Navy chief R Hari Kumar on Chinese ships in Indian Ocean region: dispute takes place every day at sea

There is a "large presence" of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean region and India is closely monitoring developments in the region to protect and safeguard its national interests in the maritime domain, the Navy chief said.

Saturday, April 29, 2023 - Austin Jacobs

At any given time, there are 3-6 Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean, the navy chief said. There is a "large presence" of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean region and India is monitoring developments in the region "very closely" to protect and safeguard its national interests in the maritime domain, said government Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar. SATURDAY. During an interaction at a conclave, he also said that the Indian Navy seized several PLA Navy ships berthing in Pakistani ports and was "watching that."

Asked about aspects of the threat, the Navy chief spoke of conventional and unconventional threats, as well as those arising from what he described as a "quiet and inclusive paradigm" that results in a "web of threats" emerging.

The role of the Indian Navy is to protect, promote and preserve national interests in the maritime arena, wherever they may be found, and assess threats and challenges.

We see on a daily basis that there is some dispute at sea, it is well below the conflict threshold, but the possibility of a real conflict cannot be ruled out, said the Chief of the Navy.

In a question about PLA Navy ships docking at Pakistani ports, he said that these ships dock at ports in various countries, not just Pakistan.

As for his visit to Pakistani ports, "we have stopped doing it and we remain vigilant," he said.

Admiral Kumar said the Pakistan Navy was modernizing apace and was aiming to become a 50-platform force in 10 to 15 years, adding new corvettes and frigates to its fleet.

As for China, in the last 10 years, they have commissioned a large number of ships and submarines, the third aircraft carrier is under construction, and much larger destroyers they are working on. he said. , adding: "We think it will plateau at some point."

"We are monitoring the Indian Ocean region very closely...and the effort is to find out who is there and what they are doing, monitoring it 24/7 and we are deploying planes, drones, ships, submarines , etc". said the head of the navy.

"There is a large presence of Chinese ships. At any given time, there are 3-6 Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean region," he said, adding that some are near the Gulf of Oman and others in the eastern part. of the IOR, among others.

Chinese research ships are still present, 2-4 in number, as well as Chinese fishing boats. So, there is a large presence of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean region, and the Indian Navy is keeping track of that, the Navy chief said.

“So we are refining our plans, the actions that need to be taken, and that feeds into our capacity building as well,” the Navy chief said.

Later, in response to a question from the audience about Chinese research vessels, Admiral Kumar said that these vessels have the ability to track and collect electronic signals.

When it operates, near "our areas of national interest", the Indian Navy keeps watch and its ships "watch them very, very closely". On the question of whether modernization and capacity building have a link to threat assessment, he said. , modernization is part of the process and not driven by threats.

And, a navy must be a "well-balanced force," so it's not a nuclear sub versus an aircraft carrier, because each brings its own capabilities and "it's neither," Admiral Kumar says.

On Atmanirbhar Bharat, he reiterated that the Indian Navy is "committed to the national leaders that we (the navy) will be fully Atmanirbhar by 2047."

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