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  • Two J-20 stealth fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, Nov. 6, 2018.

    Two J-20 stealth fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, Nov. 6, 2018. | Photo: Twitter/ @srilankaglobal

Published 11 August 2020
Opinion

In June, China and India clashed in the Galwan River Valley, where 20 Indian soldiers and 40 Chinese soldiers died.

The U.S. Air Force's China Aerospace Institute Studies (CASI) Tuesday revealed that China has doubled the number of fighter jets on the Himalayan border with India.

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In June, tensions intensified when the troops of China and India clashed in the Galwan River Valley, where 20 Indian soldiers and 40 Chinese soldiers died.

"At that time, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) had just 12 Flankers and no support aircraft," CASI research director Rod Lee reported.

To date, China had deployed 36 aircraft and helicopters to Hotan Air Base near Ladakh, a disputed territory in the Himalayas.

The PLAAF military jets are 24 J-11 or J-16 Flankers, six J-8 fighter jets, two Y-8G transport aircraft, two KJ-500 early warning aircraft, and two Mi-17 helicopters.

"China's decision to double its military presence on the border is not aimed at attacking India," Lee explained as he recalled that Chinese Army is trying to protect its ground troops from possible strikes.

"Beijing seeks to prevent India from a shooting war that would raise further tensions between the two countries," he added. 

On Tuesday, India also announced that its Air Force is preparing its newly-acquired Rafale fighter jets for night flying.

China strengthened its commitment to resolve the border conflict peacefully through diplomatic dialogue.

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