Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Scott Morrison at the India - Australia Leaders’ Virtual Summit.

A long-standing border stoush between China and India at the Himalayas is set to escalate with armed forces ready to be mobilised “within hours”

The supposed training drill by China’s PLA Air Force brigade training department would see forces moved to the border.

Major Colonel Mao Lei, who heads the department, has told state media it had “expanded our means of transporting forces”.

Though he didn’t explicitly tell state-run CCTV where forces were, state-run tabloid Global Times directly linked the drill with the border.

Images shared to Chinese social media app Weibo showed soldiers in planes and in the back of armoured trucks.

Indian officials said the standoff began in early May when large groups of Chinese soldiers entered deep inside Indian-controlled territory.

Though it feels a world away, the Global Times has dragged Australia into the foray.

In an article penned and published on Monday, the tabloid ran a headline reading: “Will Aussie, India coordinate to confront China?”

It did not mention the border dispute but said that Australia had “adopted a tougher stance toward the world’s second-largest economy upon which it depends”.

It referenced Australia strengthening its relationship with India after Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi convened via video link last week.

“Whereas this accord is set against the backdrop of escalating border tensions between China and India, this intensifies friction between Beijing and Canberra,” the article read.

Morrison said he wanted to deal with “friends and trusted partners” and that the agreement with India had “stood the test of time”.

“We share a vision for open, free, rules-based multilateral systems in our region, whether that’s in the health area or it’s in trade or in other places,” he said.

The Chinese Communist Party has also moved to discourage international students returning to Australia once borders open and university resumes.

The Ministry of Education said Australians had a tendency of “racism” against Chinese people.