China deploys advanced fighter jets on border with India: report
24 February 2018
China has deployed advanced fighter jets on the border with India, which could trigger a fresh showdown with New Delhi, according to a report in Sputnik.
|J-10 Vigorous Dragon|
The report claims that China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has boosted its high-altitude capacities along the country's southwestern borders by sending more top-of-the-line jet fighters to the area.
Earlier this month, PLAAF had published photos of Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon multirole fighters and Shenyang J-11, a modified version of the famous Soviet Sukhoi Su-27, air superiority fighters participating in combat training exercises in western China.
A PLA expert Song Zhongping had told the state-owned Global Times that the purpose of deploying additional fighter jets is to boost Chinese military strength in case of conflict against India.
Zhongping further stated that China's military build-up is in line with India's military preparations. He cited reports of India deploying its Su-30 MKI long-range fighters, a modified version of the Russian Sukhoi Su-30, along the India-China border.
''Since India is gearing up already, it's necessary for China to prepare for a possible military confrontation. And in these mountainous areas, superiority in the air is of utmost importance," the PLA expert added.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, however, downplayed it, saying, "I am not aware of the information mentioned by you. I may refer you to the military."
"We hope the Indian side can work with China to uphold the peace and tranquillity of the border areas because this is in common interests of both sides," the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman added.
The reversal in India-China ties began with China's backing of Pakistani terrorists in the UN and its deployment of military force to the Doklam Plateau, a remote mountain range that is disputed between China and India's close ally Bhutan.
The stand-off ended with both nations pulling their troops back on 28 August, following quiet negotiations. However, reports suggest that China is again boosting its military presence near the disputed region.
A satellite image obtained in January further confirmed that the PLA was settling into permanent military encampments a few miles back from the site of the stand-off.
China also claims Arunachal Pradesh to be part of South Tibet, which China annexed in 1951.