There has been an increased Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean and the Indian Navy is watching carefully, Navy chief admiral Karambir Singh said on Wednesday according to reports in Indian media.
Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, Singh said that there have been instances when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ships have entered India’s exclusive economic zones and the Navy has told them that it encroaches on Indian interests.
“We have placed our ships in mission-based deployments so that we get an idea what are the activities, not only of China but of all other countries so that if there is anything that impinges on our national interest or sovereignty, we will have to act,” he said.
“China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor impinge on our sovereignty,” the Navy chief said.
India is one of few major powers in the world that has opposed the OBOR project on the basis of territorial sovereignty, given that its flagship project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passes through disputed Pakistan-administered-Kashmir.
Earlier, Chinese and Pakistani forces completed a nine-day naval exercise in the Arabian Sea which fuelled anxiety in New Delhi. The operation – Sea Guardians 2020 – was the sixth joint naval drill between China and Pakistan. It involved special forces, warships, aerial assets and, for the first time, submarines in a series of live-fire exercises.
India kept a close eye on the exercises and later deployed an aircraft carrier to monitor the events, sending a clear signal to both Pakistan and China.