India watching China's move for exploration in Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean

India on Wednesday said it was keeping a close watch on developments concerning national security and commercial interests in the wake of China's move for exploration in the South-West Indian Ocean.

"The government keeps a constant watch on all developments concerning our national security and commercial interests and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them in accordance with the prevailing security situation and strategic considerations," Defence Minister A K Antony said during Question Hour.

He was responding to concerns expressed in Rajya Sabha over the issue.

Antony, however, said China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association's 15-year contract with International Seabed Authority for prospecting and exploration of polymetallic sulphides in the Indian Ocean ridge is in an area beyond the national jurisdiction of any state of the high seas.

He said India is also working towards exploration of polymetallic sulphides and efforts are targeted to study the sea floor hydrothermal systems.

He said the right to exploration in international water is accorded by the UN.

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