Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping has promoted Xu Qiling, Commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command which oversees the borders with India, to the rank of a General, amid the continued standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
Xi Jinping, who is also Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) – the overall high command of the PLA, promoted 58-year-old Xu to the rank of General – the highest rank for officers in active service in China.
The other officers who were promoted to the rank of General included Commander of the Southern Theatre Command Wang Xiubin, Commander of the PLA Army Liu Zhenli, and Commander of the PLA Strategic Support (Missile) Force Ju Qiansheng, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Xi presented certificates of the orders he signed to them at a ceremony held by the CMC here Monday.
Xu, who held the rank of Lt. Gen previously, was appointed to head Western Theatre Command ground in June last year. ‘Xinhua’ in its report referred to Xu as the Commander of the PLA’s Western Theatre Command.
Regarded as the rising star in the PLA, Xu was one of the young generals promoted by Xi Jinping after he took the helm of the PLA in late 2012.
India and China have been locked in a military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. However, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong Lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.
The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points.
India has been particularly pressing for disengagement of troops in Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang. According to military officials, each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive high altitude sector.