Beijing, Feb 20 (PTI) China is upgrading air defence of its Western Theatre Command, which looks after the security along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), to “confront any threat from India”, an official media report quoted a military expert as saying.Also Read - India vs England Highlights T20 World Cup Warm-Up Match: Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul Guide India to a 6-Wicket Victory Over England
The Chinese military has released photographs of a J-10 fighter jet – a lightweight multi-role fighter aircraft – along with J-11 – a single-seat, twin-engine fighter jet – flying over the high-altitude plateau in western China during the current Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holiday, state-run Global Times reported today. Also Read - As Sikkim Decides to Lift Inter-State Travel Curbs - Here Are Some Places to Explore
The jets are attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Western Theatre Command, the website of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said. Also Read - SAFF Championship 2021 Match Highlights India vs Bangladesh Match 3 Today Football Updates: 10-Man Bangladesh Earn a Hard-Fought 1-1 Draw Over India
China has also recently commissioned its stealth fighter, the J-20, which is first in the region.
The Western Theatre Command is mainly responsible for mountain warfare at the border area with India. The LAC stretches to 3,488-km including the high altitude Tibetan plateau.
India and China have been trying to reset their ties after last year’s 73-day standoff between the two sides at Dokalam in Sikkim section of boundary.
It is significant for China to strengthen control of airspace over the mountainous region, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.
“Strengthening the 3.5-generation fighter jets or even stationing more advanced fighters in the Western Theatre Command has been urgent for the PLA,” Song said, adding that such upgrades have been usually first conducted in south and east theatre commands.
Considering that India possesses 3rd-generation fighter jets, China’s stationing of its 3.5-generation jets would be able to deal with any current threat from India, Song said.
Apparently referring to India’s acquisition of Rafale fighter jets from France, Song said, “with India importing new jets, China will continue strengthening its fighter jets in the Western Theatre Command.” Since he took over power in 2013, President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has been pressing the PLA to step up live firing drills to win local wars.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.