The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has boosted their high altitude security along their southwestern borders, sending more top-of-the-line jet fighters to parts of China that border rival state India.
Early this year in February, PLAAF published photos of Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon multirole fighters and Shenyang J-11 air superiority fighters participating in combat training exercises in western China.
PLA expert Song Zhongping explicitly labeled the purpose of the additional fighters to boost Chinese military strength in case of conflict against India.
India is gearing up already, so 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.
India has been bolstering their own military force along the Chinese border. They reportedly have deployed Su-30 MKI long-range fighters.
However, Beijing hopes 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 thin air and high altitude of the mountains of western and southwestern China reduces the range and effectiveness of fighter jets, placing the PLAAF at a disadvantage were they to fly missions against India. More advanced fighters like the J-10 and J-11 have improved aerodynamics, offsetting this problem.
Relations between Beijing and New Delhi are typically strained, but they bottomed out in the summer of 2017 when both nations deployed military force to the Doklam Plateau, a remote mountain range that is disputed between China and India’s close ally Bhutan.
PLA soldiers and construction workers arrived to build a road through the plateau, which Beijing claims is part of Tibet. Bhutan protested China’s presence, and India intervened by deploying troops to the disputed territory.
Sputnik International / AA Magnum News 2018.