The military district does not have any direct threats of cross-border intrusions, as it shares safeguarded borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
Anticipating a conflict with Taiwan, the People Liberation Army (PLA) prioritizes its most modern combat gears for units falling near the island nation. Hence, Xinjiang has historically not been at the receiving end of PLA’s contemporary weaponry.
However, new combat systems are being streamlined to modernize integral units based in the Xinjiang province in 2021. New PHL-03 multiple rocket launchers, PCL-161 self-propelled howitzers and PCL-181 self-propelled howitzers have been supplied to the military district in recent times.
This strengthening of military systems in Xinjiang is seen as a clear response to the border standoff with India last year, ANI reports.
Reportedly, the PLA is looking to anticipate India with its seamless ability to swiftly manufacture and distribute new systems in the region. General Zhao Zongqi, the head of the Western Theatre Command for five years, was replaced by ex-commander of the Central Theatre Command General Zhang Zudong in December 2020.
All these moves are perceived as China’s clear intentions to beef up its abilities alongside the Indian border as the two countries possibly await testing times in the coming future.