Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

Chinese research ship in the Maldives has escalated tensions between Beijing, Delhi and Male

Share This News Story:

BEIJING : The expected arrival of a Chinese research ship in the Maldives this week has escalated tensions between Beijing, Delhi and Male, the vessel Xiang Yang Hong 3 is there to “make a port call, for rotation of personnel and replenishment”. In short, an entirely innocuous stop.

But that is not how it is being seen in Delhi. Instead, the ship’s presence is at the very least a diplomatic snub. At worst, some fear, it could be a mission to collect data which could – at a later date – be used by the Chinese military in submarine operations.

China experts, however, have shrugged off their concerns.

“The Chinese ships carry out scientific research work in the Indian ocean. Its activities on the high sea are entirely legitimate,” Zhou Bo, a former People’s Liberation Army Senior Colonel, told the BBC.

“Sometimes the ships need replenishment – like fuel, food and water. So, they berth in a third country port, which is normal. So, the Indian government shouldn’t make any fuss about it. Indian Ocean is not India’s Ocean,” asserted Mr Zhou, who is now with the Tsinghua university in Beijing.

But this is not the first time that China – which competes for influence with Delhi in the Indian Ocean amid a long-standing dispute over their Himalayan border – has sent one of its ships sailing close to Indian waters.

Share This News Story: