Despite the escalating border tensions at the Indo-Sino border in Ladakh, the comradeship between India and China was seen in the high seas when the captain of an Indian vessel thanked the Chinese Navy for escorting his crew and cargo safely out of the pirate zone.
Chinese state-owned tabloid, Global Times, reported that the Chinese Navy – the PLAAF on Saturday successfully escorted an Indian oil tanker carrying 31 Indian crew members to a designated sea area in the Gulf of Aden and received a thank-you note from the tanker’s captain.
The 35th fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy successfully escorted three foreign merchant ships, including Indian Crude Oil Tanker “MT Desh Gaurav,” Panamanian Chemical Tanker “Rabigh Sunshine” and Marshall Islands Bulk Carrier “Pan Clover,” to their destinations on Saturday after a two-day journey, Global Times reported.
The tabloid stated that the Gulf of Aden is known as the most dangerous waters in the world for pirate attacks. Yang Aibin, chief of staff of the escort taskforce, said that the Chinese navy sent guided-missile destroyer Taiyuan to escort foreign ships along the way, and the other two Chinese vessels Jingzhou and Chaohu were waiting in a certain sea area to provide regional escort for passing ships.
“As the captain, this is the second time I have sailed through the Gulf of Aden. A few days ago, when I was sailing westwards, I applied for a Chinese naval escort for the first time, accompanied by the frigate named Jingzhou,” the Indian captain told the naval escort translator Cai Lingong, stated GT.
Relations between the two neighbors have been strained for months now at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh where both sides have maintained a military buildup and have moved heavy artillery near the border.
“I hope that Indians who see China as a threat will feel the goodwill of the Chinese military at this particular time, and take their political views from the high and cold lands of the Himalayas to the open ocean,” Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University in Beijing, told the Global Times.
“Only this way can we understand the true meaning of the saying that “Asia and the world are large enough to accommodate the simultaneous rise of China and India.”