In­dian naval ships in South China Sea make Bei­jing see red

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Dee­vakar Anand

New Delhi: Much to the ire of China, four In­dian Naval war­ships en­tered the dis­puted South China Sea on Satur­day on an op­er­a­tional de­ploy­ment for two and half months there and in the North West Pa­cific. Dur­ing the pe­riod, they would also par­tic­i­pate in the pres­ti­gious mar­itime ex­er­cise with the US and Ja­pan navies, Mal­abar- 2016.

China claims to have ter­ri­to­rial own­er­ship in the South China Sea, but Viet­nam, Philip­pines, Malaysia, Brunei and Tai­wan dis­pute the claim. The area is ac­cepted as In­ter­na­tional wa­ters by sev­eral coun­tries.

Though move­ments of In­dian ships through th­ese wa­ters have been chal­lenged by Chi­nese Navy in the past, it has not flared up to a di­rect phys­i­cal con­fronta­tion ever.

In­dige­nously- built guided mis­sile stealth frigates, In­dian Navy ships Sat­pura and Sahyadri, com­manded by Cap­tain AN Pramod and Cap­tain KS Ra­jku­mar re­spec­tively, INS Shakti, a so­phis­ti­cated fleet sup­port ship, com­manded by Cap­tain Ga­gan Kaushal and INS Kirch an in­dige­nous guided mis­sile corvette com­manded by Com­man­der Sharad Sin­sun­wal are par­tic­i­pat­ing in this de­ploy­ment.

Even as China has re­port­edly ex­pressed con­cern over this, the de­ploy­ment also comes close on the heels of the US and In­dia hold­ing their first Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Di­a­logue on May 16 to dis­cuss “Asia- Pa­cific mar­itime chal­lenges, naval co­op­er­a­tion, and mul­ti­lat­eral en­gage­ment”, ac­cord­ing to the US em­bassy in New Delhi. US too has taken ob­jec­tions on what it has called China’s in­creas­ing ‘ mil­i­tari­sa­tion’ in the re­gion.

Dur­ing this over­seas de­ploy­ment, the In­dian ships will make port calls at Cam Rahn Bay ( Viet­nam), Su­bic Bay ( Philip­pines), Sasebo ( Ja­pan), Bu­san ( South Korea), Vladi­vos­tok ( Rus­sia) and Port Klang ( Malaysia), In­dian Navy spokesper­son Cap­tain DK Sharma said. He said the vis­its to each port will last four days and are aimed at strength­en­ing bi­lat­eral ties and en­hanc­ing in­ter- op­er­abil­ity between the navies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.