Images and footage have emerged of major convoys of troops in transit in Lhasa and Shigatse (Chinese: Rikaze) in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) in Qinghai, in July. While the purpose of some of the convoys appears to have been propaganda and intimidation, some of the troop movements may have been linked to major military exercises. The Chinese state media announced a joint military drill with live firing on Monday (August 10) on the Tibetan plateau in Sichuan (Xinhua, August 11, 2015).
The footage depicts trucks full of armed troops passing through Lhasa near the Potala Palace and a main street in Shigatse. The vehicles have red banners on the side of the vehicles bearing slogans in Chinese characters including: “To defend security and stability in Tibet”; “A healthy civilian and peaceful society is the will of the people”; “Sincerely loyal to the Party and unswervingly work for its mission”.
No air cover was reported by sources who observed the various convoys, and one source said that no troop movements of this scale had been observed in the areas before.
One of the troop convoys in the TAR consisted of more than 200 vehicles, including several tanks either on wheels or caterpillar tracks, travelling from Lhasa in the direction of Bayi, which is the prefectural capital of Nyingtri/Kongpo (Chinese: Linzhi) and a major base of the armed forces in Tibet close to the border with India. The convoy included “bridges on wheels” – portable bridges to be dismantled and used for heavy vehicles crossing rivers or in areas affected by landslides… [Source]