rapidly.
Lhasa Rising at Tibet Will Be Free notes:
This after the Chinese government strenuously denied it was sending the People’s Liberation Army to deal with the Tibetan protests:
Officials said the police and paramilitary police had been called in to deal with the protests, not the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which led the bloody 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.
“The PLA is not involved in the handling of the incidents,” said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao.
I guess China just didn’t want the world to know that they are using their much loved railway to Tibet as a means of rapidly turning their military on Tibetans who have the courage to demand independence. It truly is a testament to China’s hubris to think that pasting sheets over military insignia’s would hide the fact that those insignias are painted onto tanks used to suppress a popular uprising in Tibet. Yep, just look at that picture. I can’t see the insignia so there’s no way a military unit was deployed in Lhasa, no sir. How stupid does the Chinese government think we are?