China’s state-run Global Times has dismissed reports on the neighbour using balloons to spy on India. The publication quoted Chinese military experts as saying that balloons deployed along the borders with Tibet might be for China’s own border safety or civil purposes.
A professor of China’s National Defence University told the Global Times that there was no need for the country to deploy balloons for intelligence gathering on India, citing its limited capability. With satellites equipped to provide clear pictures of the ground, the expert ruled out any possibility of using the balloons for spying purposes.
Reacting to reports in Indian media on China allegedly using high-tech balloons for spying on India, the report termed them as “overreacting and being too sensitive”.
According to experts, high altitude areas along the border may be the possible reason for deployment of balloons as it is tough keep a vigil manually. Telecommunication relay or weather monitoring like civil purposes were also mentioned as the possible reasons for the move by China.
This comes days after the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2019 said that China has been continuing to produce more nuclear weapons while India has maintained status quo. According to the report, China has 290 nukes while India has 130-140 bombs.
China possessed 280 nuclear bombs in the beginning of 2019 but has now increased it to 290. Similarly, Pakistan's stockpile has gone up from 140-150 to 150-160.
The ties between India and China have remained static following the 2017 Doklam stand-off, when the two nations were said to be at the brink of a war.