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World War 3 fears erupt as India confronts China with new elite warplanes

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Rajnath Singh, India’s defence minister, said the new warplanes send a “strong message” to India’s potential adversaries. Earlier this week shots were fired along India’s disputed border with China for the first time in 45 years.

India has spent $9.4billion (£7.3billion) buying 36 French Rafale combat aircraft.

The first five formally entered service during a ceremony in Ambala, located near India’s border with China.

Pictured from the scene show Indian military personnel parading in front of the jet fighters.

Mr Singh took to Twitter to welcome the warplanes and praise India’s relationship with France.

 

He said: “The induction of Rafale is a strong message for the world and especially for those who challenge India’s sovereignty.

“Our country will not take any step to disturb peace anywhere. We expect the same from our neighbours.”

He later added: “India and France have a lot in common as two of the great democracies of the world.

“We look forward to enhance our bilateral relationship even further.”

READ MORE: WW3 warning – Chinese and Indian troops violently clash at the border

Relations between Beijing and New Delhi have plummeted in recent months with a number of confrontations along the country’s disputed border.

In June 20 Indian soldiers were killed during a clash with their Chinese counterparts in the Galwan Valley.

As firearms had been banned near the border the two sides fought with metal bars, clubs wrapped in barbed wire and rocks.

Many of the Indian troops who died either drowned or died of exposure after being injured.

Chinese forces also suffered casualties though the exact number has not been disclosed.

In response to the deadly clash India banned a number of Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok, from operating on its networks.

In later 1962 India and China fought a brief war along their contested border which left at least 2,000 dead.

India is currently in the midst of a $130billion (£101.5billion) modernisation of its military.

In addition to the combat aircraft it is buying a missile defence system from Russia and attack helicopters from the US.

Manoj Joshi, from India’s Observer Research Foundation think tank, welcomed the new jets but warned they will not be sufficient on their own.

He commented: “If you are China, you’re not going to take few Rafales seriously.

“A handful of planes cannot bog down a military power like China.”



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