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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Vigil on Chinese military and research vessels: Indian Navy chief

Challenge to India’s domination, looming ‘threat’ of submarines

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui New Delhi Published 04.12.22, 04:16 AM
Admiral R Hari Kumar at the news conference in New Delhi on Saturday.

Admiral R Hari Kumar at the news conference in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI picture

The Indian Navy chief on Saturday said a large number of Chinese military and research vessels operated in the Indian Ocean region and that the navy kept an eye on their movement to ensure they didn’t do anything to hurt India’s interests.

Admiral R. Hari Kumar was addressing a news conference ahead of Navy Day, December 4.

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Navy sources said Chinese naval ships had been regularly entering the Indian Ocean since 2008 and that Beijing had been deploying submarines on purported anti-piracy operations in the region.

“The Indian Navy closely monitors and tracks the movements of such vessels as India is worried at China’s growing influence on the Indian Ocean region,” a naval official said.

“The Chinese navy has been taking an assertive stance in the South China Sea and is challenging India’s domination in the region.”

The official said there was a clear threat from the Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean although Beijing claims they are sent on anti-piracy operations. “We regularly carry out threat assessments of the (Chinese) submarines,” he said.

The situation in Ladakh — where Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in a border standoff since May 2020 and where the Chinese are estimated to have occupied nearly 1,000sqkm of India-claimed territory — has added to the complexities of the security situation.

Admiral Kumar said the navy had operationally had a very intense and engaging time in the past one year, and that the commissioning of the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant had been a landmark event.

“The government has given us clear guidelines on Atmanirbhar Bharat. We have given the assurance that the Indian Navy will become self-reliant by 2047,” he said.

Kumar said that around 3,000 Agniveers had been recruited to the nwavy, of whom 341 were women.

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