Chinese border defense troops staged winter combat drills over the weekend amid ongoing tensions with neighboring North Korea, the South China Morning Post reports. The regular exercise is aimed at improving combat capability during cold weather. But analysts noted that the drills came as tensions between the two sides showed no sign of abating, despite a recent visit by Chinese envoy Song Tao to the reclusive country. Soldiers from the 78th army unit of the northern theatre command – headquartered in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, and responsible for border security – conducted drills in sub-zero temperatures east of Inner Mongolia on Saturday morning, state media reported. The exercise took place on the Horqin grassland, part of the Zhurihe military training base, as temperatures plunged to minus 17 degrees Celsius, according to the official PLA Daily newspaper. Drills included a mock battle between red and blue army units, including air strikes, electromagnetic interference and aerial reconnaissance.