6-8 Chinese Navy ships always in Indian Ocean

Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Wednesday said that at least six to eight warships of China's People's Liberation Army Navy could always be found sailing in the northern part of Indian Ocean.

“They (Chinese Navy) are a force and they are a force which is here to stay,” Admiral Lanba said, while speaking at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi. He was replying to a query on India's concerns over growing Chinese PLA Navy's presence in Indian Ocean.

“Since 2008, there has been a permanent presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean region in the form of anti-piracy escort force,” said the Indian Navy chief, who was sharing podium with Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command Admiral Philip S Davidson, French Navy Chief Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano and Chief of Australian Defence Forces General Angus J Campbell.

Lanba noted that China in December 2018 sent its 31st fleet for anti-piracy escort force in the Gulf of Aden. He pointed out that China had set up an overseas military facility in Djibouti two years back, with the stated objective of safeguarding its vessels from piracy in the region. He said that China had even “deployed submarines for anti-piracy operations” although submarines werethe “most unlikely platform to be used for this role (anti-piracy operations)”.

“There is no doubt they are spending a huge sum of money to develop military capabilities. They are modernising the forces, they are modernising command structure,” said the Chief of naval Staff.

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6-8 Chinese Navy ships always in Indian Ocean

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