India's satellite station in Vietnam to 'stir up trouble', says China

India's satellite station in Vietnam to 'stir up trouble', says China

China views India’s newest satellite tracking station in Vietnam as an attempt by it to “stir up trouble” in the disputed South China Sea. 

China’s state-run Global Times on Wednesday quoted a researcher in a social science institution stating that New Delhi’s move to set up the satellite tracking station at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam “clearly” indicated its “attempt to complicate the regional dispute”.

Deccan Herald in its November 22, 2015 edition had reported that India had set up a state-of-the-art Data Reception and Tracking and Telemetry Station at Ho Chi Minh City.
The satellite monitoring station in Ho Chi Minh City, once activated and linked up with another existing facility at Biak in Indonesia, is likely to give India a strategic edge in and around South China Sea region.

It apparently raised hackles in China. In a report titled “Countries outside region play up test flights in South China Sea”, the Global Times quoted Gu Xiaosong, an “expert on Southeast Asian studies” at the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences in Nanning. “India has no territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. It wants to stir up trouble in the region to serve its own ends, which is to counterbalance China's influence,” Gu was quoted by Global Times.

New Delhi spent about $23 million to set up the new facility in Ho Chi Minh City. The facility will primarily help the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to track satellites launched from India and receive data from them. It will, however, also be an important strategic asset for India in and around South China Sea, which has been at the centre of an escalating conflict between China and its maritime neighbours – Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Taiwan.

India of late raised its pitch on South China Sea arguing in favour of freedom of navigation and over-flight, almost echoing strong positions taken by US and Japan. New Delhi is of the view that South China Sea dispute must be solved through dialogue and in a peaceful manner in accordance in accordance with principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).

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