HomeIndian DefenceIndian Navy Monitoring Chinese Research Vessel Heading Towards Maldives

Indian Navy Monitoring Chinese Research Vessel Heading Towards Maldives

Source : News18 India

Indian Navy Monitoring Chinese Research Vessel Heading Towards Maldives

Indian Navy Monitoring Chinese Research Vessel Heading Towards Maldives

New Delhi: In a developing maritime situation, the Indian Navy is closely monitoring the movement of a Chinese research vessel — XIANG YANG HONG 03 — heading towards Male, the capital of Maldives. The ship is similar to the one that operated near Sri Lanka and against which India had expressed objections.

Defense sources confirmed to CNN-News18 that the Indian Navy is well aware of the vessel’s presence and has been monitoring its movement.

As of now, no instances of the ship undertaking any type of research activities within the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have been reported, sources said.

The Chinese vessel is expected to reach the Maldives within a couple of weeks.

Last year, the Sri Lankan government granted a Chinese vessel two days to conduct marine research off the island’s west coast under supervision.

The island’s decision on the Chinese research ship — Shi Yan 6 — was allowed to work for 48 hours amid concerns that it could be a spy ship.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had allowed the vessel to enter the main port of Colombo only for “replenishments” over concerns that the craft could be used to spy against them.

In the past as well, India has had raised concerns about China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and its influence in Sri Lanka, which is strategically placed halfway along the key east-west international shipping routes.

Another Chinese research vessel, Yuan Wang 5, which specialised in spacecraft tracking, visited Sri Lanka in 2022. It docked in Hambantota, a port in Sri Lanka’s south under a 99-year lease to the Chinese company after Colombo failed to service a USD 1.4 billion loan taken for the project.

China owns 52 percent of Sri Lanka’s bilateral debt, and Beijing’s approval is crucial for any efforts by Colombo to restructure its outstanding loans.

INDIAN NAVY ENHANCES MARITIME SECURITY

Just earlier this month, the Indian Navy deployed over ten warships in a bid to intensify its maritime presence in the region starting from the north and central Arabian Sea to the Gulf of Aden to deter any piracy attempts and drone strikes.

The deployment of the warships also came with the presence of Marine Commandos (MARCOS). Officials had noted that the Indian Navy is the resident power of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and will do whatever it can to safeguard the national interest of India and make the region free, fair, and open for global trade.

Last year, amid the escalating threat of piracy and drone attacks on commercial ships, the Navy had already deployed INS Kochi, INS Kolkata, INS Mormugao along with INS Chennai and multi-role frigates INS Talwar and INS Tarkash. Dornier and helicopters were also deployed for maritime surveillance and security purposes.

The Indian Navy has been constantly working in close coordination with the Coast Guard to ensure effective surveillance of the Indian EEZ.

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