Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, declared that the deployment of more high-tech jets is due to “border tensions with no resolution in sight”.
He said: “The upgrade in the Western Theatre Command is urgent because in China’s western region, relations with India have been strained due to the border tensions, with no resolution in sight.
“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.
“Strengthening the 3.5-generation fighter jets or even stationing more advanced fighters in the Western Theatre Command has been urgent for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).”
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) displayed pictures earlier this month of highly capable Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon multirole fighters and Shenyang J-11 fighters.
Photos showed the incredibly powerful jets taking part in combat exercises in the country’s western region.
They were released two days before the Lunar New Year holiday on February 13.
The latter is a modification of a famous Soviet jet known as the Sukhoi Su-27.
New Delhi has also made military moves with the country reportedly adding its Su-30 MKI fighters to its border.
Geng Shuang was recently asked about military moves from India and emphasised that both countries wish to maintain “peace and tranquility” on the border.
He continued: “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.”
Tensions between the two nations took a turn for the worst last summer when both sent military forces to Doklam that sits under the territory of New Delhi’s ally, Bhutan.
The area sits extremely close to a part of the southern border of the Asian superstate.
The director of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Kanti Prasad Bajpai, stated that the moves from China could signal that the dispute over Doklam “isn’t over” and that New Delhi should not get “too complacent”.
He went on: “It’s fairly clear they (the Chinese) are trying to send a message in the post-Doklam period about their resolve to be strong.”
India’s M. Matheswaran, a retired Air Force marshal, stated that China is the one threatening its neighbour and that New Delhi would not threaten the superpower because it does not have a “force size” large enough to do so.
He explained: “It’s not India threatening China, it’s that they’re threatening India.
“I don’t think India has the force size to threaten China at the moment.”