Rumors first began circulating after a photo supposedly showing the J-20 stealth fighter jet on the tarmac at the Daocheng Yading Airport in Tibet appeared on Twitter, days after Beijing warned the Indian Army against deploying its Brahmos cruise missile.
New Delhi rejected the warning, telling NDTV, "Our threat perceptions and security concerns are our own, and how we address these by deploying assets on our territory should be no one else's concern."
The PLA released a statement regarding the J-20 stealth fighter accusations on its website saying, "In addition, the world’s highest airport there does not have a complete set of supporting facilities and such shortage will impede the function of J-20…J-20 will not be deployed in Daocheng Yading airport as the airport is too close to the border, and it is vulnerable to India’s first wave hit. If India is to deploy BrahMos missile on the China-India border, then the Daocheng Yading airport will likely become its target."
The sighting came just days before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to meet Chinese leadership during this year’s G20 summit in Hangzhou.
The Chinese statement also highlighted that tensions between Beijing and New Delhi are another reason to not deploy the J-20 from Daocheng.
"Experts pointed out that for India, China is undoubtedly its largest opponent and therefore every move of the Chinese military will touch the nerve of Indian media," it said, adding, "India is not yet the biggest threat for China and though confrontation events along the border would occur from time to time, the overall situation is rather stable."
Chinese statements also detailed that Beijing’s main focus is strengthening its military and not antagonizing other nations.
"In this way, China does not put too much emphasis and focus targeting India. Chinese equipment deployment and drills along the border are mostly confirmatory, mainly to gain experience, improve high-altitude combat capability, and form deterrent ability," it said.