Navy minutely monitoring Chinese activities in Indian Ocean

Navy minutely monitoring Chinese activities in Indian Ocean

 Amid increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Rim, the Navy today said it "minutely" monitors the activities of its Chinese counterpart in the region.

Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan said Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) ships have been deployed in anti-piracy operations in Indian Ocean since 2008 along with some submarines.

The Indian security establishment sees the presence of Chinese submarines in waters close to it and their developmental activities in neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka as a matter of concern.

"PLA Navy's activities are minutely monitored by Indian Navy and our belief is that the responsibility of protecting Indian Ocean and our coastline lies with the Navy. Our ships, and aircraft are always on alert so that this responsibility is carried out well," he said speaking to reporters on the last day of the four-day Naval Commanders' Conference being held here.

He was responding to questions on China's recent white paper on defence, which talks about enhancing its naval reach for the first time to "open seas protection" far from its shores.

However, Dhowan sought to downplay the assertive report saying every navy makes its plan as to what it is supposed to do and it is a "normal activity".

"There would be aspects related to defensive operations, surveillance, and all kinds of operations which spread out during the period of peace and during hostilities. So it is natural for any Navy to have its plans which covers the spectrum of entire operations. That (Chinese white paper) is a normal activity for any navy," he said.

On Tuesday, China had unveiled an assertive military strategy enhancing its naval reach for the first time to "open seas protection" far from its shores which could pose a challenge to the Indian Navy especially in the Indian Ocean.

The 9,000-word paper has warned of threats to China's maritime rights and interests, citing the provocative actions of some offshore neighbours.

It also spoke of threats from illegal military presence in Chinese territory, and outside parties involving themselves in South China Sea affairs.

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