Analysts see China's military's deployment of long-range bomber warplanes near its border with India as a forceful but calculated message to its neighbour.
Last week, during the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force's 72nd-anniversary celebration, state-run news station China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast images of H-6K bombers flying near the Himalayas.
While the bomber jets are usually stationed near Beijing, the South China Morning Post said they were relocated to Xinjiang province last year, closer to a territory disputed by both India and China.
China warns India with bomber planes stationed at the border
The Western Theatre Command is in charge of the military regions of Xinjiang and Tibet and security along China's border with India. A military analyst, Antony Wong Tong, told SCMP that stationing bomber planes near the Indian border were "certainly a warning to India."
However, Song Zhongping, a former PLA artillery instructor and military expert, stated that the PLA would not assault populated areas. For land and sea combat, the H-6K planes are commonly equipped with CJ-20 missiles. The planes stationed near the Indian border, on the other hand, were equipped with short-range KD-63 missiles rather than the longer-range CJ-20 missiles.
Per The Independent, the CCTV footage did not include photographs of the CJ-20, according to Zhou Chenming, a researcher at Beijing's Yuan Wang military science and technology institute.
Tensions between India and China have been building since discussions between the two nations' military commanders broke down in October. During a brutal fight between the Chinese and Indian military in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh in June of last year, scores of Indian soldiers were killed.
According to reports, the incident was the worst in 45 years, and it resulted in a military standoff with China and many rounds of discussions between the two nations. In reaction to reports of bomber planes being deployed along the border, the Indian Air Force dispatched Mig-29UPG and Su-30MKI fighter fighters to their bases in Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, all of which are disputed by both India and China.
China is engaging in a "border war" with India and poses a serious threat to its neighbours, according to senior Republican congressman John Cornyn, who detailed his trip to New Delhi and Southeast Asia to learn about the issues that nations in the area face.
China poses a serious threat
Senator John Cornyn, who is also the Co-Chair of the India Caucus, and his Congressional colleagues just returned from a trip to India and Southeast Asia, where they saw firsthand the problems that China poses.
Cornyn warned Senate lawmakers on Tuesday that the most immediate and serious dangers come from countries closest to China's borders. He added that he had the opportunity to lead a congressional delegation to Southeast Asia last week to better grasp the region's risks and problems.
China is a menace to freedom of passage in international seas and a perpetrator of heinous human rights violations against its people, particularly the Muslim Uyghur minority. According to Cornyn, it is at war with India and has threatened to attack the Republic of China, also known as Taiwan.
"We met with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and Cabinet officials to address concerns presented by China as well as other common goals," Cornyn said of their trip to India, as per News18.
Following a violent conflict in the Pangong lake regions on May 5, last year, the border standoff between the Indian and Chinese forces erupted. Both sides steadily increased their deployment by bringing in tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy equipment.
The two parties concluded the disengagement process in the Gogra area in August and the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in February due to a series of military and diplomatic negotiations.
However, at their 13th round of military negotiations on October 10, India and China failed to resolve the impasse in eastern Ladakh's remaining contention spots. They took a ride on a naval plane in contested seas in the Philippines, he added.